Afri Cans Festival took place at the tail end of last year in Uganda. Albeit small, the event was one of the first in Uganda. Great to see Sparrow pushing the art form in his country…
New Graffiti SA banner by
Almost two thirds of our way through calendar year 2017, here are some updates from the streets to the screens…
Give us a follow on for more frequent uploads of the South African graffiti and street art community.
Mr Ekse’s ‘JoVendorsBurg’ mural. Johannesburg, 2017. Photo: Cale Waddacor
For the 2017 edition of the Johannesburg Homemakers Expo, to organise a live graffiti feature. Over 4-days, three graffiti artists created a masterpiece based around the theme “I Love Jozi”…
For the third instalment of the Westdene Graffiti Project - a suburban make-over - we recap all the new walls painted in 2016, from January to June…
In light of her latest solstice release, , we look back on ‘s murals from 2016 thus far. The latest body of work is titled …
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”…
More tribute pieces have gone up since - #RIP4givn…
The next edition of urban art festival, , is about to unfold in Morocco. We thought it best to with its vibrant street murals and extensive exhibition at the Rabat Museum of Contemporary Art…
The Westdene Graffiti Project has been growing weekly, with around 40 walls painted in 2015. The overall aim of the project is to highlight the talented work of graffiti writers, while brightening up the neighbourhood and taking away any negative connotation surrounding the art form…
First week of the year and artists are already exerting force on the spray can nozzle…
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
French stencil artist, , 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)…
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…
Following in , Red Bull brought the event to Langa township in Cape Town in October/November this year…
Illustrator and designer, , recently hit the streets of Cape Town to share . Take a look…
French graffiti artist, , just wrapped up his solo show, , from his art residency at Jardin Rouge, Morocco…
South African artist, , recently completed a new installation piece near Maboneng in Downtown Johannesburg. Titled , the piece is made up of road signs much like his other work …
The 2015 City of Gold Urban Art Festival is done and dusted, and was one of the best yet! Big ups to Rasty & company, and all the sponsors, for pulling off a great graffiti event and putting South Africa on the world map once again…
Journalist and photographer, Robyn Perros, joined renowned Durban street artist on a trip to Malawi over the Lake of Stars Music and Art Festival. Malawi has very little mural art which led to very interesting circumstances…
South African artist and director Dane Dodds have released “Landfill Meditation”, a collaborative video inspired by her street paste series of broken down cars…
is proud to be hosting THE REASON WHY: An Urban Art exhibition and the second group show of the , following their exhibition at the Ism-Skism Gallery in Clarens in 2014…
The has been taking place at since June 15th, and will end on July 31st. Be sure to check it out by apointment only. include Ceet (Morocco/France/China), GoddoG (France), Kashink (France) and MadC (Germany)…
The with Prefix & Aegiz with a bigger show as Dfeat and BobD join the line-up of talented graffiti artists displaying new work…
The opened on Friday 22 May in Johannesburg. I was very excited to attend as I have known most of the artists and their work for many years, plus it is always interesting when street art enters the gallery space…
Falko has recently partnered with Red Bull to take his Once Upon A Town project further …
Graffiti artists decorate the pillars under the M2 highway in Newtown, Johannesburg every year.
The crew efforts are judged in a competition as part of the Back To The City Hip Hop Festival.
This year, NVS crew were crowned winners. Photos of the freshly painted pieces below…
recently participated in ‘s artist residency programme at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, near Marrakesh, Morocco…
Over a month ago, to date - Pastelheart.
