The Paintback initiative shows us how to answer messages of hate, with love.
When swastikas and other hateful messages appeared on walls across Berlin, the Paintback initiative was born to fight these messages. We interviewed initiator Ibo Omari. Watch the video below.
Ibo owns a graffiti store in Berlin and when people came in there to buy paint to cover the swastikas they had encountered, he decided that he and the graffiti scene had to take action against the hateful messages.
“Graffiti is absolutely against racism and swastika’s or whatever right wing paroles or messages have no place in graffiti and that was what united the graffiti scene. So, we went out like the ghostbusters; we were the swastikabusters!”
“The idea was to motivate others to get active; show responsibility, show responsibility for your own environment and show others an easy way to be active and do something against racism.”
“You take the message, you make something funny out of it and you send it back to the sender and paint it back. Because their message was hateful and now you’ve made something with love and art out of it so we are answering messages of hate with love. That’s paintback.”
Swastika as a sign of Positivism?!
The history of the Swastika however, is very different from what most people know it for.
In India for example, Swastika is a holy symbol in Hindu mythology and culture. They still worship it as a positivity and prosperity bringer just like ॐ symbol, ancient sages has described them in the books written even before Christ. It’s sad that Nazis and Hitler took it from us and reversed it as symbol of evil, hate and destruction. Which gave it a bad name.. Hinduism has always preached about Positivity, Love, sacrifice, truth, happiness, peace and unity. There’s a saying in our religion that every religion has formed from one another, therefore world is a family.
Thank you so much Sarthak Sharma for sharing this with us.