GRAFIKAMA (Service Peinture) is an artist residency currently taking place in Nantes, France and features South African street artists Nardstar*, r1. and Alphabet Zoo. The show forms part of a strew of exhibitions conceptualised by Pick Up Production and artist Kazy Usclef for the Voyage à Nantes cultural project. The residency aims to showcase “graphic creation around the world”…Keep reading →
Graffiti South Africa founder, Cale Waddacor, was asked to write an article for Between 10 & 5‘s Africa month in May, 2016. Waddacor took the opportunity to highlight some of his favourite moments in African graffiti and street art, most of which have previously been covered on this blog…Keep reading →
A lot has been happening around the African continent that makes us very excited. These “Out of Africa” posts will gather a selection of the best recent pieces and murals that we have not shared on the site before…Keep reading →
We’re kicking off the year with the best highlights from 2015…
- 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
Besides from a few events and exhibitions that we never posted, here are a few other highlights from 2015 we didn’t share. In no particular order…Keep reading →
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 MOREKeep reading →
We’re kicking off the year with the best highlights from 2014…
- Ekons (RIP) Tribute
- Another Light Up Project
- Butan x DS Clothing Collab
- Converse Clash Wall
- Obey You Collective: Sprite x The Fader
- Painting Cape Town Documentary
- Redbull Amaphiko
- Festigraff 5 in Senegal
- Styles From The Streets Exhibition
- Montana Just Writing My Name Jam 2014
- Djerbahood Mural Project in Tunisia
- Faith47 Murals in Durban
- The Box Project in Durban
- Epic Train Painting in Cape Town
- Then & Now Feature
- OBEY (Shepard Fairey) in South Africa
- City of Gold Urban Art Festival 2014
- Tag for JAG Exhibition
- Resistance Project: Public Art Installation
- Freedumb Graffiti Exhibition
- Ism Skism Art Residency in Clarens
- Kevin Love Exhibition and Interview
- Graffiti South Africa Book Release
- Faith47 Releases and Solo Exhibition
- Bias’ Graffiti Tour App
- Riot Crowned #1
- Gallery Features
- Event & Exhibition Follow-ups
- Image Round-ups
- What We Missed in 2014
>> READ MOREKeep reading →
We’ll be covering the 5th annual Festigraff graffiti festival that takes place in Dakar, Senegal. This year, South African artists Kasi and Falko have been invited to participate and will be sharing some photographs with us during the event. It looks like it’s going to be an exciting festival, big ups to the North African graffiti movement!
Follow the posts in our ‘Rest of Africa’ section here.
>> MORE INFO
Festigraff is a festival of artistic experimentation - an exhibition of paintings, graffiti and pictures, as well as workshops and lectures. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of African graffiti, and bring them through exchanges with artists from around the world, a reflection on media and alternatives, techniques specific to an “African School” graffiti.
>> READ MOREKeep reading →
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.
Eko moved to Maputo, Mozambique from Portugal in the beginning of 2012. He has painted many pieces, as well as comic-style characters.
More of Angolan graffiti artist, Spent:
Cape Town, South Africa.
with Cros & Shur.
Cape Town, South Africa.
Johannesburg, South Africa.
with Mars & Mein.
Johannesburg, South Africa.
with Mein & Mars.
Johannesburg, South Africa.
More Spent in Part 1.
Spent, a graffiti artist from Angola, sent us some pictures of his work last year.
Never thought there’d be pieces like this further north…
with Abione, 2009.
Double Spent, 2008.
with Abione, 2008.
Check back for more Spent in Part 2.
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)
Broken Crow (at Wide Open Walls):
Image via Ekosystem
Image via Ekosystem
Image via Fatcap
Kid Kreol & Boogie:
(Unknown Artist) - we can’t find the email in which we received this pic…
Image via Ekosystem
Rabie & Meknes
Image via Fatcap
Freddy Sam (Photo by Megan King)
Send us photos of your art work in Africa - email@example.com
Amoniak – “a name, a passion or just a pun in the Wolof language” – formed in 2011 and is currently the largest collective of graffiti artists in Senegal. Young artists from different cities (including Dakar, Pikine, Yeumbeul Thiaroye and Rufisque) get together, united by the same passion – their love for art and graffiti.