In the weeks that followed, many artists, friends and fans dedicated their time and talent creating artworks that…
The 2nd annual Langa Graffiti and Street Art Competition took place last weekend after being postponed due to a shortage of entries. View all the artworks that were created…
As starts today in Dakar, we thought we’d share past highlights of the graffiti festival…
Recap of Augustine Kofie’s , OFF/GRID, in Morocco…
UPDATE: Event postponed to 17th - 19th April 2015
As part of the , Langa Quarter will host …
(USA) Solo Exhibition - “OFF/GRID”
Recent works on canvas and wood created in both the US and during studio residency in the Kasbah, Marrakech + on sight installations and mural interventions…
Creating a Living Art Gallery in the Alaska Informal Settlement, Mamelodi East, near Pretoria. Calling all artists and crews to join for us a great day of writing, painting, music, dance and workshops in the best township vibe you will ever find!
Saturday 28 March
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
, Moshumi Street 36336, Alaska Informal Settlement, Mamelodi East…
Shut up and look at this brand new wood-cut piece by Cape Town-based artist, …
The notorious from France has recently placed his mosaic street art works around Tanzania. This time around he even collaborated with a.k.a Alexandre Farto (Portugal)…
The of the launch took place at Kalashnikovv Gallery in Braamfontein .
The book launch featured a group exhibition with work by DekorOne, Riot, Veronika, Page33, Zesta, Ryza, Kevin Love, Ben Eagle, Myza420, Tapz, Nuke and Devo. The window mural was painted by FiyaOne & Rekso…
was on show at The EYE in Cape Town for two weeks over December, then the show was extended until the first week of February 2015. Check out the featured works in this solo exhibition…
Recent works throughout the Eastern Cape region, and by some holiday-making graffiti artists…
The Trackside Creative graffiti jam took place near Phefeni Station in Orlando West, January 2015…
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
Ricky Lee Gordon a.k.a recently painted entitled “A Faded Memory of an Island” in Antananarivo, Madagascar…
Last Saturday, 20 December, hosted a graffiti jam surrounding an event at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani…
A brief recap of happenings that we didn’t cover throughout 2014, the year that was…
- Word On The 5treet Wheatpastes
- Primal Herd Exhibition
- Art & Artists Book
- Cape Town Art Street
- Freddy Sam x RVCA
- The Gloks Fanzine
- Inventory Exhibition
- Jebo in Frankfurt - MTN Video
- Nando’s Accidental Art Project
- City of Gold Sneaker Collab
- Night of 1000 Drawings CPT
- Redbull Doodle Art
- BewareOfColour Urban Art Project
- Tokolos Collective
- CORE Collective in UAE
- Falko One in Prince Albert, Karoo
- Friends Zine
- RIOT exhibition II
- Mandela Day in KwaMashu
- Fridge Art
- 30 Days & A City: Public Exhibit
Parisian-born street and fine artist, Guillaume Alby a.k.a , presents his second solo show, ESSENCE, at David Bloch Gallery in Marrakech, Morocco…
South African tattoo and graffiti artist BobD managed to paint a few walls whilst he was in West Africa recently. Check out what he left behind in Ghana and Sierra Leone…
The took place at The Bakery in Umbilo on the 12th of December. Tym Zone Studio was there to capture the festivities…
Sneak peak inside the book after the jump…
Photographs from Kevin Love’s “Everything I Do” exhibition, with friends Rasty, Veronika, Rekso and Jestr…
Round-up of graffiti and street art images from across South Africa…
Round-up of graffiti and street art images from across South Africa…
A traditional graffiti piece created as a mosaic by multi-skilled artist in Senegal…
Multidisciplinary Spanish collective, , headed across the Mediterranean to paint a collaborative mural in Algiers, Algeria in July 2012…
Popularly known for its art scene, the small, tourist town of Clarens in the Free State has recently born witness to a new creative wonder – so-called urban art.
As with many galleries – seemingly elitist and inaccessible - most of the local community does not get to experience the beauty and fascination of art. However, recently, this practice has been targeted by a new artist residency that aims to break down these barriers…
is a blog and platform that promotes art and urban cultures around Tunisia and North African, as well as the rest of the world. They have covered and been involved in various and events.
