In what seems like the ludicrous plot of celebrity fan fiction, Justin Bieber may have become an unlikely hero for illegal graffiti writers. His recent spray painting in South America is sparking a graffiti revolution across Colombia, according to anthropologist Aldo Civico in a blog post for The Huffington Post.
Last week, Bieber covered a wall in Brazil with potentially racist graffiti, and at the end of October, he blasted concrete in Bogotá, Columbia with a marijuana leaf, a tribute to his pet hamster, and an ode to Chris Brown that read "Free Breezy."
Even though graffiti is banned in many areas of Bogotá, Colombian police provided Bieber with security while he spray painted a wall in the city. At first, other Colombian street artists, many of whom had been prosecuted, were outraged that the police would make an allowance for the celebrity. Responding to the public's anger, the head of the Colombian police, General Rodolfo Palomino, spoke about graffiti in a positive light.
Bieber seems to have been the spark that lit the fire of a Colombian graffiti revolution. Following his stint in Bogota, 300 graffiti writers staked out the area Bieber had painted for 24 hours, illegally spray-painting the site with over 700 pieces. The demonstration has been mirrored in other Colombian cities, including Medellín and Cali where graffiti writers have come out in mass.
While Bieber's graffiti appeared to be the thoughtless actions of a rebellious youth who can get away with anything, it's undeniable that his influence extends beyond his juvenile antics. Who knew that Bieber would be the face of a revolution?
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