Graffiti South Africa The definitive African graffiti and street art website.

WELCOME TO GRAFFITI SOUTH AFRICA
THE DEFINITIVE AFRICAN GRAFFITI & STREET ART WEBSITE.

This blog features news, pictures and event info to keep you updated with what is happening in the world of South African graffiti and street art.

2015 Round-up: Year In Review (Highlights)

We’re kicking off the year with the best highlights from 2015…

Featuring:

  • Graffiti South Africa Book Launches and Exhibitions
  • Videos Round-up
  • Woodcuts by Boeta Phyf
  • Pastelheart (RIP) Tribute
  • Competitions & Graffiti Jams Recap
  • Falko’s Once Upon A Town Project
  • Westdene Grafiti Project
  • City of Gold Urban Art Festival 2015
  • Rest of Africa
  • Graffiti Artist of the Year
  • NEW Graffiti South Africa Website
Keep reading →

AFRICA \\ C215 in Rwanda

French stencil artist, C215, was invited to paint for a project in Rwanda towards the end of 2015. After wanting to visit for a while, a relevant project came up via EGAM (European Grassroots Antiracist Movement)…

Keep reading →

AFRICA \\ Jidar Toiles de Rue - Street Art Fest in Morocco 2015

Jidar Street Canvas takes place from May 15-24. Various local and international street artists, graffiti artists and muralists will transform the walls of different neighborhoods in Rabat, Morocco.

The festival includes some of the world’s best in a celebration of both outdoor and indoor graffiti work…

>> READ MORE

Keep reading →

AFRICA \\ Utah Ether & Nokier - Tunisia Takeover (Video)

VIDEO // UTAH, ETHER and NOKIER make the North African country of Tunisia their latest spraycation destination. In the capital city of Tunis they explore the local streets and train yards, covering everything in their path with their signature approach to vandalism…

>> READ MORE

Keep reading →

AFRICA \\ Wide Open Walls Gambia: Catch-Up

Throughout this week, various Wide Open Walls 2014 pictures have been surfacing during our online browsing. Therefore, we found it quite fitting to go back and highlight some of the new murals that have been added to the landscape since the 2011 edition of the project…

>> READ MORE

Keep reading →

AFRICA \\ Djerbahood, mural project in Tunisia

The Djerbahood project is described as a “true open-air museum” as 150 street artists from 30 nationalities descend upon a single village island - Djerba, Erriadh - in Tunisia…

>> READ MORE

Keep reading →

AFRICA \\ Marto street art in Burkina Faso

Marto (France) in Burkina Faso:

Images via http://ekosystem.org/

Burkina Faso is most famous for its music and drumming culture, as well as crafts. This is the first time we’ve seen any street art or graffiti painted there.

AFRICA \\ SoloOne in Kenya

SoloOne is currently in Isiolo, Kenya teaching painting and street art. He’s working on a project for Tumaini Education Trust, a charity that supports vulnerable children.

Here are a few highlights thus far:

Find more pics of the art workshops and exhibits from this project on the Claptwn blog.

AFRICA \\ Eko Primeiro in Mozambique

Eko moved to Maputo, Mozambique from Portugal in the beginning of 2012. He has painted many pieces, as well as comic-style characters.

AFRICA \\ Recent graffiti in Africa

We’re catching up with images we’ve yet to post. Here are some graffiti art works that were painted in the rest of Africa…

(Photos found around the Internet)

Namibia

Mak1one:

Pixel Monster:


The Gambia

Broken Crow (at Wide Open Walls):

Image via Ekosystem


Senegal

Dems 333:

3ttman

Image via Ekosystem


Zimbabwe

Kent Locke:


Madagascar

Airjp:

Image via Fatcap

Kid Kreol & Boogie:


Egypt

Sada:

3ayem:


Kenya

Ashif

(Unknown Artist) - we can’t find the email in which we received this pic…


Morocco

Kidghe:

Image via Ekosystem

Ogre:

C215:

C215:

Remed, sculpture:

Rabie & Meknes

Image via Fatcap


Tunisia

El Seed:

Misc. Tunisia:


Rwanda

Freddy Sam (Photo by Megan King)


Send us photos of your art work in Africa - mail@graffitisouthafrica.com

AFRICA \\ More Muro in Senegal (2011)

These 2011 works are a lot more ‘street-arty’…

AFRICA \\ New Graffiti Art in Madagascar

Exclusive pics from Seth Globepainter in Madagascar. This recent event was hosted by Jace, who returned to the island along with other international street artists.

