Un-cool Geneva

Graffiti, or “graff” is not cool.

It was cool in 1979 when Fab 5 Freddie was at it but, with the way trends come and go, it was probably loosing interest with the cool set by 1984 when the film Beat Street was made. Making a Hollywood film out of any trend has a habit of killing it. For reference see Thrashing.

So, graffiti is not cool. But on the up side, like skateboarding which is also not cool, it’s become something more than just a trend. And once something loses it’s cool status you’re left with the real players who weren’t in it for fashion but because they sincerely love it and are generally pretty good at it.

I was thinking about this on my way to work in Geneva. I’ve got a half hour walk from Saint-Jean to Carouge and along this route I see a lot of Graffiti. Geneva is commonly known as a pretty uncool city. There’s too many transient NGO workers and boring bankers to ever really turn Geneva into anywhere cool.

But what about all the expatriated kids who are dragged along with their parents to live in this “better place”? Teenagers who are desperate to fit in, even though there’s nothing to fit in with? Well, maybe that’s why there’s so much “cool” graffiti in and around Geneva. In a city that has no great voice the people are speaking up on the walls.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Geneva is not cool. It’s got nothing to live up to but if you know where to look you’ll still find some cool shit.

Here are some pictures I took on way to work. (Apologies to the artists for the poor quality of the shots, they were just taken on my phone).

This shot doesn't do this bike justice... It was 20 feet tall.

I love this. It's like HR Giger as been down here with a can.

Old school.

How great is this? So simple, I love it.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

Not really expat kids making those. You have two cities within Geneva. Not easy to get to know the locals. There is life outside the Old Town and Carouge ;)

Nazira Chabbott said...

You took some really nice shots there.