The group comprises of some of the best local graffiti artists and they have been involved in the big hip hop festivals in Senegal. Although the anchor for the group is in Dakar, this does not prevent members from initiating projects around the country. Education and social awareness, including the fight against malaria, AIDS, and poverty, are all things that Amoniak enjoys being involved with. Several villages in various regions have benefited by works painted on the walls of elementary schools.
“We are committed to open to the world, to bring our art to the underprivileged, painting a better world and to restore the aesthetic of colour to our lives.”
In 2013, they started a festival, or more specifically, a Kaffrine – KAFFGRAFF. The festival consists of studio painting, drawings and writing in schools, and murals made with live participants and local people.
The group believes painting live in front of people is important because it presents the art to them as an experience, instead of in the form of mundane lectures. With the help of NGO’s, the shared experiences with street children has made the group aware that through art, a child can feel comfortable in his skin and explore his free spirit. “Children need to touch to capture images, and through the exchange, it was found that they can freely express themselves through colours, lines and forms.”
Passionate and committed, the Amoniak group gain ground and spread their positive messages. With hopes of safer streets, their work decorates disadvantaged neighborhoods with multi-coloured art works, challenging and educating people too.
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/amoniak.nh3
These 2011 works are a lot more ‘street-arty’…
Great new works by the likes of Aryz, Bo130, Microbo, and Kid Kreol & Boogie. Take a look:
Jace (Reunion Island):
Kid Kreol & Boogie (Reunion Island):
Thanks to Seth for sharing his pictures with us!
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)
>> More about the Wachata Crew here.
“August 2007 marked the date when WCT was formed. WCT stands for Wachata, which is taken from the English word, ‘charter’. It is also a Swahili slang term for ‘graffiti’, derived from the ‘stowaways’ who pioneered the charcoal tagging style back in the day. It’s so popular that every time you do a tag or a piece, people will refer it as ‘chata’. Also, ‘Wa’ in Kiswahili means ‘Us’ in plural terms. I thought it would be good for us, and all those who do graffiti, to call ourselves: WACHATA.”
GRAFFITI is considered by many as the last hip hop element in Tanzania. However, graffiti has been around since the late 1970s during the time of Ujamaa (African Socialism) when most Tanzanians had no access to western culture or Europe, the Internet and computer technology in general. The youth along the coastal towns of Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mtwara and Zanzibar started to become stowaways in ships that entered and exited the country. Some riskily made it to Europe and the west with dreams of becoming seamen or just escaping the hardships when the Tanzanian economy was in bad shape (right after the Tanzania-Uganda war that sent dictator Idi Amin Dada into exile). These youths started tagging their real names and nicknames on city walls using charcoal which was available in any homestead and was easy to use in ‘leaving a mark’. This new art form was given the name “chata”, a Swahili slang term for graffiti. Spray cans were not available at that time.
Though every nation has its own graffiti backgrounds, Tanzania was similar to that of New York when TAKI 183 was recognized for tagging his name all around his city. The only difference is that here in Tanzania, no one paid attention to this new art trend and it passed unnoticed by art critics, the media and government in general. Even as late as when spray cans started flowing into Tanzania, they were only used for spraying cars or bikes just for the effort of replacing the old similar colour. In July 2003, one of the very first graffiti pieces was painted in Dar es Salaam by a South African expatriate known as Zaki. This historical piece stood along the Old Bagamoyo Road in Mikocheni area and it spelt “CURE”. In 2004/2005, Sela One (Sela-1), a graffiti artist from Germany, did a lot of pieces in Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Arusha. By naming himself ‘Sela’, he was cherishing the name of the first Tanzanian messengers of graffiti. He was also honouring the past stowaways as it is a popular Swahili slang term which was given to any youth with the ambition to stowaway. He opened eyes of many, showing them a real westernised graffiti piece. 2007 brought ‘Words and Pictures’ (WaPi), a monthly open mic event that celebrated all elements of hip hop. Hosted and sponsored by the British Council around May/June, right after the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, WaPi built a platform for underground creativity through visual arts and speech. It also enhanced confidence and excitement among the youth. In the history of graffiti and hip hop in Tanzania, WaPi was the one and only place that offered free material (spray cans, masks and markers) and white walls to paint. This event helped WCT to form.