Great new works by the likes of Aryz, Bo130, Microbo, and Kid Kreol & Boogie. Take a look:

Aryz (Spain):

Bo130 (Italy):

CartOne:

Jace (Reunion Island):

Kid Kreol & Boogie (Reunion Island):

Microbo:

Psy156:

Seth (France):

Thanks to Seth for sharing his pictures with us!

AFRICA \\

In 2011 a group of Street Artists united in Gambia with the basic idea to turn villages in the area (falling under the Ballabu Conservation Project) into a living art project. This video shows the magic and beauty of Gambia, its people and Art.

Founded by Lawrence Williams & James English (http://www.wideopenwalls.co.za)

Featured Artists:

AFRICA \\ Run: Graffiti in Senegal & The Gambia

Run, an Italian artist based in London, recently traveled through West Africa painting in The Gambia via Wide Open Walls and in Dakar, Senegal via the Yattal Art Association.

We asked him about his experience…

The experience was amazing, I met loads of incredible people and they helped me with finding walls and speaking the local dialect.”

I’m looking forward to go back and explore more, there are so many other parts of Africa that I would like to visit.”

…there is not much of what we call ‘street art’…”

It’s a reward for me and for my work to be there, it has been one of the biggest and deepest experiences of my life.”

>> His website & blog.

FRIDAY FEATURE #6: Graffiti in Botswana

Graffiti and street art is still very young in South Africa when compared to places like New York, London and Berlin, even more so for the rest of Africa. Very little graffiti exists in other African states, but this is slowly changing as more international artists have been painting and traveling throughout the continent.

Jace, a graffiti artist from Réunion Island, was recently in South Africa and also painted in one of our neighbouring countries, Botswana…

Jace painted local tuckshops in Old Naledi as part of the Arts For Change initiative.

Photos by Sebastian Modak

Local artists also painted…

This week Arts For Change has been hosting creative art workshops for local youth. The next project will feature Kid Kréol & Boogie (Réunion Island) after they’ve painted at the City Of Gold Urban Art Festival in Johannesburg.


WHOOP WHOOP! Sound o’ da police…”

RUSHER and REPS are two Botswana writers currently on the down-low. These guys gained a huge Internet following with almost one million views for all their videos on YouTube! We asked RUSHER a few short questions…

How did you get into graffiti art?

I started writing in 2006 when we were driving home from a holiday trip in Durban. I always used to draw in the car – I drew things I noticed outside and eventually the graffiti that covered South African walls and bridges inspired me to start sketching. I started noticing the graffiti under the bridges, so every bridge we drove under I would jump from the right window to the left window to scan the walls for graffiti. I eventually did my first pieces ‘MF’ and ‘UFO’ and still have those exact pictures in my black book today! When I met Reps, in 2008 or 2009, I got him into writing and that’s when it started… It’s been a while now.

Describe painting and the scene in Botswana…

Botswana is still behind in the graffiti culture/lifestyle. In a way this is to our advantage, we are the ones inspiring others to start writing. I like competition and seeing new throws and pieces around the city, but that is often hard to find here. It’s always good putting new stuff on the streets so you can better others and yourself. We are not exposed to graffiti as much as other cities, many writers are born from the streets by noticing what they see on the walls and unfortunately there is not much here. Hopefully over time the people will become more accepting of the graffiti culture and it will slowly grow, we are the ones planting the seeds and getting it started.

I know a lot of youngsters notice our work and try copy it, but we don’t mind as long as they start writing. It’s nice to think we have inspired someone out there… The painting here is amazing, especially in winter, it’s our city! We love our country, our home…

I hope this isn’t the cops aahaha, if it is then fuck, it’s over, peace. Keep safe writers.

