I once had an acquaintance who would use a thick-tipped Sharpie to tag stop signs and ATMs in New York with her (unimpressive) graffiti signature. Much like her halfhearted forays into lesbianism, this act of vandalism was was nothing more than another way to attract attention. But for graffiti artists in Myanmar, the art of graffiti holds a much more political purpose.
Up until March 2011, Myanmar (also called Burma) was in the clutches of a dictatorship that ensured all forms of media were intensely censored. With widespread reforms that followed a switch to a semi-civilian government, however, artists armed with paints and pens have been more able to express themselves with the very public medium of graffiti.
Granted, what they are doing is still vandalism and the government isn’t completely reformed, so the people behind the politically charged pieces have to hide their identities in this video documenting the surge of graffiti artists in Myanmar. But you know what they say: first graffiti, then freedom!
Or maybe I just made that up.
Image via Townhall.com