On Graffiti, Women of Color Writers, & Yarn Bombing
Anonymous asked: what do you have against yarn bombing?
I’m p. sure I’ve briefly discussed this topic before. I’ll check if i tagged the original text and repost, but essentially my disdain with yarn graffiti is that it is a phenomena whose origins are an exercise in privilege. White feminists used yarn bombing as a way to ‘counter male-dominated realms of street art and graffiti’ (see here, here, here, here, here and here.) and forcefully insert themselves into a subculture made up of poor people of color, primarily black and latino youth.
The lumping of graffiti and street art alone raises red flags as it fails to acknowledge how the emergence of street art has negatively impacted women writers of color. While I don’t want to get into an in-depth discussion between graffiti and street art (because it is a ton to delve into), we must note two important and relevant distinctions which separate these realms—race and class. Graffiti (graffiti as an element of hip hop and not solely the act of writing on surfaces w/o permission) has always been an art attributed to kids of color from a lower socio-ecomomic background and is for the most part looked down upon as vandalism. While ‘street art,’ a relatively new art-form, has long maintained a white middle class majority artists as well patrons and is considered a legitimate art which has gained prominence as well as commercial succe$$.
Now, white feminists ignore these important distinctions and offer yarn graffiti as an alternative w/o understanding that although sexism is a problem that persists the graffiti world, we cannot ignore the problems of racism and classism that are contributed by these co-optive side-graffiti arts which both street art and yarn graffiti can be included in.
If there is going to be a change that challenges these issues it should be done from the bottom up. Women of color exist in the graffiti world. It is insulting that these feminists believe they’re solving our problems as women when they have no idea what it is to be a woman writer at the bottom of the graffiti hierarchy, especially when their solution is one that will never be criminalized/looked down upon but instead be seen as cute and edgy but most importantly an art that will be welcomed by mainstream culture.
in the end, yarn graffiti is simply yarn art made by probably racist women (first yarn art was attributed to a group who went by the name ofknittaplease—that name is questionable AF) who got bored and thought just because they liked a life that was foreign to them they would create a graffiti offshoot to cater a need of belonging while at the same time writing off women of color who have long participated and fought against misogynistic attitudes in graff culture.
It ain’t cool, and I ain’t down with it. Sorry for the long response, but i hope this answers your question.
I know I’ve posted this before, but I’m gonna repost this again for the artist. The girl who made this was arrested, and she face a jail-term for vandalism.
Seriously. Jail-term for sticking a sticker? This is ridiculous.
They said the aim for Singapore in the next few years are going to be developing creative minds. Our prime minister made a statement by subsidizing a certain amount of money for students to study in a semi-private arts school in Singapore and supporting a collaboration with an overseas arts school. Yet with a girl as young as 25 promotes street arts, putting a smile on many faces, is facing a jail-term.
I don’t know if this will help anything, but guys, there’s a facebook page asking for 20,000 signatures to petition to free this girl. Do it for the girl, the arts, the young people in Singapore. Please help.
Shit brah it’s Singapore. I’m surprised she hasn’t been strung up and whipped.