Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice
Русский

Graffiti-lesson as a part of the “Support, Don’t Punish” action

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Text: Max Malishev

On the eve of the worldwide action “Support don’t punish” we decided that besides all the pickets and actions, we should to do something special for the representatives of drug users community. Because it’s their day, we fight for their rights and support them. For some reason there is a strong community of people who use drugs in one of the city districts where we work – in Marino. So we decided to gather in this district together with the community representatives and discuss the topic of support, not punishment. And since the initiative group of community representatives from this district expressed an idea of having a lesson of graffiti painting long before we decided to combine “Support do not punish” action with such lesson for the community.

We did not paint the walls because we found out that it is illegal. Instead, we bought several large plywood sheets, spray paint cans and meat for the BBQ. We discussed the importance of support and harm reduction programs and their effectiveness in comparison to repressive measures. We tried to learn how to paint graffiti to express our ideas about this topic. We believe that it’s important to communicate and discuss these topics with the community. We think that such kind of meetings and street art itself – it is a good form of communication with the community, and it is necessary to raise the issues that directly concern the community more often and not only on the day of the worldwide action “Support don’t punish”. We will do this as often as possible, especially since these meetings are encouraging and motivating, and we feel cordial support during them.

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