More pictures from the amazing Djerbahood mural project in Tunisia…
During the week of October 6th, the Football Foundation of South Africa implemented the FFSA Creative Workshop & Art Mural Project in collaboration with international artist and photographer, . This week-long community art project took place at the Bet-El Mission Church in the township of Blompark, where Jared utilized his…
The world’s largest wheatpaste has been recorded in South Africa this week. The public art installation, which features the image of a broken AK-47 rifle wrapped in world currencies, was completed by and his team. The work is situated on The Grand Parade in Cape Town, and is over 100 meters in size.
Spanish artist, Aryz, was recently invited to Casablanca, Morocco where he painted a large diptich in his signature style…
Cape Town artist, Nardstar, has dropped her second batch of original, hand-painted cat badges…
Woes97 and Mücke32 (Germany) in Addis Ababa, 2014…
Incredible new tiger and leopard murals by British-born artist, .
Throughout this week, various 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…
New artwork by street art legend, OBEY, brightens up the Braamfontein skyline…
Shepard Fairey, a.k.a OBEY Giant, was in Johannesburg this past weekend to promote his collaboration with Hennessy Cognac. Two exclusive events took place on Saturday - the bottle signing/meet-and-greet at Anti Est. in Braamfontein, and the launch party at Arts on Main that featured Shepard’s very own DJ set.
For the second installment of our new feature, Then & Now , we showcase the growth of one of SA’s most notorious writers, ever - Mr Tapz!
One of the first ‘Tapz’ pieces, dated April 2003:
Over a decade later, 2014:
Large and in charge - an older Tapz piece from 2006:
Mastering the original style in 2014:
Great documentation of their trip to paint Festa2H in Dakar, Senegal. The video really gives you proper insight of the local graffiti scene in West Africa…
French graffiti artist, Hopare, paints a stunning new mural in Casablanca…
Writers pride themselves in developing their style to paint better pieces, often taking years to learn new skills and perfect the craft.
This development is sometimes overlooked and the true adroitness of the writer is not taken into account, especially to those with little knowledge of the spray paint medium.
In this new series, Then & Now, we take a look at the growth of some of SA’s most innovative graffiti writers.
We all start somewhere, don’t we?
First ‘Bias’ piece, 2007:
Bias piece, 2008:
Seven years later, 2014:
Honed skills, 2014:
Robin Williams tribute:
Bright, colourful murals in Zimbabwe by Amsterdamage…
Durban has been a hive of activity recently with many mural and painting projects. From the Faith47 pillars in Warwick Triangle, to the Morrison Street murals and the Mandela Day project in the KwaMashu township.
Now; The Box Project -
Electricity boxes throughout the CBD were transformed as part of , also in collaboration with Street Scene.
Photos: Jono Hornby
The names of the artists and the locations of the boxes are listed below:
- Box 7955 (Joe Kools) - Shaun Oakley
- Box 6772 (Pavillion Terrace) - Kev Ngwenya
- Box 25759 (Bike and Bean) - Dane Knudsen
- Box 11285 (Station Drive) - Daniel Nel
- Box 6339 (Autozone/Morrison Road) - Joshua Harman
- Box 24100 (Cool Runnings / Hunter Road) - Mookie Chapman
- Box 18699 (Corner Old Military Base/ Suncoast) - Tasheera Jai Jai
- Box 7996 (Budget/Bram Fischer Road) - Jonathan Blaine
- Box 25747 (Ushaka Free Parking) - Ewok
- Box 2744 (Standard Bank Building/ Kingsmead Way) - Tyran Roy
The project is the brainchild of Jonas Barausse of Street Scene and Gabriella Peppas from Ilifindo, who are working in collaboration with the eThekweni Municipality. The second and third stage of the project aims to move from Durban CDB into suburbia and surrounding townships. Barausse and Peppas aim to take this project into the private sector after the completion of phase three. With their “Adopt a Box” project, businesses will be able to sponsor the transformation of unsightly electrical boxes near them into public works of art, giving them the opportunity to play a role in beautifying their surroundings.
