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Viktor, the founder of Basicolers, wasn’t always so civic-minded. In the late nineties, when, alongside hip hop, graffiti first came to Bishkek, he saw spraying walls as just a way of telling people that he existed and was capable of doing something. Getting hold of cans of spray paint wasn’t easy however, as one would cost about half his mother’s monthly salary. But as Viktor and his friends grew up, their work started informing the citizens of Bishkek of something larger than just the existence of a couple of guys who managed to get their hands on some spray paint. While his skills became more refined, ideas were getting harder to come by and anonymity was becoming more difficult to maintain, though with age Viktor managed to pick up some tricks on how to prevent a questioning police officer from getting too close. But, in the end, graffiti artists just want their work to be seen.

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