budweiser vs start india

Brand Name

Budweiser vs St+art India row urges reconsideration of vital aspects of street art, including its ownership and erasure

All about a artworks…Read on to understand….

Monday, 19th April 2021

In Bandra, Mumbai, the brand painted over iconic murals of Sridevi and Mughal-e-Azam by Bollywood Art Project’s Ranjit Dahiya.Who does street art belong to? What does it mean to engage with or create street art — what even, for that matter, is ‘street art’?


These questions are at the heart of a recent row involving Budweiser, the St+art India Foundation (an NGO known for its public art projects), and the community of creators and consumers of street art..

Last month, as part of their #PathToGreatness campaign targeted at Lionel Messi fans, Budweiser covered two murals in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi, with new artworks. The original murals had been painted by international street artists Okuda and M-City for the 2014 St+art Delhi Festival, and parts of them were still visible at the bottom of the newly overlaid designs. In Bandra, Mumbai, the brand painted over iconic murals of Sridevi and Mughal-e-Azam by Bollywood Art Project’s Ranjit Dahiya.


Several social media influencers worked with Budweiser to promote the campaign, including (on 25 and 26 March) two news platforms. Comments on these posts echoed the tributes to Messi; others urged Budweiser to put up artworks in their localities too.

Two weeks later, St+art India Foundation called out the Messi murals as “advertisements in the name of street art”, leading to a slew of “I stand with St+art” declarations on social media as well as comments shaming Budweiser for erasing iconic street art as part of their marketing move.As positions have been taken on both sides of the row, what’s undeniable is that the art impacted people enough that they had strong opinions on the matter. Which is where the question of who street art belongs to comes in.

Before commenting on the debate, one must clarify what street art is: Street art is not graffiti. In simple terms, the latter is word-based, while street art includes the use of images. The lines blur when the terms are used interchangeably and when artists level from tags to images to larger murals.

Street art reflects the culture and lives of people or a location. Moreover, it is woven into the very fabric of the space it reflects. People consciously or unconsciously engage with it, even merely as a landmark. Though ephemeral, when it comes to large-scale murals, the sheer size alone makes for a hard-to-forget sight.

Since its inception, street art has had undertones of rebellion. Today, graffiti, street art and murals express counter-culture, dissent, critique, and a refusal to be complacent or complicit.

At the same time, it would be naïve to believe that street art isn’t commercialised, which is why the concept of “ownership” too becomes complicated. Anpu Varkey, the artist behind Mahim East’s mural titled 'Dizzy', observes that street art, more often than not, cannot be undertaken without funds. “It’s the big institutions that are supporting the majority of the street art work in India,” Varkey says. “Without support from established corporations and branding, large walls can’t be painted.”

When Firstpost reached out to St+art India for comment, co-founder Arjun Bahl reiterated that "St+art India is an urban art organisation and an NGO. Our experiences, such as the Sassoon Dock Art Project and WIP Show, are free for all." Bahl added that while the moral rights to any work of street art are retained by the artists and the intellectual property is shared between the artist and the organisation, "in general, we do public art with the vision that the final owners and keepers are the residents and citizens at large".


The News Talkie Bureau


First post




Top Stories
Download video from a Converthub online ..
Impact Feature: अमेरिकन ..
South Newsmakers of Week: Ram Charan & S..
What Makes Gandhis CWC a Team Amidst the..
Kerala Sees a Dip in Total Covid-19 Case..
Bangladesh “Just not Good Enough”, S..
Udanpirappe Movie Review: A family drama..
5 Superfood-Enriched Products for Health..
5 Superfoods Against Anxiety and Stress..
5 Small Lifestyle Changes You Can Make t..