Writing on the wall
says ‘nobody wins the war’;
graffiti plays out.
The words were scrawled up on a wall of The Bearpit, walls which Bristol City Council keep on painting only to be tagged moments later. The City Council in their zeal to tidy up The Bearpit (for whatever reason) are not bringing people with them. Their ‘ban it’ mentality is leading to a degradation of a space that only two years ago was vibrant, colourful and tidy. In trying to tackle problems such as addiction and violence and homelessness and graffiti and skateboarding, the clampdown is using the ‘clean up’ of The Bearpit as a deflection of its own failings and those of the Government in these years of austerity, and is wrongly conflating these issues.
Homeless people are not necessarily addicts. Addicts are not necessarily graffiti artists. Graffiti artists are not necessarily skateboarders. Skateboarders are not necessarily violent. Violence is not necessarily practiced by homeless people. And so on…
Work with the people who use this space.
Nobody wins the war.