Sunday, January 25, 2015

Google failed me (among other things)

1. How Google failed me

Yesterday as I was walking home, I saw a graffiti stenciled on one of the walls along the sidewalk. It is an image of a child with text "Rescue Us". I've seen it some place else before. And I was intrigued by the image. Who created it? What is the artist fighting for? What cause?

I initially assumed it is something like a cause fighting child labor, or save the street children or the like. Noble causes that I could support.

So when I arrived home, I fired up my laptop and searched in vain for the image using various keywords.
rescue us
street art
So on and so forth and the combinations thereof.

To no avail.

Then, just a whim, I opened my instagram and searched for the hashtag #rescueus. Many results were displayed. And to my surprise, there on the first page, the 12th image or so is the one I'm looking for.

So there, it was probably the first time Google failed. (Correction: It was the second.) Instead, the power of social networking saved the day and showed me the light.

By the way, here's the image in question for reference.


2. Rescue Us

As I was looking at the account of the artist in Instagram, I thought of asking him what is his cause. So I checked the exact "Rescue Us" image in his posts and thought of commenting with my question.

But Lo and behold, someone already asked! Another IG user asked what is the meaning of the images. And the artist already answered.

To paraphrase, the artist said he just want to share his stencils because it is his passion.


Elsewhere, graffiti has been used as a medium of expression and as a means of taking a stand. Look here for some Graffiti for a cause.  And who wouldn't know Banksy whose street art usually come with loaded imagery as a sort of opinion piece of the artist. And to every one passing EDSA or any of the main thoroughfares in Manila everyday, who would miss the "CPP/NPA" graffiti on the walls (with deep black ink) even if albeit no aesthetic at all.


Going back to the "Rescue Us" post, I just thought it could have been a great vehicle for a good cause. As evident on the comments, many people have seen it and was curious of the meaning. It could have raised awareness of certain issues if that is the least it could contribute.

But then again, who am I to question the intent of the artist, right? As they say, Art for art's sake.  (But who or what the hell is art?)

For more amazing graffiti art in the streets of Manila, you can check out this Facebook page.

And look! There's actually a Kickstarter project! Here's the site.

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