Burma Makes Graffiti Illegal, Cooler

12.05.12 Marina Galperina

Since seeing a resurgence in the street art/graffiti scene in Burma (aka Myanmar) earlier this year, the authorities imposed a ban prohibiting “drawing” on public buildings, roads and bridges. This week’s new law is unlikely to deter activity, just to contextualize it as illicit.

Young graffiti artist Arker Kyaw explains:

I cannot complain about the ban because many countries have such regulations. But the prohibition doesn’t stop graffiti artists… The psychology of young people is the urge to do something more when it is prohibited.

You don’t say. Kyaw also thinks that the authorities “should allow graffiti artists to paint in appropriate public spaces.” However, considering the political and social turmoil within Burma on its way to shaky reform, the citizens don’t need officially designed public mural walls. They need protest graffiti. 

The punishment is still unspecified, but a former monk was arrested for vandalism this week, in what some citizens view as a heavy crack-down on dissidents and activists.

(Photo: Nyan Min/Flickr)