>> Check out more in our GRAFFITI AFRICA GALLERY

AFRICA \\ Arts For Change - Graffiti in Botswana

Arts For Change is “an initiative to empower youth to use their artistic talents as a means to develop their livelihoods.”

Last year, they hosted a graffiti event with South Africa’s Mak1one & Kasi along with some local graff artists:

Pics: ImageLounge

This week they will be hosting Jace, a graffiti artist from Reunion Island, known for his character ‘Gouzou’.

More info on their Facebook page

AFRICA \\ Pixel Monster / Giggly Cook Videos

A couple videos of Pixel Monster aka Giggly Cook painting in Namibia…

Luderitz, June 2011

And getting the local kids involved:

Luderitz, February 2012

AFRICA \\ Blu in Morocco

This is Blu‘s first time in Africa, although he did have an art work on display in Cape Town last year. He painted another great commentary piece near the Melilla/Morocco border about the security on European borders to keep people out.

Thousands of people pass through the border every day to buy imported products to re-sell in Morocco.

>> http://www.blublu.org/

AFRICA \\ Okuda in Mali

Okuda is a Spanish graffiti graffiti artist and designer who has traveled to many corners of the world, from other European countries to the Americas, Japan, India and even Mali in Africa!

He’ll be back on the African continent this month as he will be a participating artist at City of Gold Urban Art Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Below are some works he did in Mali in 2011:

>> http://www.okudart.es/showcase/

AFRICA \\ C215 in Africa

With his bright, colourful and highly detailed stencils, Christian Guémy a.k.a C215, is probably one of the worlds best stencil artists. A graffiti artist for over 20 years, he put up his first stencil in 2006 and has since painted in cities all across Europe as well as in India and South America. His work mainly focuses on portraiture and has been featured inside many galleries across the globe.

Hailing from France, C215 has crossed the Mediterranean on more than one occasion, painting in the streets of African countries Morocco and Senegal. One thing he is known for is not going out to paint, but taking his paint with him - everywhere he goes!

Images via Unurth.com


Check out all the artworks by C125 in Africa, by city:

in SENEGAL:

>> Dakar

in MOROCCO:

>> Casablanca

>> Essaouira

>> Fès

>> Marrakech

AFRICA \\ Collectif SUPERPOSE

Collectif SUPERPOSE is the new name of the collective responsible for Project DK “R”, a wheat-paste project in Dakar, Senegal.

Since the first phase of the project was a success, the collective created new works around the city in December 2011. We hope to see the project growing in the years to come as well as seeing new street artists emerging from the streets of Dakar.

>> http://www.superpose.fr/

AFRICA \\ Viva Con Agua project in Uganda

The small crew of Chaoze One, Rebelz, Michael Fritz, Lutz Zaumseil and filmmaker Julia Dragon were recently involved with a project in the East African country of Uganda. They are from Viva con Agua, a charity organization that is involved with the creation and support of drinking water sources in developing countries. Along with partners, the World Hunger Relief, the organisation helps with the construction and rehabilitation of wells and spring mounts

Some members of the crew are artists and have painted these graffiti pieces on their visit thus far:

Source: Viva con Agua

AFRICA \\ We Are All Khaled Said - Graffiti and the Egyptian Revolution

We are all Khaled Said – Berlin Wall from Traverse Streetcultures on Vimeo.

Khaled Said, a symbolic figure and the face of the revolution in Egypt, was recently awarded the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation‘s Human Rights Award 2011 together with Slim Amamou from Tunisia in Berlin on September 19th 2011. The tragic death of the Egyptian Internet activist, rapper and blogger sparked massive protests, with the Facebook page “We are all Khaled Said” becoming a strong force within the revolution.

Many have paid tribute to Khaled Said with graffiti, street art murals and stencils in Cairo and Alexandria where he died on 6 June 2010 - brutally beaten by policemen. At the award ceremony in Berlin, he was honoured by having his portrait painted by German artist Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case from the famous photo realist graffiti crew, Ma’Claim. This commemorative portrait was painted on a piece of the Berlin wall and transported to the venue.

Khaled Said’s portrait, painted by Case. Text above: “Khaled’s rights are Egypt’s rights” painted by Zahraa Kassem. Text below: “We are all Khaled Said”, calligraphy by Mohamed Gaber painted by Case.

