Sunday, July 12, 2009

Colourful wall

It apparently happened in January this year, but it was only a few days ago that I noticed it. Going past the normally bureaucratic-gray western wall of the US Consulate at Chennai, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. But no, there it was, in glorious colour. Only that my initial impression of random graffiti on the consulate wall was not entirely correct.

It is graffiti alright, and according to Andrew Simkin, the US Consul General for south India, it is the first time that a US Consulate's wall, anywhere in the world, has been allowed to display graffiti. This work, 115 feet long and 4 feet wide, shows lots of hands being held, doves flying, trees, books and a very noticeable combination of the Indian and US national flags. The entire painting project was coordinated by the well known art director Thota Tharani on behalf of the NalandaWay Foundation and executed by 30 children who had been rescued from trafficking / bonded labour.

Surely the cheer on this wall can be replicated in other government-gray buildings the world over - and possibly change the drabness of bureaucracy everywhere!


KAS said...

am sure our mayor is listening to this. The first welcome measure is removing the existing graffiti from the walls of chennai.

Hilda said...

How wonderful! And especially because of who painted it and what it means for those children!

Shantaram said...

@ Srini: They've already working on many of the walls - only 'official' graffiti from now on!

@ Hilda: You're right, I do hope the kids will be able to see it there for a few years, at least!