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…
Comoros graffiti on the island Ngazidja by Socrome…
Jo’burg graffiti artist, , has been pushing himself to the next level as he frequently takes to the streets to paint his name and consistently pushes his letter studies. He received some well-deserved shine in the latest issue of Canadian arts and culture magazine, .
Check out the link or over .
Interesting street-art works by …
have been added to the Kliptown landscape this month. Below of some of these new pieces.
Rasty & Falko
Rasty & Falko
Drake & Tower
Tower & Riot
Trips & Riot
Lady Aiko (USA) works from 2013, with Mein
Kasi & Falko
Photos: © Cale Waddacor
Street artist, Veronika, has been getting busy outside of SA with and now São Paulo. Here’s what has gone down in Brazil’s graffiti capital thus far:
Images via Facebook
Excited to see what else comes from this trip, especially if there’s going to be a video.
Marto (France) in Burkina Faso:
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.
is currently in Isiolo, Kenya teaching painting and street art. He’s working on a project for , 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 .
Demolition Squad are one of the most elite graffiti crews. Tapz, Tyke, Mars, Fiya and Aybe (in the UK) continue to develop their individual styles while dominating the streets of South Africa.
They recently recorded their first ever video interview:
Their blog slogan; ‘Demonstrating Style In All Disciplines’ is only too true…
>> Pictures via :
UK graffiti artist, , recently . He added new work to the villages around Makasutu where was held.
His new ‘GIF-ITI’ is amazing… “Hand painted animated street art!”
Eko moved to Maputo, Mozambique from Portugal in the beginning of 2012. He has painted many pieces, as well as comic-style characters.
New walls painted in Jo’burg throughout January 2014:
(Click ‘next’ in the top right corner to navigate through the gallery)
Pieces, left to right:
Rasty & Myza, Tapz & Tyke, Anser & Riot, Trips, Dekor & Tower, Bias, Tyke, Eron & Jers & Gasr, Tapz & Tyke & Spent (Angola), Mars, Fiya.
Freddy Sam’s Nelson Mandela tribute mural was also completed last month:
One of South Africa’s most interesting young artists is . Last year he won the graffiti title in the countrywide ‘Sprite Uncontainable’ hip hop competition.
Together with The Fader, Sprite have been working on a documenting South Africa’s street culture. Read an interview with Pastel Heart and watch the video below.
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 .
A Forgotten Hall of Fame…
Since I watched an of a graffiti-smothered street in Durban, I’ve always wanted to view it in real life. Almost five years since the video was posted by , I finally got a chance to take some flicks. This hall of fame in Wentworth has unfortunately been neglected for some time, with the latest pieces seemingly going up around the same time of the original video in 2009.
(Click ‘next’ in the top right corner to navigate through the gallery)
Including work by the following writers:
Pace, Gift, Yeta, 2kil, Plastik, Cade, Tax, Somz, Tapz, Mars, Wos1, React, Agen, Sykad, Cena4, Fiya, Son1, Mym, Taik, Faker, Skape, Eron, Lazer, OptOne, 4givn, Tera, Poet, Emba, Crave.
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.
Last Sunday, at upper Searle Street Park, a tribute jam was held in memory of Cape Town writer . Many showed up and writers painted pieces to pay their respects.
(Click ‘next’ in the top right corner to navigate through the gallery)
Boss, Ight, Laser, (Unknown), Boeta, Cade, Motel7, Smet, Spot, Nard, Mace, Conform, Cale, Wealz130 & Tag4 & Mad2, Dino & Senor, Boda, Ish, Pastelheart, Rack Star, DrOne, Shade, Khosa, Cros, Kem, Fers, Lamb, Acre, Lie & Odd1, Logikill Paradox, Dfeat once, Love, Rekt, Krem, Sure, Toe, Ekse, Losr, Nest, Ariel23 & Prefix66, Caso & Migo, Stok, Rusk, Blak, Sykoner.