WCT stands for Wachata, a Swahili slang term for graffiti derived from the stowaways who pioneered the charcoal tagging style back in the day. Many Tanzanians also face the difficulty of pronouncing the word ‘graffiti’ - many end up saying grafit, graft, or even grafix. Having seen this problem, we decided to come up with the name ‘Wachata’ which is easy to pronounce and has a more crystal clear meaning to graffiti in the country. With graffiti being a new art form to many in Tanzania, it doesn’t fill pockets yet. So, out of 25 to 30 regular WaPi graffiti art participants, only 4 made it to form WCT’s inner circle (core), all with different art backgrounds. WCT is legally registered and operating - Mejah being a marketing personnel, Medy holding the procurement sector, Kala Singa, a distribution officer and Local being the senior designer, doing and setting up designs and sketches when it comes to commissioned work. Since WCT is a collective movement, it has other independent chapters in Mwanza city led by Edo, who is mostly engaged in tattooing, and Yuzzo, and Mizani 86 in Moshi city who makes merchandise. There is one unforgettable individual in Tanzanian graffiti who enhanced the scene - Kool Koor, a legendary graffiti artist from the Bronx, NYC during the 1970s and 1980s, who now resides in Brussels. He was a ‘springboard’ for the movement in 2007 and was invited by the East African Biennale, an art exhibition in East Africa. It took place during the same week of a WaPi event and he decided to do a graffiti workshop too. He introduced us to Montana spray cans and shared different techniques and basics of graffiti which we all had no idea of. From there everything came into place and, since then, Kool Koor has come to Dar es Salaam twice. WCT Crew is also part of Kool Koor’s worldwide graffiti movement known as “YES WE CAN”.
Thus far, WCT is the only crew that’s engaged in graffiti in Tanzania, the main tool used being a spray can. WCT and the graffiti scene in general has been lucky as we never get negative feedback. People don’t refer it to vandalism, or at least it doesn’t look like vandalism but rather a piece of art. This success has been achieved by the way WCT principles its work. We have no trouble with the law and citizens, even the government at the moment. We have done commissioned work with big media companies like the East African TV, Clouds TV, TBC1, British Council and Zantel Epic Marketing campaigns (a mobile telephone company). We have also done a lot of graffiti for most hip hop music videos in Tanzania. The use of vibrant colours is another thing which WCT Crew has been credited for, not because we’re the best, it’s because of improvisation and a creative way we use the limited variety of available colours (that are also very bad in quality - from the U.A.E).
Despite the challenges of not having many choices, WCT has still managed to use what it has to produce good quality work. Apart from doing graffiti, we also design and print T-shirts to meet the huge market and hold graffiti classes on Saturdays at the Makutano Arts & Crafts Centre in Oyster Bay and at Nafasi Artspace in Mikocheni. The future of graffiti in Tanzania is bright and promising. People are tired of the same type of art when it comes to corporate advertising and advertising campaigns, because most of it is done using computers. Those who want a unique artwork see graffiti as a source, and it is a way to attract a young audience. Artists can now get paid for their creative work, although it is not as big in the neighbouring countries like Kenya. WCT has also gained more attention in Tanzania because we get much of the media attention, but at the same time, this shouldn’t overshadow the fact that we’ve laid down a solid foundation from which we can carry something positive to the people, taking it beyond just tagging or bombing our names. We are now working on an African identity with regards to graffiti style.
Check out an interview with WCT here.
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.”
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’
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:
This week they will be hosting Jace, a graffiti artist from Reunion Island, known for his character ‘Gouzou’.
More info on their Facebook page
OptOne spent some time in Maseru, capital of Lesotho. This was part of his ‘spray-cation’ around South Africa last year.
