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Graffiti removal

Rhysmike

Member
Past OR future Camino
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
When we walked in early April 2016 a number of graffiti hotspots had been cleaned up. Is this a regular seasonal thing?
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Deleted member 86813

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Maybe there is a clean up charity we could donate to?

Or even, an incarceration program for the 'artists'.
I'd donate to that :)
I am torn, as whilst I don't approve of vandalism (which it is), I have found much of the graffiti quite interesting and poetic. Often reflecting the inner journey the "artist" is experiencing at that particular moment - which has often resonated. The c*ck and balls sketches I can do without.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
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(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Grafitti, at least on stone markers, are removed regularly.
 

Bert45

Active Member
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(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
Grafitti, at least on stone markers, are removed regularly.
Good to hear! I just cannot believe that people will carry felt-tip markers or aerosol cans with them when they set off – but they do. I would like to find the person who wrote "Love wins" or "❤️W" (even worse, somehow) on just about every mojón and shake him (or her) warmly by the throat!
 
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My thought is that most graffiti on the Camino is most likely done by much younger people...just my impression, I have no facts.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I once watched a young man, by appearance somewhere in his twenties, showing his accompanying girlfriend as he pulled out a black marker and wrote with it. Fortunately, his message was written on a stone, small enough to turn over, or even to throw away: a bad example to others but easy to dispose of.
 
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Jim

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2006- Camino Portuguese
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Good to hear! I just cannot believe that people will carry felt-tip markers or aerosol cans with them when they set off – but they do. I would like to find the person who wrote "Love wins" or "❤️W" (even worse, somehow) on just about every mojón and shake him (or her) warmly by the throat!
I wish those people wold simply stay off the trails! Equal for those who have to mock those who are walking for spiritual reasons-- they don't think about those having spiritual reasons include those who have lost a loved one! From conversatiosn I've had with many who are walking, this is a common reasn for their hike. If some folks have to leave markings, why can't it be tasteful instead of the poor taste and/or dictatorial mutterings we all have to tolerate while walking!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

I remember seeing the red "Santiago de Compostela" letters were covered with so many stickers in May, 2019.

I kind of like the stickers on the Santiago sign. To me it symbolizes all those arriving in Santiago from all over the world joined together.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Having grown up in a not very good neighborhood in the Bronx I can tell you that I am not a big fan of graffiti. In my neighborhood I know that a lot of bad s%$t went down among younger people in my neighborhood who tagged over the wrong persons tag. There is some real art that is attributed to graffiti. Great graffiti artists like Banksy and Basquiat. On the Camino I have seen some instances of wit and art in some of the graffiti I pass but for the most part it brings up alot of negative stuff and most of what I see is (like the above photos that Camino Chrissy posted is just pure junk and for the most part pretty moronic. Oh yea before you attack me. Yes this is my judgement, and any criticism would just be a judgement too!!!!! :)
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I wish those people wold simply stay off the trails! Equal for those who have to mock those who are walking for spiritual reasons-- they don't think about those having spiritual reasons include those who have lost a loved one! From conversatiosn I've had with many who are walking, this is a common reasn for their hike. If some folks have to leave markings, why can't it be tasteful instead of the poor taste and/or dictatorial mutterings we all have to tolerate while walking!
I do not understand a comment like this one.

Let's just exclude all Pilgrims who do not walk for the same reasons or comment negatively on others reasons.

By the way, in 10 Camino's, I have never heard anyone mock someone in regards to why they are walking. No matter what their reason. ie: religious, sport, life transition, because it is there etc.etc.

In regards to graffiti, who is to judge what is tasteful graffiti. I think it is likely 10 Pilgrims could not agree on tasteful/not tasteful graffiti. Graffiti is most likely a misdemeanor, in Spain, like most countries. Therefore, an issue for local law enforcement, not me. My guess it has been there and will remain as long as there is a Camino.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I wish those people wold simply stay off the trails! Equal for those who have to mock those who are walking for spiritual reasons-- they don't think about those having spiritual reasons include those who have lost a loved one! From conversatiosn I've had with many who are walking, this is a common reasn for their hike. If some folks have to leave markings, why can't it be tasteful instead of the poor taste and/or dictatorial mutterings we all have to tolerate while walking!

