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Youth Spot: Expressions on walls

Dhanusha Gokulan / 10 June 2012

Graffiti is an art form that converts street walls into canvasses. Artists usually create elaborate paintings or scribble on walls using spray paint. Budding artists who consider graffiti a powerful tool of expression, spray-painted to their hearts’ content at the Delhi Private School (DPS), Dubai, on June 5 when the school held its first inter school graffiti competition.

The theme of the competition was ‘Every Child Matters’ and its aim was to create awareness and sensitise students towards children with special needs. Seven schools participated at the event.

The result was some striking, vivid, thought provoking and visually attractive graffiti that adorned the school walls.

Fourteen-year-old Kaustubh Dasgupta, a student of GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai, and his team mates came first at the competition. “See, this competition itself is really cool. You do see some scribbling on walls in community areas. But it’s amateur work. You get spray-paint here, but not the correct nozzles used for graffiti. Now, if you can express it in a way that other people can understand it, it’s a brilliant form of art,” said Dasgupta.

Dasgupta and his teammates spray-painted the words ‘Every Child Matters’ on the walls.

Our Own High School, Al Warqa’a, was the first runner-up.

Speaking about why the school decided to hold a graffiti competition, Rashmi Nandkeolyar, Principal of DPS Dubai said: “It’s using the student’s energy and interests positively. From time immemorial, children have shown keen interest in scribbling on walls. Of course, we always whitewash it afterwards. But, in this case we wanted them to write a positive message for the world to see.”

Each student was given a space of about seven by eight feet, and they had to depict the message that all children are important. About 100 children participated at the event.

Nandkeolyar added that in recent times, the UAE government has also strongly advocated this message, as well.

Amal Al Redha, Fund-raising specialist from Dubai Cares and the Pro-Vice Chairman DPS Dubai and Sharjah, Dinesh Kothari were present at the competition.

Nupur Gupta (15), a Grade 11 student of DPS Dubai said: “We painted a growing tree with colourful birds surrounding it. The message was what really mattered, because as teenagers we tend to think only about ourselves. There are so many unprivileged children out there and we wanted to make it clear that the voice of each and every child matters.” Gupta added that she loves art and the topic helped her consider the plight of several other children around the world who are not so fortunate.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

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