RETRO: The birth of Sheffield feminism, told through graffiti

The scourge of graffiti, sprayed by aerosol-toting vandals, has been a point of contention in Sheffield of late, with the BID team in the city centre starting a new push to clean up the mess.

But, as these photographs show, the plague of the paint vandals is not a new phenomenon.

In fact, these photographs - mostly from the 1990s - show that Sheffield used to have it even worse than it does now, with the escalators leading into Sheffield’s underground walkways of old - which are sadly no more - positively plastered in the ugly tags.

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But these photos also show another, often overlooked side to graffiti.

Graffiti ‘artists’ Ame, Dial, Ask and Diz, pictured here in March 1996, certainly did not consider themselves a nuisance.

And graffiti often represented changing social attitudes - for example, this...daring advert from Nike featuring a female model and a pretty inappropriate catchline was, in Sheffield in June 1995, covered in feminist symbols, apparently in protest, with the words ‘Take women seriously’ daubed over the billboard in Shalesmoor.

And of course, there was the infamous Rolf Harris mural, which had been on a Shoreham Street wall through the 1990s, but was whitewashed in 2014 after the TV star was jailed for child abuse offences.

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