I agree with you completely about this. There are people who often and unintentionally (and often not) will be showy and loud on the camino. I too have met and once walked with a very dear friend who are going through deep spiritual and emotional confusion, trauma and loss. I have unfortunately walked with parents who have lost children and are verge of collapse. Yes the camino is a place of joy and happiness and the bonds of deep and lifetime friendships. But it is also a place of profound sadness, loss and pain. I believe all pilgrims have to be respectful at all times of what the "true" meaning of pilgrimage is for these people. I have always felt that as the traffic of people grow a little of the "sacredness" and spirit has been lost.
Yes I know that people have walked for centuries and yes I know everyone walks their own Camino and yes I know it is not cool to "judge". But what I have said is true, these people exist and walk not because it is a bucket list item or something that attracts me, or almost any other reason. They are walking to find even a spark to reignite their lives, even if it may just be a flicker.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
All the graffiti I saw on the Camino was quite honestly, moronic. Childish. No doubt done by somebody who matches said description.
and it never destroyed my inner peace, lol
 

Lexicos

Jimmy
Past OR future Camino
2019
To some we want to listen, some will invite us to listen and some will force us to listen.

Graffiti for me is done by someone who wants to force their voice onto others. They give you no choice.

When you’re forced to listen the message becomes irrelevant....
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I agree with you completely about this. There are people who often and unintentionally (and often not) will be showy and loud on the camino. I too have met and once walked with a very dear friend who are going through deep spiritual and emotional confusion, trauma and loss. I have unfortunately walked with parents who have lost children and are verge of collapse. Yes the camino is a place of joy and happiness and the bonds of deep and lifetime friendships. But it is also a place of profound sadness, loss and pain. I believe all pilgrims have to be respectful at all times of what the "true" meaning of pilgrimage is for these people. I have always felt that as the traffic of people grow a little of the "sacredness" and spirit has been lost.
Yes I know that people have walked for centuries and yes I know everyone walks their own Camino and yes I know it is not cool to "judge". But what I have said is true, these people exist and walk not because it is a bucket list item or something that attracts me, or almost any other reason. They are walking to find even a spark to reignite their lives, even if it may just be a flicker.

Just for clarity on my part.

Are you agreeing that anyone who does not behave in a way we find acceptable should not be on a Camino?

Are you saying all Pilgrims need to understand the others motivation so we can adjust our level of respect/empathy for each individual we meet on "The way"?

What do you base your feeling of "Sacredness and spirit being lost on the Camino"?

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Pilgrim9

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
I am not a fan of graffiti anywhere. I make one exception, however: in my opinion the small stickers adhered to signposts etc. at main road crossings, that state the phone number of a local taxi dispatch centre, provide information potentially needed by weary or injured pilgrims.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Just for clarity on my part.

Are you agreeing that anyone who does not behave in a way we find acceptable should not be on a Camino?

Are you saying all Pilgrims need to understand the others motivation so we can adjust our level of respect/empathy for each individual we meet on "The way"?

What do you base your feeling of "Sacredness and spirit being lost on the Camino"?

Ultreya,
Joe
I didn’t say any of those things. I stated my opinions on ALL graffiti and I just think people should be a little more respectful and sensitive to those who may be around them. I could care less who walks caminos. It is not my business. My opinion about how I feel is just my own feelings based on nothing other than that. It doesn’t effect how I behave or walk it how I treat others. It definitely doesn’t effect how I feel on the Camino except maybe when some drunk and noisy person walks into an albergue after everyone is asleep and wakes people up. They don’t wake me up because I have my ear plugs on. Rude and selfishbehavior is just rude and should be respectfully called out when possible on or off the Camino.
 

stinmd

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
Maybe there is a clean up charity we could donate to?

