Street Art and Graffiti are NOT the same thing, and other things we learned today at Aarhus Street Art Festival (Original Page).

Aarhus Festival has turned Rådhusparken into an art city this week with local and international artists developing murals on giant Graffiti wall installations. 

Elderly visitors and school students alike fill the scene that hosts live conceptualisation and execution of Street Art and Graffiti that would ordinarily be illegal, earning artists heavy fines or even a night in jail, one artist William, or Swet tells us. “They treat us worse than drug dealers” he explains, “as a Graffiti artist you have to work in the grey zones of a city”.

William from Denmark, who has spent his whole life as a Graffiti artist works professionally on public houses, walls and areas that he gains permission to work on by the owners of each space. William also builds walls in Denmark, Sweden and Norway for young artists to express their creativity in public spaces. “Young people need a place to go, they won’t ask for permission, they’ll just go next to a train and the police will catch them”.

But he is quick to explain to us the difference between Street Art and Graffiti, as well as Urban Art which is what the festival primarily represents. “Street Art is something that relates to the space where it’s done. You react to something in the street. Then there is Urban Art which is mostly what’s being done here”. 

William, who is one of the only Graffiti artist at the festival clearly has a different style going on. “I try to make my Graffiti more simple so it’s more the foundation of Graffiti, which is letters”.

Founded in New York and Philadelphia in the late 1960s and early 1970’s, graffiti is the movement of ‘tagging’ or making yourself present in a public space with your individual signature. “As a kid it was fun to put my name there, to put a mark on the city so I was part of it, not just standing by”.
Like most creative movements that gain momentum through expression-seeking youth, Street Art and Graffiti attract a lot of negative attention. We learned however that it doesn’t take long to change people’s opinions when they see artists like William behind a mural. “We don’t have this ‘we have to destroy the system’ ideology, we just want to paint something nice. People have this negativity toward graffiti and suddenly they see an older dude with the fire in his eyes who’s caught up with it, and loves it, and they think ‘oh shit man, graffiti is more than what we thought it was!’”

You can visit all artists working away at their murals until midnight each day at Rådhusparken. Guided tours begin at kl. 14, 17 and 19.

AF’s Shinrin Yoku is a graveyard for lonely trees

Chains, cables, and usual human entertainment have this faux-forest appearing like a zoo for captive plants.

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Studio SLA have returned to Århus Festuge this year with a 600 meter-long Shinrin Yoku or ‘forest bath’ bridging Århus Ø’s urban development with some badly needed greenery.

If you’re in the area and can’t quite recognise the foliage, keep walking toward Ø’s signature iceberg look-out and you’ll catch glimpses of confused visitors and damp potato sacks full of soil, likening gravestones for the bodies of tortured trees.

As if the scene wasn’t absurd enough, morning yoga classes take place at kl. 8 where you can close your eyes and meditate to the sounds of tractors, cars and construction from every direction.

Every 30 minutes, a picturesque mist will ooze from the collars of each tree as they sway melancholically in the wind, failing to fall from the harnesses that secure their roots forcefully into the ground. Volunteer workers will come to switch the mist-machine off after you’ve taken your Instgram story, veiling the obnoxious pipes and chords with a vaguely similar plastic camo wrap.

SLA, whose success includes Copenhagen’s Amager Resource Center-turned ski slope have generously offered the trees to Århus’s largest ‘Ghetto’ neighbourhood, Gellerupparken, where the plants will stay permanently in yet another underdeveloped construction site. Maybe by then you will be able to find wifi connection and charging stations between the trees.


Head banging, windmilling, and all the air-hair we saw at a 12-hour metal medley in the middle of Århus Festuge.
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Elke Numeyer-Windshuttle went to investigate what happens at Danish metal concerts and somehow, she came back in one piece with no chiropractic injuries. She did however capture some hell-bent on getting hell-dizzy action as the audience let out their impressive tresses to move violently in the name of hardcore rock’n’roll. The result? Everything we hoped it would be. If you were looking for a reason to grow it all out, let this be it. See you next year Århus. YYEEAAAHHHH! .

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