They broke down the Berlin Wall for freedom and unity. Khaled Said got killed for the same reason, for freedom and democracy. Khaled would be very happy if he was with us today. We will not forget you Khaled and we will bring your rights back. And we will bring every Egyptian’s right back. We are all Khaled Said!” - Zahraa Said Kassem, Khaled’s sister who received the award on his behalf.

Zahraa Said Kassem with Slim Amanou

Now, as part of a project with the Goethe Institute, new portraits have been painted by Case in Khaled Said’s home town of Alexandria and in the capital, Cairo. The rest of the Ma’Claim crew were also present and together they painted a mural symbolising peace, freedom and victory.

Portrait in front of the Townhouse Gallery of an Egyptian boy whom Case met in the street while painting in Cairo.

Tribute to the Arab Revolution” by Ma’Claim crew (Akut, Tasso, Case, Rusk), Alexandria, 2011.

GIF-Animation: Like the revolution, the mural “uses” the Internet to reveal its message.

Below are videos of Joel Sames (documentarian of the project from the beginning) with Khaled’s Said’s mother Laila Marzouk and his sister Zahraa Kassem, discussing the project on an Egyptian TV show. Both Khaled’s mother and sister are still strong advocates in Egypt’s unfinished revolution.


This is a project by Don Karl, publisher and co-author of the book “Arabic Graffiti” & Hip Hop Stuetzpunkt Berlin - in collaboration with The Dudes Factory (Freedom Park) & Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation.

Photos and video by Joel Sames (courtesy of From Here to Fame).

AFRICA \\ Project DK “R” in Senegal II

As mentioned in a post earlier this year, the second phase of the DK “R” project will take place in November and December 2011. This time round the artists Jérôme Désert (Belgium) and Jerome Maillet aka Jeronimo (France) will collaborate with two Senegalese artists; Mamadou Diallo Sadio (SAADIO) and Barkinado BOCOUM.

Here are more videos from the first phase of the project which took place in April and May 2011:

All pics courtesy of Jéronimo

AFRICA \\ UND in Sierra Leone

Monk and Crio, UND/BA (Germany)
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2010

Makweni, Sierra Leone, 2010

All images from Street Files, used under the Creative Commons licence.

AFRICA \\ Laguna in Morocco

Spanish artist Laguna in Tanger, Morocco (2009)

Click on a thumbnail to view larger image…

All pics courtesy of Laguna

AFRICA \\ Project DK “R” in Senegal

The DK “R” project is a street art project in Dakar, Senegal. The two artists behind the project are Jérôme Désert (Belgium) and Jerome Maillet aka Jeronimo (France).

Jeronimo lived in Dakar between 2007 and 2009 and Jerome made a trip to Senegal in 2010. Both artists had a common desire to talk about identity, movement, energy and the people of Dakar directly on the walls.

The city became their canvas as they left the gallery space and plastered many walls with large format images of the people. The first stage of the project took place in April and May 2011.

The second phase of the DK “R” project takes place in November and December 2011 in collaboration with two Senegalese artists; Mamadou Diallo Sadio (SAADIO) and Barkinado BOCOUM. They will help Jerome and Jeronimo because they are very familiar with the city. This time they will split into two pairs to cover more ground.

During this second phase, from November 20 to December 15, an interaction with the public and the owners of the walls will be identified. The artists will interview the locals and gather oral evidence of the history and current events of the walls on which interventions take place. These stories will then be transcribed (in fragments) and inserted into the monumental compositions using typography cut on site. The participation of the people will form an integral part in the project, manifesting greater relevance and enabling local residents to have their say.

All the artists will make drawings in their respective workshops, thus keeping their own point of view. All compositions and associations of the pasted drawings will be improvised on the walls, leaving a possibility of interaction with the places and people. The walls covered will be between 5 and 7 meters high, each collage becoming its very own urban event.

All pics courtesy of Jéronimo

AFRICA \\ Addentry in Kenya

German artist Addentry visited and painted in Kenya in 2010. During their time in Nairobi they were also involved in a one month workcamp with a group called Simama e.V.