Lazer and Nest from Glockstars crew painted in and around Kenya, 2012/2013:
>> More here:
Graffiti in the former Trebelsi family house in La Marsa, Tunisia:
Photos by Bouthayna Bekri
Thanks to Nana Spio-Garbrah
Graffiti in G’eez, in Addis Ababa…
Images via Caps & Cans (feat. Wachata Crew)…
Various art movements and foundations helping to grow the African art community:
Destreet Art Foundation, Uganda
Murals For Mali
More international visitors to Africa
SheOne (UK) in The Gambia
Swoon (USA) in Kenya
The Seek Project is a platform for Nigerian artist Karo Akpokiere to make his art visible and to add more art to the world.
“Its a platform for self initiated and commissioned work, creative independence and growth. It is also a path for me to collaborate with other artists and brands that have values and culture similar to mine. Presently, what I do covers these areas: print media, illustration, murals, logo and identity design, apparel and footwear design.”
eL Seed, a French-born Tunisian artist, painted Arabic graffiti on Tunisia’s tallest minaret. Inspired by the recent debate between religious sects and the art community, this artwork - the largest graffiti mural in the country - is located at the Jara Mosque in Gabès, viewable for the holy month of Ramadan.
The artist believes that “art can bring about fruitful debate” and that art can help with “the process of cultural and political change.” The artist began the mural on July 20, 57 meters in the air.
Via: From Here To Fame
A couple videos of Pixel Monster aka Giggly Cook painting in Namibia…
Luderitz, June 2011
And getting the local kids involved:
Luderitz, February 2012
The video is a pitch for an upcoming graffiti film called Bomb The World. It features Aroe, a notorious train bomber, and the main concept is to take him to various slums all over the world to paint.
Check out some coverage of Rwanda around 2:42…
This project looks really cool and we look forward to seeing it being produced.
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.
From April 10th, street artists from Egypt, Tunisia and Germany including Aya Tarek, Ammar, El Seed, Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case (Ma’Claim), Abo Bakr and Ganzeer will create a street art gallery. There will also be ten massive ankh sculptures (the Egyptian key of life) created by Egyptian artists, as well as other related events.
El Seed (Tunisia):
Ganzeer (Cairo, Egypt):
Ammar Abo Bakr (Luxor, Egypt):
Aya Tarek (Alexandria, Egypt):
Thursday 12th of April
Solitaire: theater performance by Dalia Basiouny, director and actress from Cairo
Followed by panel discussions with Dalia Basiouny and the street artists and the cultural activists Caram Kapp & Don Karl, moderated by Dr. Kersten Knipp.
Gallus Theater, Kleyerstraße 15, 60326 Frankfurt
Friday 13th of April
Opening of the Street Art Gallery
First Friday Egyptian Street Art & Arabic Graffiti
7:00 pm - Midnight
Arabic Graffiti - El Seed & Don Karl present the book and project
8:00 pm - Exhibition Foyer
Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution - Ganzeer & Don Karl
9:00 pm - Exhibition Foyer
Tutankhamun exhibition hall, Mainzer Landstraße, Güterplatz, 60327 Frankfurt am Main
More about the book:
“Since the start of the Arab uprisings the Middle East has seen an unparalleled explosion of graffiti. Many slogans which were later sung by the people on the streets first appeared on walls from Tunisia to Bahrain. Egypt has played a remarkable role in this phenomenon. Even when the army tanks rolled onto Tahrir Square in Cairo, they were immediately adorned with graffiti. Along with people from all walks of life, artists, calligraphers and designers took over the public space. In no time a vital and now globally acclaimed street art scene emerged.”
“Arabic Graffiti is an intercultural project by From Here To Fame that involves artists, activists and academics from various Middle Eastern countries and their diasporas. Started as an art and book project, the recent events in the region have led to an active involvement of many participants in the transforming changes of the region. Events and exhibitions are currently being developed in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, France and Germany.”
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:
Siren Crew holding it down in Botswana:
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:
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.
It has been a whole year since the January 25 uprising in Egypt last year…
Below are some images of street art in Cairo throughout this revolution, which is still happening.
Photos courtesy of:
Also, check out a virtual tour of some Cairo street art:
Graffiti by Skarz in Madagascar…
Pics courtesy of Skarz
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
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.
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
From Here To Fame Publishing present two upcoming events in Egypt to promote their recently published book, Arabic Graffiti.
