Wednesday 21 September 2011

See no...$?

Im sure this article will not win me any friends, but at the end of the day i am not here to kiss ass.
I was always slightly dubious about the motivations behind this event, it just didn't seem 
right, nor like any other graff event i've been aware of over the last 10 years.
The pure fact that they were painting law courts, and police stations, the same police station
where i was attacked and falsely arrested next to while painting a commision, bristol's top paint
shop being left out of all media and correspondance, even though they were of a huge support to the
event, the banning of the word 'Graffiti' in the reporting, and the names attending, the officiality, it didn't seem like something true to graffiti, although this is just my opinion and it will for sure be different than to  most of those who recieved a pat on the back and a pallet of paint, but i know i am not alone in what  i feel about 'See No Evil'. 

It seems the whole event was seen as a way of encouraging people from the metropolitan
harbourside, through to the Commercial Clone street that is Broadmead and the Cabot shopping mall, 
up until now, you have had to traverse some pretty ugly streets, funny how Graffiti seemed to 
be the only way they could find to do so? I am sure there are MANY an artist who have been 
charged with offences of criminal damage down these streets over the years. Perhaps even in the 
court in the picture above. A recent news article highlighted to me via facebook some of the following points, which all seem like money in the eyes of the corps and the councils to me.

'The council said the number of people heading to Nelson Street as a destination has increased dramatically since the project. On the Saturday after the ‘bloc party’ nearly 10,000 people made the trip down Nelson The council’s markets manager, Steve Morris, has received requests from traders wanting to set up stalls on Nelson Street due to the increase in footfall. Street to look at the art, and figures have increased by nearly 40% midweek. Meanwhile, business inquiries have also come in to take over the vacant retail unit owned by Unite, which has stood empty for more than four years.'

Discussions about how to further capitalise on the “Bristol and See No Evil brand”, have begun among council reps and event organisers. “General feedback from our retailers and customers has been that this was a great boost to the city and generated increased footfall into our retail outlets, cafes and restaurants.''

“One major international clothes retailer reported a 10% increase in Saturday sales, which managers put directly as a result of the See No Evil Bloc party.
“See No Evil has also helped us with our objective to move people effectively between The Centre/Harbourside in the west and Bristol’s main shopping heart eastwards towards Cabot Circus.”

John Hirst being the same guy who tried to fuck over a political activist, for writing messages
in CHALK on pavements and walkways within the vicinity of the shopping areas.

Meanwhile, the council are discussing removing graffiti on the legal hoardings of various
areas of the cultural zone of Stokes Croft,  because they do not agree with its political message.
It appears the agenda here is Speak No Evil, i'm looking to see if this does become an anual
event, how much corporate attention/sponsorship it receives. And who else, who has had their
hand in the prosecution of artists and activists around the city, such as Chris Chalkley and the
chalk dude, and of course the endless stream of writers who run through the courts there..

I am unaware of this event supporting local writers who have not been so priviliged as
to recieve tens of thousands of pounds in funding, or positive media support, nor
supporting/sending any message in regards to the real side of Graffiti, i think
this event could have really been used to highlight a few things, even if it was at
risk of its future, it would have been worth it. Message over money.

Apologies to anyone i have offended, yes NG can be seen as a brand, but all the money 
made is kept within the brand and the culture itself, all printers, be it tee's or mag's 
involve a writer being paid along the line.