Murals and writing on the walls of caves may be its predecessors, but it is in the hip-hop culture — with its four currents: rap or emceeing, disc jockeys, graffiti and break dancing — where graffiti finds its current expression. The artistic movement that originated on the walls of
García Canclini states that graffiti, as a transcultural medium, has been a vehicle used by marginalized social groups that lack public expression and representation and have used it to tell their story. Therefore, according to García Canclini, graffiti artists create their art in public places with a lot of traffic to appropriate those spaces, in one form or another.
At least in New York, Caribbean syncretism — such as that which molded the Haitian and Cuban cultures — also influenced today's graffiti through street names and the "tags" (the labels that serve as pseudonyms) that various artists use to hide their identities from police authorities while revealing their authorship in the graffiti artists community.
Although graffiti did not proliferate in Caribbean societies to the same measure as in parts of Europe or the
To understand the writing on public spaces requires an understanding of the art's discourse, which reflects the voice of generations of young people who cry out in the form of pain against the establishment and the political and social inconsistencies they witness. Hip hop has bravely brought these compositions of vibrant colors to signs, walls, mailboxes, trains and the public transportation system buses despite anti-graffiti campaigns of painting over graffiti or the risk of the act itself under the law.
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