Simama e.V (which means get up, start over, make a difference) is a group that runs social projects to promote cross-cultural communication. They connect with artists living in the slums of Nairobi to help them with developing infrastructure like gallery space as well as getting them in contact with the art scene. Addentry joined the group as they gave art workshops and they taught the community how to print T-shirts, how to knit with plastic waste and general painting.

The orphanage called Halfway House was painted as part of the project by some Simama members, artists of the Mukuru slums and the children that live in the home.

The slum house was painted by Addentry with two artists of Mukuru. One of the artists was invited to Germany this year and they painted a mural together.

The Simama e.V group also bought a lot of paintings from the Kenyan artists where they presented those works in two big exhibitions.

More about Simama e.V:
http://www.simama.de/ and on Facebook

Special thanks to Addentry

AFRICA \\ Wide Open Walls 2011 Reflections

Reflections on the 2011 Wide Open Walls project from some of those involved:

(All images by Jonx Pillemer, except where noted).

Freddy Sam

pic by Sydelle Willow Smith:

Freddy Sam (Artist, South Africa / Curator)
The idea that art can effect positive change is a sensitive one, in my heart it is right, but responsible action is the key word here. I think we carried this out not only with glowing open hearts and full belief, but also viewed this with complex and analytical thought during and after the project, we are left with an experience that will effect us and the villages for life, a moment that we will share forever and that I know we will continue to build on with the input of the communities. The project has also given me so many insights that I will carry through into my community art projects back home in South Africa. It was inspiring to witness artists dancing in their work, to allow their environment to affect them and to release this energy with love into the walls, conversations and moments shared, with real interest and support in what they are doing from the community. A visual song, a dialogue, a true cultural exchange.

Freddy Sam

Know Hope (Artist, Israel)
Painting in the villages was different from painting in a city because I actually met and got to know the people on whose wall I was painting on, which is usually not the case. One thing that I think wasn’t new, but definitely amplified and more present, was the direct interaction, impact and transformation (I only use this word for the lack of finding a more precise one) that the work had on the village. It became a happening-as, for, by and with the community.

Know Hope

Know Hope

TIKA (Artist, Switzerland)
At first, the fact of me being invited to come and paint in a rural village, where the roads are made of red, bouncy soil, water has to be pumped and electricity is not yet for everyone, roused a lot of questions… Does the village life in it’s humble, present way, need to be changed? Should these villages really become a tourist attraction? Shouldn’t it be the people from the villages themselves painting their compounds? But then, very soon, I realised that the Internet has already reached and Toubabs (white tourists) have already been throwing minthies (sweets) from their vans to the kids.

So, my conclusion is that it’s better to have a bunch of artist like us to come, with all our concerns, wanting to do good and beautiful and our, maybe naive, belief of sharing friendship, art and thoughts to give the circle of change a twist in the direction where humans treat each other respectfully and equal despite gender, race or social background.

TIKA

TIKA

Remed (Artist, Spain)
It is completely different painting here to painting in Europe. In the west a spray-can often represents a tool of vandalism, here I really feel welcome. I feel free. There is a great sense of support towards your art, a really strong sense of peace and unity, everything is flowing so easily. I think public street art can affect positive change as it alters the environment in a good way if it spreads a positive message in direct combat to advertising billboards for example.

Remed

Remed

Njogu (Artist: Bushdwellers)
Wide Open Walls is a democratic and interactive street art project bringing artist of the world to celebrate through art, all good things in life, environmental awareness, peace, love and respect for our cultural values. For me as a Gambian artist it is inspirational to work alongside and share with our international friends that make the long journey to experience Africa. The community spirit will stay alive through such projects. Africa and the world unite!

Bushdwellers

Selah (Artist, South Africa)
My art is entirely relational and contextual. As a process it starts with a conversation and in practice is realised literally as a publication on the wall. This process was very closely aligned to the values of the family heads and chiefs with whom I spoke – in terms of the power of conversation, negotiation, listening – and was therefore received with enthusiasm and joy. My texts were always already present within the thought and values of these Gambians with whom I shared so much tea – and had then only to be illuminated on their homes.

