Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Keep Australia Colourful this Sunday...!

[this one's a bit Sydney-centric ... apologies to non-Sydney readers]

This coming Sunday is the second installment of Keep Australia Colourful, a pro-graffiti event that I'm involved in organising in Sydney. It's timed to coincide with Graffiti Action Day, an anti-graffiti event organised jointly by Keep Australia Beautiful and the NSW State Government. We painted some nice walls, a truck, and got some good media coverage for our efforts last year, so we figured it was worth trying this on again ... especially with the new NSW Government proposing to confiscate driver's licenses of those convicted of graffiti offences, and to introduce mandatory jail sentences for repeat offenders. (Yes, they actually think putting graffiti writers on the trains and buses is going to stop graffiti ... brilliant!!)  The futile and expensive war on graffiti shows no sign of letting up...

For a short version of my take on what we ought to be doing instead, you could look here -- a longer version of this was published as "War is over (if you want it): rethinking the graffiti problem" in Australian Planner, 2009, vol 46 (3) ... with all apologies to John Lennon for the title.

So, here's the announcement for this year's event ...


On May 15, Keep Australia Beautiful is teaming up with the NSW State Government for their second 'Graffiti Action Day'. Their aim is to mobilise volunteers all over the state to paint over as much graffiti as they can.

On the same day, we urge you to join us and take a stand on behalf of Graffiti and Street Art as valuable forms of art and culture. The government wants to 'Keep Australia Beautiful' by painting our streets, lanes and public spaces various shades of beige - but we want to Keep Australia Colourful! Let's show people how great our cities could look if there were more places for artists to create pieces legally.

If you want to join us, here's what to do...

Graffiti/Street Artists: find a space, and make it look colouful on May 15.

Whatever you decide to paint, poster, stencil, knit, sticker ... be sure to include a reference to Keep Australia Colourful in your piece. Yes, people ... you can put aside your ego for one day and join the KAC crew, we know you can do it!! :-)  Of course, we are not encouraging you to do anything illegal! Then, upload your flicks on our website:http://www.keepaustraliacolourful.org/

If you can tell us where you are going to be painting beforehand, even better - we can plug your session on the website/facebook too. And if you want to be available for media comment on the day, send us your details, and we will add them to our press release.

Graffit/Street Art Lovers: write a letter to your local council, and/or to the NSW Attorney General Greg Smith (office@smith.minister.nsw.gov.au), telling them why you love graffiti and street art and why you want to see more of it.



A community service announcement, brought to you by Kurt Iveson, Cameron McAuliffe, Spice, Pudl, Mini Graff, Mistery, Roach, Numskull, Saynt



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