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…Read more
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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…
Last year, Sean Leow took my Street Art tour of San Francisco's Mission District. He knew a good bit about art in the streets and eventually asked me "do you know about any stencils and graffiti in China?" My answer was no. I believed that it existed and was not that well known due to language barriers (as well as accessing evidence of a sometimes illegal art inside a tightly-controlled country like China). Leow not only knew about street art and graffiti from that part of the planet, he also was part of a group of people who were creating content for the site Neocha Edge, based in Shanghai (http://edge.neocha.com/category/street-urban-art/). He gave me links and jpgs of art from China, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia. I eventually posted them up in the Asia Archive (http://www.stencilarchive.org/archives/index.php/Asia), and was happy to have two…Read more
Graffiti week returns with calls to resume revolution
Author: Jano Charbel
Original Article Found Here: http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/618131
In the run-up to the anniversary of the 25 January revolution, a street art campaign dubbed “Mad Graffiti Week” spread like wildfire across Egypt. The call for the event was announced on Facebook, Twitter and the blogs of Egyptian street artists and activists.
A growing number of Egyptian and foreign artists and activists, male and female alike, have responded to the call. They have painted their art and their messages on walls, not only in Egypt, but also in Germany, UK, Austria, Poland and Canada.
Most of the themes center around calls for completing the revolution, deposing the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and transferring power to civilian authorities.
Over the course of “Mad Graffiti Week,” three youths are reported to…Read more
(NOTE: The term "stencil" has been historically known to refer to screen printing images, rather than spray painting them. In the 1960s, stencils were put inside the screens and the image was made when the ink got pushed through by a squeegee)
"An Angel known as 'the Mute' was stopped by a policeman... . The Mute was proudly displaying his colors on a ragged Levi jacket. 'Take that off,' the patrolman [said]... . The Mute stripped off his Levi jacket, exposing another Angel decal on his leather jacket. 'Take that off too.'" The Mute took the jacket off, and then had a shirt with the emblam. The cop told him to take that off, and "under the shirt was an undershirt. It had been stenciled with the club insigia... . The Mute had the last laugh. He was prepared to go all the way. His trousers and shorts were also stenciled."
(excerpt from "Hell's Angels" by Hunter S. Thompson. This story was said to have happened sometime in 1964)
The Origin of Spray Paint
By HILARY GREENBAUM and DANA RUBINSTEIN
Original NYTimes link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/who-made-spray-paint.html
That a paint salesman from northern Illinois created the tool through which rebels, gang members, artists and anti-Wall Street protesters alike have expressed themselves merely confirms that inventors can neither control nor predict the impact of their innovations. After all, Jack Dorsey never imagined that Twitter would facilitate Anthony Weiner’s self-immolation.
The spray-paint can, however, has eminently practical origins. Ed Seymour, the proprietor of a Sycamore, Ill., paint company, was in search of an easy way to demonstrate his aluminum coating for painting radiators. His wife suggested a makeshift spray gun, like those used for deodorizers. And so, in 1949, Seymour mixed paint and aerosol in a can with a spray head…Read more
Graffiti legend was also an NYPD cop
By KATHIANNE BONIELLO
Last Updated: 11:24 AM, November 6, 2011
Posted: 9:34 PM, November 5, 2011
Police have discovered the identity of one of New York City’s most prolific graffiti vandals -- and he’s one of their own.
Steven Weinberg, 43, of Flushing, a patrolman who retired from the NYPD in 2001 after hurting his leg, is the notorious “Neo” -- one of the peskiest subway taggers of the 1980s.
And the spray-painting miscreant is making a comeback, cops say.
“He’s definitely prolific,” a source said.
Transit cops investigating graffiti in northeast Queens watched as Neo’s tag began appearing all over train trestles and highway overpasses the last two years, not far from Weinberg’s home.
They knew their nemesis was a cop. Numerous tipsters confided that Neo once wore a badge, and detectives uncovered a faceless photograph of Neo online, back to the camera, wearing an…
In African Cave, Signs of an Ancient Paint Factory
By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Original Article appears HERE
Digging deeper in a South African cave that had already yielded surprises from the Middle Stone Age, archaeologists have uncovered a 100,000-year-old workshop holding the tools and ingredients with which early modern humans apparently mixed some of the first known paint.
These cave artisans had stones for pounding and grinding colorful dirt enriched with a kind of iron oxide to a powder, known as ocher. This was blended with the binding fat of mammal-bone marrow and a dash of charcoal. Traces of ocher were left on the tools, and samples of the reddish compound were collected in large abalone shells, where the paint was liquefied, stirred and scooped out with a bone spatula.
In the workshop remains, archaeologists said they were seeing the earliest example yet of how emergent…Read more
Empowerment and Intercultural Dialogue
Exhibition and Interactive Programs
Empowerment und interkulturelle Brücken
Ausstellungund Interaktive Programme
6.September - 17. September 2011
SKATEISTAN - TINY TOONES - TINY DROPS
Part of the cultural program of the Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin / Teil des Kulturprogramms der Asien-Pazifik Wochen Berlin
STREET CULTURES like skateboarding, breakdancing and street art have the fascinating potential to bring people of different backgrounds together, bridging the gap between their social and cultural differences, and thus creating an opportunity for exchange and cooperation. Hip Hop, skateboarding, and BMX are no longer only part of western culture, but have become global…