Mar 24 2011
I was in St. Petersburg, Russia last week and spotted this graffiti stencilled on a building near my hotel. It clearly expresses the sentiment – not a new one – that we see sweeping through a number of nations these days with renewed vigor – notably those in the Arab world. It’s not really surprising to find that it is embraced and extolled elsewhere.
What is curious is that the language is English, in a country where that language is not the one “on the street”, which is where the message appears. It invites the question, “who is the intended audience?”
Perhaps current Russian “intelligentsia”… but why exclude the locals who can’t read the language of the message?
Perhaps just for foreigners passing through? If so, why?
Is it a type of message that “belongs” to a limited language – is more properly expressed in one language than in another? I doubt that. The message seems to be universal.
I am intrigued by it – I don’t have a satisfying answer for it – and I wonder about the dynamic that is involved here…
Who controls who? Got it.
Who is speaking to who? I ain’t got it.
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