'More than vandalism'

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

FOR some young artists, they find passion in painting the walls of the city's streets. But no, they are not a rebellious bunch who trip off the walls that go with their teen angst.

Beyond vandalism, graffiti is an art - a street art. Mac Kanda and Emesu are members of one of the city's graffiti artists' groups. Their group called "Wadab Locals" was only formed late last year with more than 10 members.

Mac said the sole purpose for coming up with Wadab is purposely to unify the graffiti artists in the city, and eventually collaborate with other Davao-based groups.


"Our community is not as active as those communities in other cities. There are many groups, but they are not unified," he said.

Mac and Emesu aspire to work as one with different groups, and form an association that will bind them together, share each other's best practices, and work together in thwarting the common perception that street art is no less than a vandalism.

That's one challenge most of the graffiti artists are facing today. Despite the restrictions and unfair judgment, there's something in graffiti that even attracts more artists, be they students or professionals, into trying this street art.

Mac said their group is limited only on the walls of the abandoned buildings, or ask the consent of the owners to allow them transform the barren walls into an artistic piece that can turn heads.

Wadab Locals is also hoping that artists like them be given an ample space where their self-expression cannot be contained or limited in a few small areas, and sometimes in places that have no permission from the owners.
"As much as possible, we ask for permission," he said.
The only place that graf artists have where they are free to play with their creativity is the one at the Matina Town Square (MTS).

Mac and Emesu have been dabbling with graffiti for quite sometime. Having been to places upon invitations, they said there are people who, sharing with them the same similar interests, are deliberately giving them the green light to speak out their creative minds.

This underrated art isn't always an act of rebellion among the teenagers, many of these even come with an obscured powerful message.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 31, 2014.


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