They’re popping up all over my hometown of Knysna and now stretch northwards into Plettenberg Bay and as far south as George – they are the reassuring graffiti telling us that ‘EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK’.
Authorities generally considered graffiti to be defacing and damaging. I agree with them when it’s about ridiculous tags (signatures) that are more about ego than art but the stenciled graffiti’s saying that ‘Everything is Going to be OK’ offer a positive that’s incredibly rare in our chaotic and troubled times. Consequently, as they appear, i’ve given them my support on the Love Knysna Facebook, attempting to capture photographs of them before they’re painted over. Luckily, underfunded municipal staff and irresponsible landlords are common so some will stand for a long time.
My hope is that the artist/artists evolve, refraining from spraying local businesses by becoming more creative with their statement, placing them in more difficult to reach places whilst making statements about the places and areas themselves.
They are not the first to use this statements which lends belief to a movement of disconnected people sharing not only the hope for a better world but the encouragement for us to survive until we get there. ‘Everything is Going to be OK’ defies sacrificing ourselves to negativity. Miss Tomfoolery made it a subculture via stickers in Johannesburg. It’s the title of a book inspired by positive art. It’s graffiti in Oklahoma and became a night project on the streets in Savannah.
Let’s face it, everything is NOT going to be ok! Knysna, like many small towns, got seriously damaged by greedy developers and politicians biased towards big business. The stock market’s swan dive, nearer to reality, damaged us severely. The charm that our Main Street once held was destroyed. A town of small business owners has become a town of chain stores kept company by a severely wounded industrial area. A massive segment of our population is unemployed and our standards of education are so ridiculously low that i shudder to call them ‘education’. Alcohol and tik abuse is on the increase. Crime screams. Whites build higher walls and wealthy Blacks and Coloureds resist moving into wealthier areas in town that would resurrect the dead concept of a Rainbow Nation. Most of us don’t walk the streets at night. Fear is an uncomfortable blanket that not only changes our habits but forces so many into denial. The war between the ANC and the DA hasn’t benefited us at all. Instead, racism has strengthened and people vote out of hate. Political party supporters have forsaken logic, always pointing fingers instead of cleaning up their own act so that they become dirtier… but pretend to be cleaner because the other side appears to have gotten even dirtier than them. More and more, reason dies and the public becomes insane.
We don’t know our future. We are lost-
-which is even more reason for us to be reminded that we can be more! The ‘Everything is Going to be OK’ graffiti help us do that.
“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” ― Bill Hicks
PS: I’m aware that there are other locations where the ‘Everything Is Going to Be OK’ graffiti lives. I’ll take a photo today of the one at the taxi rank outside Knysna hospital. If you get to others before me, please email them – ta.