Delhi

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Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

Delhi

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Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

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Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

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Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Vikas Kumar/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi

i

Photo: Kelly Jobe/Catch News

Delhi's street art is stunning - but is it meant to be decor or disruption?

Catch Team @catchnews

Delhi has acquired a street art gene - and with it, opened up a Pandora's box of consequences.

People take selfies in front of formerly nondescript buildings. Instagram posts with striking art in the background become the norm. The city takes on the illusion of being a creative, vibrant, engaged space.

Also read - Lutyens' lights: Delhi's dressed to kill tonight. We've got proof

And yet street art has a history far more provocative than the current crop of pictures hashtagged #DelhiStreetArt seem to suggest.

The most memorable street art is political. It is challenging. It pushes issues of freedom, justice, gender, religion. It questions establishments. It makes heroes out of underdogs. It mocks propriety. It acknowledges complexity. It brings a world you may not encounter quite literally into your field of vision.

And so far, Delhi has yet to demonstrate it knows what that feels like.

There's no question our public art is a step in the right direction. For one, it just makes us a less stuffy, more alive city. And street art has long - in cities like London and Melbourne - fuelled the rise of a creative community.

But in New York's Queens and in Ireland's Belfast and Greece's Athens, street art works harder. It socks you in the gut. It asks you uncomfortable questions. And even as it beautifies the external, it exposes the ugly inside.

It's time to push for street art that isn't an Instagram background - but front page provocation.

Text: Payal Puri

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Catch Team

Catch Team @catchnews