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Graffiti springs up on walls of Myanmar cities

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Graffiti springs up on walls of Myanmar cities

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Graffiti was unimaginable under Myanmar’s military dictators.

But while contention remains over whether the work is street art or vandalism, drawings and messages have been springing up on walls all over the country since the return to civilian rule in 2011.

Two anonymous graffiti artists in the city of Yangon say their work allows them to comment on the state of their country.

“There hasn’t been serious punishment. No artists have been arrested and sent to jail but some artists have had to sign papers saying they won’t do it again,” said one of them.

Another artist said they abide by a strict code.

“We may be regarded as ‘destroyers’ but we don’t do it on schools, churches or other religious buildings. We don’t go after these places. We target places we don’t like,” he said.

Last week, media censorship was abolished as part of democratic reforms.

Although books, news reports and songs no longer need to be cleared, the jury’s still out on whether graffiti will be tolerated.