Conversation & Writing Activity for “Death of Three Graffiti Artists”

• There wasn’t much coverage of the graffiti artists’ deaths in Montreal newspapers, but the articles that did appear provoked a large number of comments. Four of these (or excerpts from them) are given below; the English has not been corrected. Read the comments and find something you strongly agree with and/or something you strongly disagree with. Then in conversation with other students explain and defend your opinions. After the discussion, write a paragraph carefully arguing in favor of one of your ideas.

• Please stop referring to these misguided youths as “graffiti artists.” Call them what they really are: “graffiti vandals.” Stop romanticizing their criminal behaviour. Graffiti are an eyesore!
- R.K.,

• However, the harsh truth is this...By glorifying and honoring these youths as “aspiring artists” (which I’m sorry to say they’re not), we only encourage other troubled youths to follow in their footsteps, take dangerous risks, vandalize property (be it public or private)...pollute, and inevitably waste tax dollars for cleanup which comes out of everyone’s pockets. Lets face facts...This type of “art” is often found where it shouldn’t be in the first place, and caters strictly to the subculture community of self-proclaimed “ artists,” or vandals as commonly viewed under the law and the great majority of society.
- Jay,

• It’s tragic that the letters focused on whether or not the boys were involved in a worthwhile activity, instead of what really happened out there that terrible night. Who hasn’t crossed the tracks when they shouldn’t have (and been scared by the sudden appearance of a speeding train)? Who hasn’t trespassed to swim in a quarry on private land or taken part in some other practice that falls into the grey area known as being young? These are incidents that will occur over and over, regardless of how we criticize them.
- M.S.,

• Graffiti is the enviornment speaking back to you. Id rather have a huge swearword written across my garage and everyone I know’s garage rather than to see the whitewash suburbia you love to look at whenever you manage to pry yourselves away from the LCD tv for more than 20 minutes. “Ooo I just love the sight of a dosile society!!”
- keuze306,