KAYL — What started off as a mission to spray paint a simple anti-capitalist message on an old building turned into a frustrating ordeal for one teen when he couldn’t figure out which of his five languages to use.
Yannick Pereira, 17, had hoped to spray paint the words “I shop therefore I am” to compel passersby to question and ideally turn against the predominant economic model.
However, after he had finished writing the ironic slogan in bright blue paint, he wondered if he should have chosen another language.
“In the world of graffiti, English is, like, default, but it’s also the language of the international banking mafia,” he said. “So I wrote it again, but in French. Most people in this part of the country understand it quite well.”
“But then I remembered that French is also a hegemonic language, imposed on us, so I started over, this time writing the message in Luxembourgish,” he continued. “To give the words a strong localized connotation.”
“But for some reason, it just didn’t have the right ring,” he added. “So I changed to German, which sounds like, boom, in your face.”
Upon reflection, however, Pereira realized that not many people in the area are fluent in German. He changed his mind again, this time painting the message in Portuguese — in part to appeal to the working class, he says.
However, as it was getting dark and Pereira worried he might be late for dinner, he left, vowing to return the following day.
“I’ll probably just re-write the message in English,” he said. “It’s cliché, but at least I won’t have to think about it too much.”