OP Graffiti Action, Seeks Justice for January 21 Victims

Marking the sixth anniversary of the murder of four civilians in front of the Prime Ministry, left-wing activist group Orginazata Politike (OP) executed a number of black and red graffitis throughout Tirana with the number 21.

In a declaration on Facebook, OP sought justice for the victims, while at the same time decrying the “estheticism” and “pseudo-art” with which the government provides a façade for the poverty and injustice in the country.

January 21 demands justice twice. One time criminal, to call those who ordered the political murder of four civilians in a demonstration to responsibility. And the second time social, to amend the injustice that push four poor people toward the bullets: unemployment, exploitation, inequality, and outrage.

The current government has made no progress in the investigation and to bring those murderers of yesterday to be held criminally responsible. On the contrary, it has made a political transfusion with the blood of January 21 to set social justice many steps back. Today, the murderers of January 21 are free, while poverty and the persecution of poor people continue and worsen. Today, the poor are killed in mines, on roads, in prisons and hospitals, anywhere and anytime for the interest of a small group of politicians and businessmen.

The powerful of today want to fill the void of justice with artistic exhibitionism, such as the pseudo-art on the streets of Tirana. That’s why specifically today, on January 21, we, as activists of OP, decided to paint the governmental estheticism black and to write with the red sign of justice that is missing: 21.

When politics become esthetics, esthetics needs to become politics.

The last line is a reference to German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s statement that while fascism is the estheticization of politics, communism is the politicization of art.