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Embracing Jozi's graffiti culture

10 January 2018 1:59 PM

Rhodé Marshall takes a look at street art on the streets of Johannesburg.

Street art has always been a provocative topic, and at times may be regarded as vandalism. This is viewed by graffiti aficionadas as a lack of understanding of this form of art as a social craft.

Graffiti and other forms of street art play an important role in the culture of Johannesburg, commenting on its social and cultural zeitgeist.

With inscriptions, designs, and bold graphics stamped all across the city, graffiti has somewhat become the ‘tattoo’ of the streets. Johannesburg’s street art scene is on the rise artists, both local and from abroad, flock to the city to colour the streets.

Johannesburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba said in 2016 that the city would look at reviewing its own bylaws.

Mayor Mashaba understands the importance of creating an enabling environment in our city for businesses to flourish and employ more people...Part of this is to ensure that the inner city is cleaned of deterrents to investment, of which graffiti is one such element.”

Tony Taverna-Turisan, Mayoral spokesperson

Graffiti would fall under the new Outlaw Advertising Bylaw, which went under review in June last year.

The city’s street art tells the stories of its artists. Created to appeal to the senses of the people who pass it by foot or car. Street art is slowly becoming accepted in the public eye, even obtaining commissions, corporate support and used as a key subject in company advertising.

For those who would like to learn more about and appreciate this form of free art, Past Experiences provides guided walking tours to some of the best spots where you can embrace the art form. Discover the street designs in Westdene, Newtown, Maboneng and Braamfontein, and take a moment to be cultured in street art.

You can also take the inner or outer city tours with Mainstreet Walks in Maboneng. Visit or

10 January 2018 1:59 PM