Scope of Good Practice
This project was started in the city of Ufa, Russia in June 2012 by a group of citizens who care about the appearance of their city. The project’s central goal is to transform the surrounding environment with the help of graffiti applied on the arch passages of city apartment buildings. Sketches were submitted to house management companies for approval before decoration. Money for the campaign was raised through personal donations from the participants, donations from other sources and grants.
The Problem Addressed by the Campaign
The project intends to solve a number of problems—first, to transform the city’s gray appearance by adding color; second, to boost the moods of city dwellers by bringing much-needed bright colors into their lives; and third, to fight vandalism via official permits for artists to use public spaces to express their creative ideas.
Art Archways Group conducted some research before the project started. One arch passage was selected and decorated with graffiti. Meanwhile the house dwellers and passers-by were asked about their opinion both during the decoration process and after it was finished. Poll results indicated a positive public response to this kind of solution to address the problem of dark and gloomy arch passages. Respondents also expressed interest in the project’s further development.
A graffiti festival is planned to create more art objects in the city, as is an experience exchange program with other countries to learn about how different building blocks are decorated.
This project is one-of-a-kind in Ufa. The main and only creative instrument is graffiti.
Sputnik FM covered the project on June 30, 2012. UTV Channel also recorded a special report about the project, as did the newspaper Arguments and Facts. All airtime and print space was donated by the media.
The project has been running for less than a year now, and the citizens of Ufa are reacting positively to its agenda. The project won First Prize at the Social Advertising Festival “City Environment 2012” in the category of “The Best Comprehensive Advertising or PR-Campaign in Social Sphere.”
Conclusions and Recommendations
The project's active stage will continue in spring 2013. Detailed work will be done to identify potential sponsors and ways to motivate them to donate resources for the project’s continued development.