Graffiti is not vandalism. Graffiti is Art. Art is a form of communicating. Art is a form of making people uncomfortable. It is a mechanism which seeks to generate new thoughts and new ways of approaching challenges, without neglecting the foundation and history from which it comes.

After attending the first 350 Africa Artivism workshop hosted on the African continent, the ideas as stated above were turned into concrete concepts for me. The workshop started off with the history of graffiti in South Africa, which was then translated into discussion on graffiti on a worldwide scale. Graffiti has grown in its description and role; and it’s grown within its tangible meaning in the world of ART. The different forms of graffiti were described:

  • Tags and Throwups
  • Pieces
  • Styles (wildstyle, 3-D, realism, cartoon)
  • Street Art (stencils, paste-ups, installations)

The facilitators of the session provided key insight into the world of art and activism. Creating meaningful pieces of art, by and for the people, in spaces where an impact will be made. After practical attempts at stencil making, tags, throwups and paste-ups, we were abruptly informed about the climate change on the global scale. The definition and intent of 350 Africa was discussed.

Upon discussing the impact of the climate change, the impact of social injustice and the vulnerabilities which people face were highlighted as well. There is an intrinsic (although distressing) connection between climate change, social injustice and adversity faced by all of the people who inhabit the earth. It was clearly identified that aims to reduce the carbon dioxide molecules which inhibit the atmosphere through awareness raising and proactive intervention, brought forward by human action.

The workshop provided a platform to connect, collaborate and CREATE with purpose.


– Written by Jade Trueman.