Historical Item

Q & A: The Eviction Stencils (SF, CA)

By Sarah McClure
From missionlocal.org: http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/q-a-the-suitcase-stencils/
Posted December 7, 2013 6:00 am

Of all Mission’s graffiti, none likely appear with as much ubiquity than the stencils of a wheeled suitcase inscribed with the words, “Tenants Here Forced Out.”

Photo: stencilarchive.org

Always strategically placed, the suitcase stencils materialize on the pavement in front of a building that enacted an Ellis Act eviction — one in which the owner evicts all tenants to then generally sell it.
Mission Local recently sat down with two anti-eviction movement leaders: Erin McElroy of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, and Rebecca Gourevitch of Eviction-Free San Francisco to learn about the suitcase stencils and how grassroots today are fighting displacement in the Bay Area.

Mission Local: What is the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project?

Erin McElroy: It’s a collective of people working together to map the evictions and displacement that San Francisco residents are experiencing and the ways that dispossession are being enacted.

ML: How many people are in the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project?

EM: There are about six of us — all volunteers.

ML: So, I’ve been seeing a lot of these pavement stencils around the city. How many stencils are in the Mission District?

EM: I would imagine there are 15-20 stencils.

Gezi Resist: A special Turkey upload

http://www.stencilarchive.org/archives/index.php/Middle_East/Turkey

The Stencil Archive presents a special upload for Turkey, which is seeing a massive swell of public street protests that are being violently answered by the government and police. Like most uprising hotspots, street art allows people to have a free, simple voice. Stencils have been part of art in the streets for years in Turkey (I feature a Turkish stencil in my 2008 book Stencil Nation), but I will scour the Internet and upload new ones when I find them.

1AM Releases a Graff Pic App

1AM Mobile is a free and community driven photography app that celebrates art in the streets by letting members capture and share what they see in the streets and also view and share what others members have contributed.  In essence, 1AM Mobile will tell you what’s up in the streets and let you take part in documenting street art history.

Not only does the app feature community contributed images of street art (with options to share, id tag, follow, and/or comment), but it also provides accurate directions to current and pre-existing pieces for an up close and personal experience.  With the constant emergence, evolution, and removal of street art, all images are time stamped which give a historical chronology to every uploaded piece.

http://1amsf.com/mobile/about-mobile/

Alcatraz Historical Graffiti Restored

Alcatraz pays tribute to Indian occupation
Carl Nolte
Updated 1:48 pm, Monday, January 14, 2013

The National Park Service does not usually approve of graffiti. "It's a federal offense," said Marcus Koenen, site supervisor for Alcatraz, the former prison that is now part of a national park.

However, the government has made an exception for graffiti left behind during the Indian occupation of the island - and it helped restore signs painted by hand on a landmark water tower.

"PEACE AND FREEDOM WELCOME HOME OF THE FREE INDIAN LAND," the writing says in red letters 4 and 5 feet high.

"We restored it because it has a social significance," Koenen said recently. "It is part of what this park is all about."

Spanish Hand Stencils May Be 37,000 Years Old

European cave art gets older
Ancient illustrations in northern Spain date to more than 40,000 years ago
By Bruce Bower
Web edition : Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Red disks, hand stencils and club-shaped drawings lining the walls of several Stone Age caves in Spain were painted so long ago that Neandertals might have been their makers, say researchers armed with a high-powered method for dating ancient stone.

Scientists have struggled for more than a century to determine the ages of Europe’s striking Stone Age cave paintings. A new rock-dating technique, which uses bits of mineralized stone to estimate minimum and maximum ages of ancient paintings, finds that European cave art started earlier than researchers have assumed — at least 40,800 years ago, say archaeologist Alistair Pike of the University of Bristol in England and his colleagues.

Arab Art Breaks Spell of Oppression

How Arab revolutionary art helped break the spell of political oppression

Graffiti, murals and other dissident art have transformed public spaces and mobilised public opinion in the Middle East

    Julia Rampen and Laurie Tuffrey
    guardian.co.uk, Saturday 5 May 2012 08.00 EDT
    Article found here

In January 2011 the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali fled Tunisia. Ten months later, his giant smiling face appeared on the side of a building in the busy port city of La Goulette. At first people just gathered beneath it and stared. Then they started to get angry. Urged on by the crowd, a group of men pulled the dictator's image down. The poster crumpled – and revealed a second poster: "Beware, dictatorship can return. On Oct 23rd, VOTE."

Half-ad, half-performance, this was one of the examples of art as political statement selected by Professor Charles Tripp, a specialist in Middle Eastern politics, who spoke at the University of East London on Tuesday night. He argued that graffiti, murals, posters and other visual art forms helped to "break the spell" of dictators like Ben Ali, continuing to mobilise protesters against threats to the revolutionary ideals.

For instance in January this year, as tensions between Egypt's interim military leadership and the crowds in Tahrir Square grew, the prominent street artist Ganzeer declared: "Art is the only weapon we have left to deal with the military dictatorship". When the authorities put up barricades around Tahrir, they were soon transformed by the city's artists. The use of visual tricks further undermined the installation of the barricades - many of these paintings simply depicted the forbidden street that lay behind.

At 23, the Spray Man Becomes Syrian Liberation Graffiti Matyr

A Syrian Graffiti Artist, Defiant Until Death

Original Article appears here

They called him "the spray man" for his graffiti that appeared all over the Syrian capital of Damascus. But in truth, 23-year-old Nour Hatem Zahra was an activist like any other activist.

He started protesting in Syria last spring. Back then, the opposition thought it would only take a few months to get rid of President Bashar Assad, as it had in Tunisia and Egypt.

Then Syrian forces started killing protesters, detaining them, torturing them. And the people started fighting back.

But still, there was Nour Hatem Zahra and his friends — organizing protests, hiding activists from the dreaded security forces, ferrying medical supplies to those who were injured but terrified to go to a government hospital.

Then late last year, Zahra got caught. Under torture, one of his friends had given up his name. Zahra later forgave the friend.

He was locked up for 56 days. As soon as he got out, he was at it again. He and his friends went around spraying the suburbs of Syria's capital, Damascus, with slogans against the Syrian president: "Down with the traitor." "To the trash heap of history." Pictures of the president with the word "pig" scrawled underneath.

A few weeks ago, Zahra and his friends declared "Freedom Graffiti Week." The Facebook page calls their work a mix of civil disobedience and peaceful expression.

Syria Freedom Graffiti Week (Video)

Info here (Arabic)

Text/Content found here

Following examples set in other Arab Spring countries like Tunisia and Egypt, Syrian activists have taken to arming themselves with cans of spray paint and stencils to peacefully protest against embattled President Bashar al-Assad’s regime via a very public and artistic medium – graffiti.

Activists have called for “a week of graffiti for freedom” from April 14 – 21 not only in Syria, but across the Arab world. The campaign invites everyone, tagger or not, to pick up a can of spray paint and peacefully express their feelings in a public place. The project, which was launched on social networking websites by a Syrian activist living in exile and several of his peers still in the country, included an online tutorial and printable stencil models.

Create a stencil and paint it safely.

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