Graffiti is always a political act, whether overtly or accidentally. The very nature of vandalism requires some kind of confrontation between a disruptive actor and established structures of the status quo.
While throwing a brick through a window is also vandalism, it differs from graffiti in that it is a subtractive form of vandalism—that window is no longer there—while graffiti is inherently additive: structures become augmented with new political or social meaning.
Or, more specifically, The Great Wall has a graffiti problem.
It’s not really surprising that people have visited the Great Wall for centuries and left their names etched into the bricks—it’s what people do. The Chinese approach to managing this graffiti may be more clever than functional, but it does suggest that we don’t always need buckets of grey paint.
Wichita is full of amazing public art that gives our city character. It belongs to all of us. And when it is vandalized, it hurts. It hurts emotionally, financially and it hurts the culture of our city.