Language, and its agents, words, are very powerful things.
Words both express and define our perspectives. They also can influence them. Greatly.
Words can inspire.
Words can drive change.
Words can restrict.
Words can cut deep.
Words can give permission and take away right...and dignity.
As marketers (and human beings) we take our words very seriously. And so, we find ourselves seriously concerned about the following words, taken from a local bylaw:
“‘Art’ is the products of human creativity. The creation of beautiful or significant things. A superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation. ‘Graffiti’ includes one or more letters, symbols, figures, etchings, scratches, inscriptions, stains or other markings that disfigure or deface a building, howsoever made or otherwise affixed or applied on the structure or thing, but, for greater certainty, does not include an art mural.”
(Thanks to London's unofficial journalist laureate, Phil McLeod, for keeping us all on top of this discussion.)
Though the value judgements here can certainly speak for themselves, it can't hurt to underline the utterly subjective nature of words like "beautiful", "significant", and "superior", not to mention "stains".
The image featured here, we'd say, is pretty significant, pretty beautiful, and as artistic forms go, pretty superior. We'd definitely not call it a stain. (Thanks Ryan, your team and supporters for the awesomeness that is Artfusion.)
Maybe words mean a lot to us because we're part of a collective that would like to see our community move from conservative to leading-edge urban (or even, less conservative.) Maybe words are on our minds because we have a client project right now that philosophically and literally hinges on using the right words to tell a difficult story in a challenging environment, and for a tremendous cause.
Either way, they're important. That needs to be said as much as the right (just, kind, unbiased, change-making, community-building) words themselves need to be said.
So whatcha say?