Selah

Selah

Rowan Pybus (Film-maker / Photographer)
I have been working with street artists in communities for a few years now in South Africa and often we don’t have enough time to understand our surroundings. WOW allows for more interaction, more conversation, and in the end more of a connection with the community. It’s about sharing. With the film I am hoping to show off the mixing of two worlds and the peace that came from it.

ROA by Rowan Pybus:

pic by Rowan Pybus:

Jonx Pillemer (Photographer)
Cool, and unique project. [I’m] very interested in watching this grow over the years, and [it’s] fantastic to have been part of it.

Sydelle Willow Smith (Anthropologist/Photographer)
I am always quite sceptacle of development projects coming into an area and deciding what is best for the communities living there, I have seen them fail far to often back home in South Africa. I like the fact that art creates a subtle, malleable platform that bridges boundaries allowing for conversations between communities and outsiders to stand as equals engaging, voicing their concerns, through a “universal” language to some degree. WOW is in its beginning stages and needs some ironing out in terms of this dialectic, but I believe it is off to a strong and worthy start and [I] look forward to what the future holds.

pic by Sydelle Willow Smith:

ROA by Sydelle Willow Smith:

James English (Artist: Bushdwellers / Founder of WOW)
The Ballabu Conservation Project is an 85 square kilometer area, encompassing 14 villages with roughly 100,000 people living within the area. The Ballabu was created to bring unity to the community, to encourage sustainability and conservation and to keep traditional rural lifestyles in place. I believe that the Wide Open Walls project can help stop the Rural Urban Drift, where the young people of the rural communities leave the family structure and go to the cities, which leads to the death of traditional practices and culture. By giving the young people of these villages something to be proud of they are more willing to stay and keep the traditions of the village alive. The Eden Project in the UK has given the Ballabu a full time exhibit in the Tropical Biome, which is seen by over one million people a year.

Bushdwellers

Bushdwellers

Lawrence Williams (Artist: Bushdwellers / Founder of WOW)
The most inspiring thing for me this year was how easily all of the artists adapted to, and became part of the community. I know there was some initial questions from the artists, as to why they were here and how were they going to be received in rural Africa. On the first day we brought together the heads of the 14 villages to meet the artists, so that they could give their blessing for this years WOW to take place. One of the chiefs said it best – ‘Don’t be in two minds. You are welcome in our villages’. By the end of the project there was a real sense of community built between the artists and the villagers, with friendships created and barriers broken down so that everyone was on the same level.

pic by Rowan Pybus:

NEWS \\ Wide Open Walls 2011

Read all about Wide Open Walls 2011 in our Rest of Africa section. The project took place earlier this month in The Gambia and featured some great artists from all around the world.

CONTINUE READING

All photos by Jonx Pillimer, except where stated.

Best Ever (UK)

TIKA (Switzerland)

Bushdwellers (The Gambia)

ROA (Belgium)

Remed (Spain)

Selah (South Africa)

Know Hope (Israel)

Freddy Sam (South Africa), pic by Sydelle Willow Smith

>> WIDE OPEN WALLS 2011 OVERVIEW

AFRICA \\ Wide Open Walls 2011 Overview

The 2nd annual Wide Open Walls project took place from 3-17 June 2011. There was an amazing artist line-up this year and it featured some of the best artists from around the world. There was also more concern with the interaction with local communities as the project is hoping to grow in this regard. South African photographers, one also being an anthropologist, accompanied the artists as they ventured through Senegal and into the heart of The Gambia. This was a heart, soul and mind-opening adventure for all that took part.

All photos by Jonx Pillemer, except where stated.

Remed

Best Ever

Freddy Sam

Know Hope

Roa

Wide Open Walls 2011 Press Release

Wide Open Walls was founded by Lawrence Williams, one of the owners of Makasutu, a conservation project home to a set of magnificent river lodges at Mandina in The Gambia, West Africa. Lawrence, a keen artist, has been working with local artists on a project called Bushdwellers for a number of years and has always wanted to expand the project into something more, something lasting that could both function as a valid art installation in itself and at the same time promote The Gambia as a tourist destination. The basic idea was to turn villages in the area (falling under the Ballabu Conservation Project) into a living art project. This year saw the first time collaboration between Wide Open Walls and Write On Africa, a South African based organisation founded by Ricky Lee Gordon (a.k.a Freddy Sam). “Write On Africa” is a community art project based in Cape Town, South Africa. Its main focus is to encourage inspiration and urban rejuvenation through special events, initiatives and art in public space to “inspire ourselves to inspire others to inspire change”.

