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I’ve been quite interested in graffiti as of late. I like the way words are used in it, and I like the political, cultural meanings these words take on in their public settings. But I also just like the power of language that is contained in these scribbles.
I thought that showing you some German graffiti would be a great way to present the German language in a way you might not have seen it before, but in a way that is just as relevant and fascinating as it is everywhere else. Here it is used in its raw form, and in an urban setting – yet it is still extremely clever, as the German language generally is. Often, as in English graffiti, there are heavily political and anti-government messages contained within it. I will be coming back to that in more detail later on, but for now here are a few examples of some ‘urban German’ in use!
Fordert nicht Arbeit & Brot, sondern Freizeit & Kuchen!
Don’t demand work & bread, but free time & cake!
Heute war damals Zukunft
Today was the future then
Freheit stirbt mit Sicherheit
Freedom dies with security
Sowas macht mich glücklich
Something like this makes me happy
Wenn ich nur reden könnte
If only I could speak
Dieses Graffiti ist in deinem Land nicht verfügbar
This graffiti is not available in your country
Dein Fernseher lügt!
Your TV lies!
Keine Macht für niemand
No power for no one
her mit dem schönen Leben
Bring me the good life
Germany is a country with a very strong street art/graffiti scene, and one that is heavily linked to its history and politics – especially in Berlin. I will be writing more about Germany’s street art scene in a future post, so if you liked this one then stay tuned for more German graffiti!