Graffiti Artists on Tags, Murals, and Rob Ford
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Graffiti Artists on Tags, Murals, and Rob Ford

“There’s pieces on the street that have been there for 20+ years. [Rob Ford’s] not really aware of how much that might’ve meant… That stuff has its history. It’s a part of Toronto, a part of Toronto’s history.”
“Nobody really understands what his definition of graffiti really is. So there is a lot of concern coming from the small business community, there is a lot of concern coming from the muralist and artists.”

On March 29, several Toronto street artists had a meeting with Rob Ford, to discuss the battle he has started waging against graffiti in Toronto. His sentiments? “Every one of these last bastards, if he has to…he’s going to get every vandal in jail,” is how Zion, owner of graffiti store The Bombshelter, described the tone of that encounter.
Created by Char Loro, a 22-year-old videographer, photographer, and Radio and Television Arts student at Ryerson, this video is one response to Ford’s escalating fight to wipe Toronto streets and storefronts of graffiti—an attempt to explore “design in dissent,” she told us, to raise awareness of Toronto’s street artists, and to consider some more nuanced approaches to dealing with graffiti in the city. Loro gives most of the camera time over to the artists to speak in their own words, some positive, some less so, providing an interesting window into a community which, much of the time, is hidden in plain sight.