Best Ever

ROA

TIKA

Working with the community

WOW 2011 street artists were selected not only for their suitable styles but also for their approach and attitude towards making and sharing art. The line-up included Bushdwellers (The Gambia), ROA (Belgium), Know Hope (Israel), Remed (Madrid), TIKA (Switzerland), Freddy Sam (SA), Selah (SA), and Best Ever (UK). The immediate goals of the project were to create connections between the street artists and the communities through mural painting, art workshops and extended interventions. Art supplies were provided for children of various villages, and a dilapidated classroom was refurbished by Freddy Sam and community members, creating a colourful space for children to use as a crèche and a classroom. South African photographer, Jonx Pillemer and film-maker Rowan Pybus were there to capture the two week long project, spending ample time with community members and the street artists reflecting on the interactions and friendships formed during the collaborative creative processes. The 10-minute documentary will be released online in August. Rowan will then continue to document the project year by year with the intention of releasing a full length, in depth documentary.

Research was conducted utilizing ethnographic methods compiled by anthropology student, film-maker/photographer, Sydelle Willow Smith. She conducted a variety of interviews with community members, organisers and street artists. This research will aid the preliminary stages of the next Wide Open Walls project, serving archival purposes, as well as ensuring that direct collaboration between the community and the project is ensured throughout the process. We hope this information will then inspire more like-minded projects around the world.

Know Hope

Know Hope

Selah

Best Ever

Know Hope & Bushdwellers

ROA

Long term this project also seeks to raise funds for the village through the publication of a book. We will also aim to create an exhibition/fundraiser and sell photographs of the artwork to raise funds which will be distributed through the local NGO (the Ballabu Conservation Project) that has been set up by James English of Makasutu Cultural Forest in conjunction with all 14 chiefs of Ballabu. The project also aims to sustain an ethos of responsible tourism and it has been suggested that tourists, who want to visit the murals, will have to make a donation to the trust and will be expected to immerse themselves in the villages they visit through forms of cross cultural exchange to ensure that a sense of a “drive-by human zoo” is not created.

With the input of several key members from villages we have now begun the initial stage of designing a more in-depth cultural exchange program that will include local artists and allow for a greater dialogue. We are also investigating residency opportunities to allow for artists, writers, musicians, poets and researchers to stay within the villages and contribute their time and work in the form of teaching and skill sharing, working alongside their local Gambian counterparts, ensuring that as WOW grows so does the structure that keeps it in place.

ROA

Working with the community

Freddy Sam in collaboration with Selah, Know Hope and the children of Galloya village, pic by Rowan Pybus

Remed, pic by Sydelle Willow Smith

Bushdwellers

Selah

In conclusion we are very aware of the sensitive nature of this project and how our imprint and intervention can affect the village. As one of the chiefs said, “they will come to see the art and will find our ethos and way of life and want to learn from us”. This exchange of knowledge and practice is something that WOW plans to continually engage with, learning and growing along the way. A popular saying we heard in the villages of The Gambia sums it all up quite succinctly, simply put that it is “nice to be nice.”

ROA

Connecting with the community

TIKA

Remed

Best Ever & Selah

Freddy Sam

ROA, pic by Sydelle Willow Smith

For artists travel blogs please visit http://www.wideopenwalls.co.za/ and for more information or images contact Ricky Lee Gordon (curator) directly at rickylee@writeonafrica.com

Please also visit and support the Wide Open Walls Facebook page where you will find updated news and images. The 2011 documentary film by Rowan Pybus is scheduled for online release in August.

The next date for Wide Open Walls has not been set allowing for sufficient time to rebuild a strong foundation and sustainable program together with the input of the villages.

