Shortly after John Lennon passed away some Czech youths sprayed the lyrics of some of his songs on a wall under the Charles Bridge in Prague. This was at the beginning of the last decade of communist rule and western pop music and references to it were obviously considered shameless western propaganda. So for the next decade the secret police painted over the graffiti – and the youths returned with more Lennon lyrics and Lennon related imagery. Luckily for the graffiti artists the actual owners of the wall was The Order of Malta, who approved of the graffiti.
The youths were called all sorts of names, declared alcoholics, mad or agents of Western capitalism and things came to a heed at the Charles Bridge in 1988 when hundreds of students clashed with the police at the Charles Bridge in relation to the wall.
Nowadays though the messages on the wall tend to be a more universal message of peace, the art of the selfie is possibly more visible then the graffiti at times, even if it’s still there. And there is even criticism of Lennon himself, as you can see on the picture – where he declares: “I Should have Beatless women.”
Video & text: Ásgeir H Ingólfsson