Identity Graffiti Tricks and Trades

Graffiti is about identity politics, of course. The trick is to destroy meaning. One can be obvious and inviting. For this, absence speaks volumes.


One can be subtle. For this, words are negated by images.



One can get around rules forbidding painting buildings and public structures. Here’s a clever one from the neo-Nazi hangout in front of the university in Jena, Germany. The neo-Nazis like to hang around this bike stand, likely because university students come to pick up their bikes, and watching them is enjoyable. Reminders help. Reminders on courier company labels help more.


It owns the streets and the students in startling identity-stripping ways. Yes, you’d be correct in assuming that those bicycles, so very social, are identity politics as well, with the strength to resist this challenge. That is one way in which the battle is played. Welcome to the path to the Northern Orient. It has teeth.

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