Kozhikode: Two youths on Wednesday took to Instagram and shared a video in solidarity with the artists whose wall art at Gujarathi Street in Kozhikode was seen to be defaced by a political party's posters. The video became instantly viral and garnered 1 lakh plus views, with several users coming forward to support the artists.
According to the video, two artists, Shariq and Ibrahim, visited Gujarathi Street on Wednesday and stumbled upon the wall art defaced by a political party's poster notifying the upcoming national general strike. However, when they tried to take it off, the union members from the area threatened and informed them that the alleged party booked the wall till 2025.
"The posters were pasted in a way that removing it would have ruined the art, anyway. It feels horrible to see people disrespecting art in this way when the artists take at least 4-5 days to complete a wall art like this", Shariq told Madhyamam.
The wall art titled "pride ride" was painted by twin artist brothers known as "Chipply'' in Kozhikode during November last year for the Sangrah art gallery. According to the Chipply brothers, the art gallery's owner had taken permission from the owner of the wall before using it for the wall art. "What upsets us is that there was plenty of blank space in the particular wall where they could have put up the posters. But they purposely chose to do it on the painting itself," one among the Chipply brothers told Madhyamam. "We had faced some issues while painting it last year as well. The residents weren't quite happy with us painting the wall and many of them had come and questioned us. Earlier, our wall art in South Beach was similarly vandalised by sticking posters on them," he added.
However, this has not been the first instance where people came forward in protest against the vandalism on wall arts in Kozhikode. Last year, during the general election in Kerala, a wall art titled " Man of the street" drawn by Akhil, a graffiti artist was similarly ruined with election campaign posters of several parties. It has now been reported that the alleged party's posters are seen to have vandalised the latter's wall art this time as well.
The collector of Kozhikode has been notified about this incident and has agreed to take necessary action against this.