Jumping on Janet’s Bandwagon

Yeah, so I can’t post images in the Comments section, so here are two photos to complement Janet’s Gent graffiti. This first one is in Brussels by the Royal Albert Museum. I took it a few months ago when I was visiting. I used to live in Brussels 10 years ago and this place was spotless. Now it is covered with graffiti and trash. And homeless people. In fact, as I went up to take the photo, I realized that all the garbage and boxes laying around were part of a homeless encampment. When the flash went off on my camera, an angry voice started abusing me from a nearby box. There were lots more fantastic graffiti around but I chose to respect their privacy and shove off.


This next one is from Copenhagen, which I took a few days later. This is a picture of the new Youth House (Ungomshuset), taken from the road. The story of the Youth House is long and involved, but worth reading about. Short version: they squatted a house, struck a deal with authorities, the authorities reneged, massive street fights ensued, a new government eventually offered them a new house. Anyway, when I was there they were still working on the house to get it ready for full occupation. But Esben from Skarpretter gave me a tour and I took this photo of the graffiti one of the crusties painted out front depicting said street fights.


We did a piece in Geneva13 about how lame the graffiti was in this town — mostly just uninspired tags. We even included free DIY stencils in earlier issues but nobody ever seemed to use them.

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4 Responses to Jumping on Janet’s Bandwagon

  1. Kristof says:

    My favourites in Berlin, most of them just around the corner from where I live…

  2. janet5 says:

    The one from Copenhagen is excellent! Kevin, I had a similar experience with Brussels – I stayed there briefly in the mid-1990s a few times, and when I went back in 2007 (same trip when I went to Ghent), I was a bit shocked. In the 90s the city was horribly expensive to live in, but by 2007 it had gentrified even MORE, with whole streets of what used to be working class apartments and shops being swept away and replaced with nouveau trendiness.

    Belgium has had high unemployment for a while (even before the current meltdown), but even in 2007, the unemployment rate in Brussels was already 20%! I can’t imagine what it is now. That, the gentrification, and the gobbling up of various pieces of property for the European Union surely must have some relationship with the homelessness issue.

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