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Monday, March 30, 2009

I received the following email from Faith 47, an amazing artist working in Cape Town. A lot of her work is community oriented and made for the public rather than herself. If this anti-graffiti by-law were to pass, it would prevent her from creating her work and enhancing what might otherwise be a bleak environment. Please sign the petition.

hi there....

we are facing a new anti-graffiti by-law in cape town which takes away the house owners rights to give permission for any artworks on their walls besides a house number.

The new, proposed graffiti by-law makes no distinction between vandalism and public art that is done with the permission of the owner of the property.

Please can you assist us in our efforts to amend this by-law by signing the petition and forwarding it on...
As we need to present it to the council during the public participation process.

thank you, here is the link and below are the details of the two points in the by-law that we would like to amend.

To: The City of Cape Town

The new, proposed graffiti by-law criminalizes all forms of public art and violates our personal right to freedom of expression on private property.
It makes no distinction between vandalism and public art that is done with the permission of the owner of the property.
The by-law will soon be presented for public discussion and these are the two main issues that we feel need to be addressed:

1. The definition of ‘graffiti’ under the by-law is too broad. It classifies ‘graffiti’ as any inscription, word, figure, letter, sign, symbol, sketch, picture or drawing. There should be a clear differentiation between ‘graffiti vandalism’ [e.g. gang tags, scratchings] and public art that is done with permission from the owner [murals, colourful characters and positive, inspiring messages].

2. The by- law removes the legal right of the private property owner to paint anything other than a house number on his/her wall. We strongly believe that the private property owner should maintain the right to determine what to paint on to his/her property without permission from the City.

if you agree with these two amendments please sign the petition on the link above
and hopefully we can adjust the by-law to become a more inclusive one and thus limit the damage it can potentially do to the creative growth of our city.

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