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The graffiti that changed a city

  • 17

Living in a small town like this one feels like living in a pocket universe. You probably don’t know it’s name, but you wouldn’t need it anyway. It’s the type of town you forget after a few minutes. The liminal space on earth that feels empty and full of people at the same time. Like a living room that you stripped the word living from, until its nothing more than four walls and a ceiling, the floor being the only thing keeping you in place. One of those „everyone knows everyone“ places. I don’t think there is any need for explanation. We all know them, we all come from them.

Nothing about these city screams „Look at us, we are here.“, yet suddenly the eyes of everyone in the nation looked over at us the day the grafitti appeared.

It was September 28th last year, the Monday after a long weekend, when the first people spotted it on the side of the old post office. Right there, a few centimeters under the big white window, a graffiti had emerged overnight. The post office was the most mundane building in our small town. Looking like a yellow cube with an ill-placed roof and shingles ready to fall down there was nothing exciting about it. It always looked abandoned, left behind in time. The longest someone had stood in front of that building was a record-breaking 2 minutes while chatting with someone out front. After the graffiti emerged, we had people camping in front of the building.

Even though the grafitti was nothing spectacular at all. In fact, it actually was somewhat ugly the longer you stopped to look at it. The edges smeared away, the colors clashed with the yellow wall, the shapes looked wonky from certain angles. Something mundane, something so normal in a big city nobody there would look at it twice.

The graffiti didn’t stay long. In fact, it vanished only three days later; replaced by a bright spot of fresh yellow paint.

Ugly and short-lived, it still managed to cause havoc in peoples minds and days. Teachers ran away in a moment's notice, children became capitalists in the blink of an eye, tourists were running through the streets. Creativity was soaring through our streets. Until it was already forgotten by the next weekend.

Those 3 days feel unexplainable, one simply had to be there and see it for themselves.

The graffiti itself, how people reacted to it.

How something so mundane had the ability to be so prominent and forgettable at the same time.

© Nel 2023-01-07


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