Graffitiare one of a kind art form that depicts a given message. Typically,the drawings and writings are roughly sketched, engraved or evensprayed on public property. In many occasions, the graffiti imageryworks illustrate a particular idea such as (Ferrellet al., 88):
Music, art social dynamics expressions.
However,these activities are illegally done.
Afterevaluating several activities and ideas, I chose to attend a graffiticleaning event. Thisevent was more intriguing to me since my hobby lies in arts,drawings, and paintings. Additionally, the activity is also acommunity improvement project. In order to successfully carry outthis event, we organized ourselves into sub-sections. Eachsub-section was designated to a certain area containing graffitipaintings. My team was assigned to remove all the graffiti works inour neighborhood as the other team carried on with the event in thesurrounding communities.
Ourteam had 50 members designated to an area that had 25 (twenty-five)building blocks-apartments. So every two members got one block toclean. I worked with a middle-aged local painter. Our block hadseveral paintings and writings that were a real depiction of the gangaffiliation activities affecting the neighborhood. Before startingthis activity, the government had to provide us with the local lawenforcement authorities so that our security was fully guaranteed.Otherwise, the gangs associated with the graffiti could have ambushus, resulting into unexpected fatal eventualities. That is thecleaning process is a very social-sensitive issue that needed thegovernment intervention.
Primarily,me and my work mate decided to divide the graffiti removal courseinto several steps as listed below:
Identifying the surface type
Ourblock was constructed of bricks, and thus it had smooth brick walls.The graffiti work spread across a total wall area of 25 square metersand a wall height of two meters. Three of the block walls werenotably affected with the exception of the front side that was theentrance to the houses. In particular, the back wall had the mostsubstantial amount of graffiti arts.
Identifying the substance to be removed
Chiefly,99% (ninety-nine percent) of the total area was written and paintedin “spray paint”. This type of paint was the major media andsubstance that left a significant graffiti impression on the threewalls.
Selecting a removal method
Dependingon the substance used and type of surface, the removal method isquite different from each other. Hence, to come up with the bestcleaning technique, we sought the advice of graffitiremoval charts andemployed the mechanisms highlighted below:
Wearing specialized equipment
Whenworking with harmful chemical solvents, eye and skin protection isvery necessary. Therefore, we put on protective clothing, safetyrubber gloves, and safety goggles. The area was open, so there was afree circulation of air- enough ventilation.
Weused the paint solvents that had a low level of Volatile OrganicCompounds-VOCs so that an insignificant amount of harmful thecompounds would escape into the atmosphere.
Thesurface was best prepared so that the paint coat would not peel off,in the long run. The surface was cleaned off the dust, dirt and oilmarks. The surface was prepared in a way that it became dull bysanding technique (Breweret al., 193).
Sincebreathing paint has the ability to maintain the structuralcomponents, we favorably applied it to the brick walls. My skilledcounterpart was able to mix the paint in correct proportions so thatthe best consistency and quality was achieved. The paint mixing wasdone it several fifty Liters buckets. I was given a paint roller thatstretched across the wall height to apply the paint on top of thegraffiti art. I also used a painting brush to cover the nearsurfaces. I worked under my instructor’s directives hence the workbecame enjoyable and easier (Breweret al., 193).
After5 hours, we were able to finish the whole block. Thus, the apartmentregained its former esthetic glory.
Assoon as we finished the graffiti removal, we picked and cleaned allthe dirt associated with the activity. The area was left clean andtidy. At about four O’clock in the evening, all the other teams hadfinished with their designations and so we assembled at a communalpoint for a briefing and thanksgiving session. The city’s mayorgave a short-lived speech and promised to set up an involvingrehabilitation center for the restoration of gang affiliates aforemost step in the discouragement of graffiti writings andpaintings and also the reduction of the crime rates in the community.
Inmy ending note, I would say that this was one of the best socialgiving services since it helps to lay and connect the social fabricthat is so momentous in building our great country. Involving theneighborhood in doing the cleaning activity was a way to impart asense of belonging and accountability in the maintenance of public’sresources at large.
Iwent home feeling tired and as a happy individual after that.
Ferrell,Jeff. "Urban Graffiti Crime, Control, and Resistance." Youth& Society27.1(1995): 73-92.
Brewer,Devon D. "Hip hop graffiti writers` evaluations of strategies tocontrol illegal graffiti." HumanOrganization 51.2(1992): 188-196.