How much do we all take notice of what is around us, how much do we block out?
I for one have tended to try and block out the graffiti that is so much a part of the cityscape of Lisbon these days. Much of it is mindless ugly scrawl, however some is impressively artistic, and an even smaller proportion carries more meaningful messages.
This video made me think about graffiti in a new way:
But MORE it made me think about what I allow to pass by my eyes without any real mental engagement on my part.
It called me to question how involved and engaged I really am with the culture in which I live. I too am guilty of glossing over media headlines, becoming immune and unwilling to engage.
And this concerns me. In the early days of living somewhere new it can feel as though we are completely over-stimulated by all that is new. All that needs to be absorbed and understood in order to build the familiarity that enables us to function normally.
But then I wonder, when did I begin to close my eyes again? When the messages were no longer so pleasing, when the perspectives were not what I wanted to think about my environment?
These messages – whether they are from press headlines, news items or graffiti bound buildings give valuable insights to the local culture and perspectives.
Does being a foreigner mean we are more or less exposed and aware of our surroundings?
- What messages do you pull regularly from your local environment?
- What new perspectives and understanding do you gain?
- How does this help you to live a more involved life in your new community?
- Or do you reside in an expatriate bubble?