Bali’s culture and traditions are commonly practiced daily. As a favourite holiday destination, preservation of cultural practices can face hurdles.
Many things can be done to preserve Balinese culture. Statues, temples, photos, and paintings are commonly made to preserve a culture. In line with this desire to keep culture alive, the Bali Black Wall Movement is taking shape.
The Bali Black Wall Movement is a non-profit organisation created by the BVR Foundation. It has initiated a major movement to preserve Balinese culture through wall murals, in hopes of building a strong connection between the youth, the elderly, and the valuable Balinese culture.
Every corner of the island is imagined to be embellished with local culture. Messages to global partners are delivered in order to help them understand the island, to respect and admire its people and deep cultural history, and of wanting to share with global visitors. Local and foreign visitors to Bali need to understand that are many different communities on the island.
The Bali Black Wall Movement first finds a wall, then works closely with local stakeholders to make the wall a place to create a mural.
Next, they will find an artist and come up with a concept. “We collaborate with Balinese mural, graffiti, and tattoo artists. We will also provide a selection of mural concepts that suit Balinese history or culture,” says a BVR Foundation statement.
Once the murals are created, it’s time to promote them. Promotions are normally done through websites and social media so that each mural can become a historical tourist attraction in the future.
“With murals that have a story about the history of Balinese culture, we have preserved Balinese culture and made Bali more known from its very valuable history and culture,” continues the BVR Foundation statement.
However, even with its efforts, opposition against this cultural preservation mission is still evident.
One instance, according to BVR Foundation, occurred on 21st April 2021. A note written on an already painted wall stated: “There will be a local Balinese artist starting his artwork here. This wall is under the operational control of BVR. Any vandalism will be pursued with legal action.”
A Russian man complained on social media about his existing mural being painted over by the Bali Black Wall Movement. He then vandalised the walls with the word “BAD”.
“We have tried to take action but thus far, we have had very little support to hold him accountable. We are asking the local Balinese that care about our movement to preserve their culture to help us stop this vandalism. How can we preserve local art when foreigners attack the art over and over again?” said a BVR Foundation representative.
No further statement from Bali’s authorities nor the alleged suspect in this incident has been obtained. Despite the incident, the Bali Black Wall Movement is adamant to continue cultural preservation in every corner of the island.