Painting without Permission: Hip-Hop Graffiti Subculture

By Janice Rahn | Go to book overview
Save to active project


My first encounter with “graffiti” was in the spring of 1995 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. I was called by the secondary school principal who asked if I could get on the next plane to teach art as an emergency replacement until the end of the year. I had previously taught art, music, and drama throughout the Northwest Territories before I returned to pursue my masters’ degree in fine arts, and then doctorate in education in Montreal, Quebec.

Upon my arrival I jumped into projects that stalled because I had not taken the time to develop a rapport with the students. As I reassessed my expectations, someone from the Department of Tourism asked if the students could spray-paint images on garbage cans to be distributed throughout town. I hesitated, since the stereotypes of tourism already influenced the arts so strongly in the Arctic. I accepted the free spray paint and garbage cans because it gave us an opportunity to work outdoors in the sunny spring weather. A group of boys who had previously worked as a group to disrupt the class now collaborated on a detailed stencil design of the word “garbage” along with images of actual garbage. When it came time to paint, they grabbed the spray paint and yelled, “Yeah, graffiti!” With great excitement they literally danced around their can, intent on their skills, especially in trying to prevent drips. They looked so out of control, I had to turn away to resist my impulse to intervene. In the end I was surprised at their intense motivation to paint on a garbage can and the pleasure they took in painting the word “garbage.” I appreciated the irony


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Painting without Permission: Hip-Hop Graffiti Subculture


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 226

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?