Graffiti, the definitive form of street art, is making a big mark in the city. Not just restricted to shady underpasses and paan-stained alleys, graffiti has become a pertinent part of Delhi University colleges too. With participation from the faculty, students are now able to show off their painting talent at a much bigger scale.
Nikunj Goyal, a final year student of SGTB Khalsa took up graffiti as a way of giving it back to his bullies. “I used to stammer a lot as a kid and got picked on. Graffiti excited me and gave me a stage to express myself,” he says.
He views graffiti as a medium of voicing opinions and wishes to hold an exhibition of his art. “I want to take regional art and present it to people in a way that they can relate with,” he adds. Graffiti is viewed as vandalism most of the time, but he says that his college has been supportive. “My seniors are appreciative of my art and have motivated me to pursue it further,” he concludes. However, Abhishek, a student of Khalsa adds, “There is no graffiti inside the college, but I would love it if there was.”
And it’s not just limited to colleges, every wall tells a story when you take a walk in the University Campus Grounds.
Indeed, the colourful pictures tend to add a quotient of cool to the campus. “We feel cooler in comparison to other universities. A lot of my friends take part in graffiti painting and the authorities are also very supportive,” says Neeraj Kumar, a M.Sc student at Hansraj.
At Janki Devi Memorial College, graffiti covers one full boundary wall of the college. Kanchan, a B.Com student says, “I think graffiti is cool. And most of the art here depicts women issues, which is even better.” Nature is the main theme in the graffiti paintings of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce. Prakriti, their environment society took up the task of painting the walls. Ayushi Barua, a member of Prakriti, says, “Graffiti grabs attention in the quickest possible way. You can’t really ignore it and that’s the charm.” The authorities have played a big role in promoting this art. She adds, “The teachers always encourage us to paint. They have a very positive impact on us and let our creativity flow.”
Shreya Sharma, the president of Iridescence, the art society of the Institute of Home Economics (IHE) feels that graffiti is the best way to grab attention. “We wanted to modify the college inside-out and graffiti was the answer,” she says. Students at the IHE feel that graffiti has a message. “Graffiti represents the energy of the youth, and if there is a message to it, then all the better,” says Sonali Kochhar, a B.Sc student.