Or even, an incarceration program for the 'artists'.
I'd donate to that :)
On my last camino 2 years ago, I recall someone had painted the word "LOVE" on every way marker along the route. I wish someone had caught the perpetrator in the act and shown him/her what to do with the paint....
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Maybe there is a clean up charity we could donate to?
@Robo
Given your well known charitable nature and your obsession with the camino, I am sure that you know of the ditch pigs, who offer their time and effort to annual camino clean up. The cost of housing, feeding, and transporting them is subsidized by persons who likewise care about the camino, under the supervision of @Rebekah Scott. Or at least, this is how it worked on the one occasion when I was priviledged to assist.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I didn’t say any of those things. I stated my opinions on ALL graffiti and I just think people should be a little more respectful and sensitive to those who may be around them. I could care less who walks caminos. It is not my business. My opinion about how I feel is just my own feelings based on nothing other than that. It doesn’t effect how I behave or walk it how I treat others. It definitely doesn’t effect how I feel on the Camino except maybe when some drunk and noisy person walks into an albergue after everyone is asleep and wakes people up. They don’t wake me up because I have my ear plugs on. Rude and selfishbehavior is just rude and should be respectfully called out when possible on or off the Camino.

If you noticed, I asked you three questions about your post which began with "I agree with you completely about this" referring to Jims' thoughts.

I initiated those questions with a statement regarding clarification of what you were saying.

My comment was not to be critical but to clarify exactly what you were saying in reference to Jims' comment.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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NicP

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata, Seville to Santiago 2016; Camino Frances May 2020 - postponed by COVID
I saw this on a wall whilst walking the Via de la Plata in 2016. Whilst I generally don’t appreciate graffiti, I love this....

“If nothing lasts forever, I invite you to be my nothing”.

So I guess one persons garbage is (at least in this case, for me) another’s treasure!
 

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On my last camino 2 years ago, I recall someone had painted the word "LOVE" on every way marker along the route. I wish someone had caught the perpetrator in the act and shown him/her what to do with the paint....
The last 100 KM of the Camino is quite different from the rest of the Camino.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Equal for those who have to mock those who are walking for spiritual reasons-- they don't think about those having spiritual reasons include those who have lost a loved one!
Maybe I've been fortunate, but I don't think I've come across anyone who mocked those who walk for spiritual reasons on a Camino, or even came close to that. Whatever their reasons for walking it, and the spirit in which they've walked it, everyone I encountered recognized they were walking on a pilgrimage route - or seemed to. The judgements I saw tended to flow in the other direction, against those who didn't seem spiritual enough.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Maybe I've been fortunate, but I don't think I've come across anyone who mocked those who walk for spiritual reasons on a Camino, or even came close to that. Whatever their reasons for walking it, and the spirit in which they've walked it, everyone I encountered recognized they were walking on a pilgrimage route - or seemed to. The judgements I saw tended to flow in the other direction, against those who didn't seem spiritual enough.
Yes. That is my impression too. To the point that I was apprehensive about being accepted on the Camino since I'm non religious/non spiritual, based on comments/threads on this forum.
 

sunwanderer

Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
My thought is that most graffiti on the Camino is most likely done by much younger people...just my impression, I have no facts.
My thoughts also.

Many young people these days seem to believe that every time they have a thought or feeling, everyone else wants to know about it.

And any surface or media is OK to display it.
 
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D

Deleted member 86813

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Just reflecting on this thread. What is the point of stating you hate graffiti or like / don't mind it? 🤷‍♂️. The OP asked a different question. As I said, just a reflection on what is now a thread of opinions on graffiti and those who create it. Value added??
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Just reflecting on this thread. What is the point of stating you hate graffiti or like / don't mind it? 🤷‍♂️. The OP asked a different question. As I said, just a reflection on what is now a thread of opinions on graffiti and those who create it. Value added??

Good point. I think that during the pandemic we have given members more than usual leeway to go off-piste, as an outlet. Perhaps it is time to bring things back to the original topic.

I'm not sure if the original question was ever answered - is this a regular seasonal thing?

I don't have a specific answer except to say - I doubt it because:

(1) there is no overarching body with authority on the Camino
(2) local and municipal authorities do not co-ordinate but sometimes step in to "improve" bits of the path, but I've not seen anything about them taking action on graffiti
(3) volunteer bodies do things ad hoc from time to time (like Reb Scott's Ditch Pigs, who do cleanup along parts of the path).
 
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