With its shanty towns and unplanned growth, Port-au-Prince gives a chaotic impression. The lack of urban planning is one of the city’s major flaws.
That’s why the theme for the Haitian and foreign artists taking part in the third graffiti festival Festi-Graffiti was “The resurrection of the public space”.
In Haiti, graffiti mainly expresses political views. During the dictatorship in 1957-1986, the lack of freedom of speech made graffiti a way of shocking those in power and criticising society – a tradition that is still alive, especially during elections.
Some artists in the graffiti festival highlighted the recent and increasingly loud demand for transparency in government spending. But above all, the artists were given the opportunity of conveying their aesthetic visions for the city.
“We want to turn graffiti into an art form just like any other, and show that it’s about more than just criticising or flattering politicians”, said Widler Resonance, chairman of the collective for urban and modern art.
/Ralph Thomassaint Joseph, Port au Prince..
The Postcards from journalists in our network are published on the Blankspot website.