20 October – Alexandria, Egypt
- Arabic Graffiti – book and project presentation by the Don STONE Karl
Street Art & the Revolution – lecture by Mohamed Gaber
>> @ Goethe Institute Alexandria
22 October – Cairo, Egypt
- Arabic Graffiti – book and project presentation by the Don STONE Karl
Street Art & the Revolution – lecture by Mohamed Gaber
>> @ The Townhouse Gallery
For further information please contact:
From Here To Fame Publishing
Inga Dehl | Sales & Marketing
Tel: 0049-(0)30-21021 86-70 | Fax: 0049-(0)30-21021 86-77
Marienburgerstr. 16 A | 10405 Berlin / Germany
Be sure to check out their publication of South African artist Faith47.
Danish artist Asbjørn Skou a.k.a Armsrock visited Egypt in June 2010 and participated in the “Streets of Cairo” event. He made temporary light installations from projected needle-etched slides. He also did the paste-up below…
This charcoal paste-up was then painted over with white paint by the Cairo Police.
Some graffiti in Uganda…
Spanish artist Laguna in Tanger, Morocco (2009)
Click on a thumbnail to view larger image…
All pics courtesy of Laguna
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
The first episode of a long series about JR’s Inside Out Project.
Since the 2011 TED Prize winner JR announced his wish in March to turn the world Inside Out, thousands of people have participated in what we hope will be the world’s largest participatory art project.
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.
Special thanks to Addentry
Reflections on the 2011 Wide Open Walls project from some of those involved:
(All images by Jonx Pillemer, except where noted).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
All photos by Jonx Pillimer, except where stated.
Best Ever (UK)
Bushdwellers (The Gambia)
Selah (South Africa)
Know Hope (Israel)
Freddy Sam (South Africa), pic by Sydelle Willow Smith
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.
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”.
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 & Bushdwellers
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.
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
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.”
Connecting with the community
Best Ever & Selah
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Write On Africa is currently in The Gambia for Wide Open Walls 2011. But, that isn’t the only African country in which they have created inspiration and change. A while ago they were invited to Swaziland by Pact to create a communication strategy to better communicate the work that Pact had been doing in communities.
They were in the country for a week, each day being taken to see a new Pact supported project. They ended off the week with a mural project. You can read more about the whole trip HERE.
Some pictures of the murals being painted:
Artwork by Freddy Sam and Xanele
Andrew Breitenberg a.k.a Selah from Cape Town “draws symbols and texts in the margins of society – be they alleys, townships or street corners – to try and make a contribution toward the dignity of the people living in those places”.
He is currently in The Gambia for Wide Open Walls 2011 but has also painted in Zimbabwe. Here are a couple of pictures of his ‘street art’ in Zimbabwe…
in Chinotimba, by Victoria Falls:
in Borrowdale, Harare:
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:
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.
- 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)
Read more about the 2010 project HERE.
Graffiti art in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Graffiti in Morocco
Today is Africa Day…
We thought we’d share a piece that was painted a few years ago:
Check out our Graffiti Africa Gallery for graffiti and street art in other African countries.
Many well-known international artists have visited the continent:
>> Zéh Palito
>> Zoo Project
More train graffiti in Egypt:
Thanks to Disco Rick.
Cape Town graffiti writers Epik and Raze spent their 2010 Christmas in Lesotho…
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.”
>> VIEW MORE
Train bombing in Cairo, Egypt
Cairo part from Papas Vol. 2 video:
Huslaz whole car:
Reportage on JR in Kibera, Kenya 2009 by A24media
Ductos Graff (Iker & Muro) in Dakar
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.
Read an interview with Eelus, one of the artists and curator of the project, HERE
Check out the video below:
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.
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.
Tetuan Raps 2008
(AS2 SCRO SKEW REINA ANTRAS)
Graffiti in Tanger
Motor in Morocco
Ston graffiti, Morocco
Diabetes awareness with graffiti, Dakar 2009
Alessandro Cocchia (Purp) in Dakar
Graffiti in Dakar
Essen, graffiti artist - representing Umoja – Kenya
Masai Mbili and Solo7 create messages of peace in the ruins of Kibera, Kenya (March 2008)