AFRICA \\ Cook’s pixel graffiti in Namibia

Cook a.k.a Pixel Monster is a graffiti artist from Spain that has been living in Namibia. He spent time there in 2010 and 2011 and painted in Lüderitz among other places .

He also went to Cape Town and painted with Toe:

http://www.cook.org.es/

AFRICA \\ Wide Open Walls 2011

Wide Open Walls 2011 is upon us. This year the project is curated by South Africa’s Freddy Sam who runs the Write On Africa initiative.

Artist line-up:
- Roa (Belgium)
- Tika (Switzerland)
- Know Hope (Israel)
- Best Ever (UK)
- Remed (Spain)
- BushDwellers (The Gambia)
- Freddy Sam (SA)
- Selah (SA)
- Jonx (SA - Photographer)
- Rowan(SA - Video/Film)
- Sydelle (SA - Anthropologist)

Follow the project:
http://wideopenwalls.withtank.com/ and on Facebook

Read more about the 2010 project HERE.

Africa Day - Graffiti in Africa

Today is Africa Day
We thought we’d share a piece that was painted a few years ago:

Ryza

Check out our Graffiti Africa Gallery for graffiti and street art in other African countries.

Many well-known international artists have visited the continent:

>> Banksy

>> C215

>> Chas (Loveletters Crew)

>> Jace

>> JR

>> Zéh Palito

>> Zoo Project

http://www.graffitisouthafrica.com/rest-of-africa/

AFRICA \\ Cairo Trains II

More train graffiti in Egypt:

Thanks to Disco Rick.

AFRICA \\ Zéh Palito in Zambia

Brazilian artist Zéh Palito spent 6 months volunteering for an American/Danish N.G.O in the rural areas of north Zambia in 2010. He educated people about water and sanitation during the week, mainly working with the children. Then on weekends, he could show off his artistic talent.

On Saturdays, Zéh Palito and another friend from Korea, Sim, held classes where they taught the kids about geography, sport and art. They realised that there was not much entertainment for the kids besides them playing games with stones (kabulila), playing with tyres, and soccer. These new interactive classes became the Saturday Club.

On Sundays, it was Zéh Palito’s day off - painting time!

Having only come across spray paint twice in his whole 6 month trip, which was very expensive, Zéh Palito mainly used water-based paint and was lucky enough to have a friend get him a much needed red pigment and gold pigment which became the most prized possessions during his stay.

One does not get to see pictures of Zambia very often, especially street art in the rural areas. Because Zéh Palito took so many great photographs and painted some pretty cool pieces, we decided to share some more pics with you.

Below are more pictures from his trip. Be sure to check out his Flickr page for even more pictures of his first African adventure.

“Anyone can’t do everything, But everyone can do something.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zehpalito/

AFRICA \\ Zoo Project in Tunisia

>> VIEW MORE

AFRICA \\ JR in Kenya II

Reportage on JR in Kibera, Kenya 2009 by A24media

AFRICA \\ Iker & Muro in Senegal

Ductos Graff (Iker & Muro) in Dakar

AFRICA \\ Wide Open Walls 2010

Wide Open Walls, an Art Safari, is a new annual arts project that takes place in The Gambia. Seven artists took part in 2010 where they painted villages such as Kubuneh in the Makasutu Culture Forest over two weeks.

All photo’s by Ian Cox of WallKandy

Read an interview with Eelus, one of the artists and curator of the project, HERE

>> Follow the Wide Open Walls Project here

Check out the video below:

AFRICA \\ C215 in Morocco

French street artist C215 did his thing in Morocco in 2009.
View his pics from Casablanca HERE and his pics from Fes HERE.

AFRICA \\ JR in Kenya

French photographer/street artist/activist JR visited the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya as part of his 28 Millimetres project.

This work is also featured in his feature film Women Are Heroes which was released on January 12 2011.

AFRICA \\ Banksy in Africa

The infamous street artist Banksy was in Africa for a short stint in 2009. The works are thought to be in Mali, though some say he might have visited Cairo.

AFRICA \\ Jace in Madagascar

Street artist Jace (born in France and now living on Reunion Island) went to Anakao in Madagascar in 2009. He was there for two weeks; living with the people and painting lots of fishing boats.