Urban Subversion

I love graffiti… or spray art… or whatever you want to call it.  But it is a complicated love: I understand the frustration of property owners with graffiti on their property (especially given the City of Regina bylaw that requires property owners to remove graffiti at their expense or face a fine), but I love the idea of a common, public dialogue about space through art or creative expression that isn’t always commissioned.

While in Montreal, I saw so much interesting graffiti – the visually provocative, the subversive, the political, the hard to comprehend (literally).  Some was likely sanctioned, some not.  It was everywhere I walked and gave me a keen eye to find even the smallest of stencils and markings left by anonymous strangers.

But, for those who are averse to graffiti – not all urban subversion needs to be permanent, intrusive, or have negative connotations attached to it.  Guerrilla gardening is a popular movement use to beautify neglected spaces through plants and flowers.

In addition to this, you can also imagine gardens hanging on electrical poles, created from old promotional posters, or in built boxes affixed to structures.

There is also moss graffiti – what an amazing way to bring greenery to the vast expanse of concrete that the city presents!

And recently, a friend told me about a project out of Calgary called EachOther.  They provide citizens with supplies for interacting with the commons (they range from very mild to a little spicy on the subversive scale).  The one that she picked up is birdseed graffiti – essentially a package of birdseed and a stencil that says “Feel Free”… commence rad, ephemeral, defamation!

I love the idea of the public sphere constantly growing and changing through transient interactions by fellow citizens!

So, to leave you today, here is my favourite little piece of urban subversion here in the Queen City:

You look good today Regina Urban Ecology readers!

**UPDATE – literally seconds after I posted this, I heard about this film on CBC radio… watch it!

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Urban Subversion

9 thoughts on “Urban Subversion

  1. devon says:

    p.s. that very stencil on Broad is on the roof of a building on Broadway in Saskatoon. The only 2 places I have seen it.

  2. devon says:

    p.p.s. sorry if this is a waste of a comment but I check your blog regularly and this is the first time I noticed the mini smiley face in the top right corner. Internet graffiti?

    1. Hey Devon – thanks for following us! If anyone in Saskatoon sees that piece, they should photo it and email us!

      Also – yarn bombing and urban knitting (making sweaters for trees, lamp posts, fire hydrants, etc) is another great form of street art!

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