Graffiti is always controversial and divisive. Art or Vandalism!
Those writings or drawings, sprayed on a wall in big cities have been viewed by some as a form of art that needs protection. Others, on the other hand, believe it’s an act of vandalism thus punishable.
But if graffiti moved from the walls of big cities to tree trunks, rocks, cliff surfaces, caves… if it moved to nature paths where many seek comfort from city stress, should the issue of graffiti continue to be controversial.
During my last hike in Putah Creek Reserve located in Davis, I came across graffiti painted under the bridges, on sign board, on tree trunks, everywhere .… Clearly, someone had turned the trail into their personal museum.
Then it shocked me afterwards when someone reviewed the trail stating that “the graffiti under the bridges was their personal favorite part in the hike.”
It is with issues related to the environment and the sustainability of nature, that I do strongly believe all controversy should end.
Simply because a broken environment or a damaged ecosystem means one thing; SUFFERING. And lately, all we have been doing as humans is suffering from extreme weather.
Aerosol Spray Paint used in creating graffiti is damaging to the environment in many ways. It emits fumes that are hazardous and contributes to global warming. Moreover, the substances used to clean the paint off the walls are extremely harmful. They are even more harmful when located exactly next to a water source. The empty cans are not recyclable and often considered hazardous waste.
To take all this and inflict it on a fragile ecosystem that is already suffering from proximity to human settlement in the form of noise from nearby traffic, or trash from hikers, is extremely damaging.
To admire graffiti for its esthetic purposes mindless of its negative environmental effect is irresponsible in my opinion. To praise it, means encouraging it.
So does graffiti belong in a hiking trail?
Until graffiti finds a way to become environment friendly, confined to approved locations, its presence shouldn’t be a controversial issue ANYWHERE.
For more photos from this hike, click here
Writing and Photography
Samar M. Salma
PS: This blog reflects my personal opinion and my personal take on many issues. Its not a scientific paper, the information used is based on internet searches and some scholarly articles. Its purpose is to entertain and everything mentioned is open for debate and correction. Content & Photos are copyrighted