One of my greatest experiences in Prague was the field trip to Tesnov and Lennon Wall with my Subcultures class. Tesnov is one of the legal graffiti spaces in Prague. You are permitted to “tag” (paint) there freely on weekends. You can do so on weekdays, but there will be parked cars because the space is a parking lot. Another legal graffiti place is called the John Lennon Wall. You can pretty much paint there whenever you'd like, because it is a wall in a rather touristy area and people paint there for fun all of the time. I was not too sure about how the field trips were going to go, because the last time I had taken a class field trip was in elementary school. This was an eye-opening experience, because I have always seen graffiti as devious behavior and not as art. We talked about where graffiti came from and how it reached Prague. So many artists found their bliss in graffiti and street art and I wanted to make sure that I learned all about it. The energy and atmosphere during the field trip was like nothing I had ever felt before. It was relaxing and it didn’t feel like class, which is what I loved the most.
While on a field trip, we went around Florenc and many more places to look at street art and graffiti. We talked about what we had learned in class and applied it to our field trip. This trip opened us up to more conversations with one another, and I got to know my classmates and professor better. We learned so much about how important street art and graffiti are to the artists that produce it. We got to see the beauty of graffiti in Prague, and it was an enlightening experience. It was more than I was expecting, and all of us in the class enjoyed it because field trips aren’t common at our schools. There were many more field trips that I had attended with two of my other professors, and they all gave me unique experiences that I am so grateful for.
We ended the field trip by having a little bit of graffiti fun at the Lennon Wall. We practiced tagging with a spray paint color of our choice. Tagging is a way that graffiti artists make themselves known. It can contain their crew initials or it can be more subtle, like a symbol. Some artists have an entire name that they use and that helps to show their style and personality. We went to the store to get spray paint, any color of our choice, and as we walked, we talked about street art and graffiti in other European countries. Some of my classmates had gone to Berlin and mentioned that the street art and graffiti there helped to beautify the city. I truly enjoyed tagging on the Lennon Wall, because it made me feel as if I had left something behind. Granted, it wasn’t much, because we were rookies just doing it for fun -- but I can actually say that I have left something behind. I even went back a few times just to see the new things that people would put on the Wall.
It’s important because I can go back and say, “This is where I did graffiti for the first time and loved it.” I was encouraged to take it all in no matter what. Trying new things helped to highlight my experience, and I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way.