Street voice

There are a number of street voice through their graffiti are making mark — voiceless Bangladesh, Subodh series and more. In the face of state surveillance, when it is hard to speak up, young minds are finding voice in anonymity, collectively giving our streets a voice. This week New Age Youth asked students about graffitis they have seen around city and on their campus.

Tell us about a graffiti you have come across recently in the city or on your campus

Sabiha Anjum

Sabiha Anjum
Jahnagirnagar University

Janangirnagar University is not merely an educational institution rather something

more significant than this for us, the students. As a full residential university, the students compare the university as their mother that will take care of every student.   On May 27, this mother behaved as stepmother. It’s not unnatural for bereaved students to be outraged at the tragic death of class friends. However, by no means there they were to murder anybody. When the student took to street, block the road, what was needed not police violence but a trustworthy gesture from the administration, from the highest authority vice-chancellor. Yet, what the student got was police brutality. When student demanded an answer from the VC why police attacked on them, instead of a peaceful conversation, at the VC office they were hurled abuses. In the soufflé, some flower tub was broken. It is outrageous that the administration slapped students with attempted to murder cases for breaking some silly things like flower pots? There is no answer from the administration, why police fired rubber bullet on students? Why students are changed with false cases? The graffiti here ask these questions, the name of resistance is Jahangirnagar.

 

Sohel Tarek

Sohel Tarek

Dhaka University

 

While violence and gun shots rocked the entire campus and spreading panic among the students; an outsider like Prometheus came out the street and stand against this violence. Make nothing of fear and terror, raise his voice and demonstrate against violence. All on a sudden a ruthless bullet hit his forehead and knocking him down.

This is not a fairytale or a story of the action movie. In point of fact it was occurred in the premises of the campus of Dhaka University. In front of Central Library of Dhaka University, graffiti have been illustrated in honor of that Prometheus. For his valiant sacrifice against anti-terrorism Moin Hossain Raju is considered as Prometheus on campus. He is immortalised in this graffiti. As I walk by this graffiti on campus, I think of his bravery and the legend he is for students who wants to make a change.  When the institutional memory is so forgetful, the street art silently recalls history.

 

Tamanna Kayes

Tamanna Kayes

State University of Bangladesh

 

I come across this series of graffiti in around Dhanmondi Lake that touch up on so many issues. Drawings are amateurish, texts are not always political which is the case with graffiti. They sometimes joke, but always come with a #voiceless Bangladesh. In this time of repression and uncertainty, their work, I mean the graffiti work of voiceless Bangladesh is an interesting way of venting. The messages their work carries include — do you know what your parents are thinking? The message may be indicating the busy city life, working parents with no time for children. Then there is one about facebook anonymity.  It asks do you know who is really behind the profile picture. The one that particularly captured my attention is about, I think, it is about the ICT ACT and its repressive clause section 57. The anonymity of graffiti gives the freedom to raise a question, that a journalist can’t afford. I think, that is what this graffiti is about.

 

Tithi Marma

Tithi Marma

Eden College

 

I don’t know where exactly I saw the image online. The message was so captivating; I have downloaded and saved it in my pc. Property is theft — such thought provoking statement. We all know is property is ownership, but the graffiti says, its theft. Before responding to this call from Youth on graffiti, I googled the statement to see who said this. What is the story behind the statement or better we say slogan. It is in fact frequently used in anti-capitalist struggles in Mexico.  As I started to explore, I kept thinking about my attachment with my mobile, I ‘own’ it. I also, think about  graffiti as a medium of expression. The message in this graffiti is not written with much care, rather casual. I don’t know, the greetings next to it is intentional or not. However, the success of graffiti as a medium of engagement with wider audience is already proven, since I am talking about at length just by seeing it online.

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