+ More Ekons tribute pieces painted in the park prior to the jam:
Boss, Shade, Disk, Jmal, Pase, Sure, Falko, Khosa, Idiots Crew.
Other writers in Durban and Johannesburg also attributed to the memory of this great artist.
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):
Kid Kreol & Boogie:
(Unknown Artist) - we can’t find the email in which we received this pic…
Rabie & Meknes
Freddy Sam (Photo by Megan King)
Send us photos of your art work in Africa -
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 – . 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
The Eastern Cape region of South Africa is not populated with many graffiti murals. Recently, however, there has been a slight growth of street art in and around the two main cities; Port Elizabeth and East London…
Dr. Dosile (Australia):
Photo by Bake
Photo by Bief 37
Photo by Bief 37
Photo by Boda
Photo by Boda
Photo by Boda
Bake & Joke:
Joke & Na:
Photo by Joff
Photo by Joff
More pieces by Dr. Dosile, Bake and Nme:
(Click ‘next’ in the top right corner to navigate through the gallery)
All photos by Jono, except where noted.
Share your images with us for more features.
These 2011 works are a lot more ‘street-arty’…
Exclusive pics from in Madagascar. This recent event was hosted by Jace, who 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:
Jace (Reunion Island):
Thanks to Seth for sharing his pictures with us!
“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
Some works featured at Rayaan Cassiem’s recent exhibition, , at the Black Box Gallery in Cape Town:
Photos by Roxanne Davids and Chris.
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 & .
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 , a graffiti artist from Reunion Island, known for his character ‘Gouzou’.
More info on their
spent some time in Maseru, capital of Lesotho. This was part of his ‘spray-cation’ around South Africa last year.
The South African born and New York (USA) based artist A.Dub recently (17 March 2013) finished his first two painted murals ever. He selected Cape Town as the location of these works.
from on .
The first one is in Pepper St in the Bo-Kaap and the second one in the court yard of Side Street Studios (48 Albert Road, Woodstock). Before this he made a small number of wheat pastes in New York.
Photographs by Klaus Warschkow
Some new graffiti and street art works:
Faith47 - The Silence Before, Pow Wow Festival, Hawaii
QK full colour wholecar, Cape Town
Pic: Braden Smulders, via Twitter
Falko, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town
As part of
Remed, Cape Town
He’ll be doing a talk tonight
Send us your images -
Lazer and Nest from painted in and around Kenya, 2012/2013:
>> More here:
Pictures of the main walls painted at …
An , which features all the artists that participated, is currently being held at AREA3, 20 Kruger Street in the Maboneng Precinct. It will run for two months before it moves to Cape Town in 2013.
Graffiti in the former Trebelsi family house in La Marsa, Tunisia:
Photos by Bouthayna Bekri
Thanks to Nana Spio-Garbrah
Images via (feat. Wachata Crew)…
British artist has painted a large mural of Ruth First in Nomzamo Park informal settlement in Orlando East, Soweto. Starting on National Heritage day (24 September), the 12 foot tall painting was completed in five days using ink and brush and spray paint.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Ruth First by a letter bomb in Mozambique. The spot where the painting is located is only a few kilometers from Kliptown where in 1955 the Freedom Charter was adopted by the Congress of the People. This became the central document outlining a vision of an egalitarian and apartheid-free South Africa. Ruth First was in the drafting committee of the charter but could not attend because of her banning orders.
Commenting on the subject of his painting, Ben Slow said:
“I am very interested in people who deserve to be immortalised and who have a direct link to where they are painted.”
“It has been an incredible experience for me. The people here have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. Life must be difficult here. There are shacks in Nomzamo Park without basic amenities. No electricity. No running water.”
Gillian Slovo, novellist and playwright and Ruth First’s daughter, when asked for her comment about the painting replied:
“How wonderful that this painting of Ruth, based on a photo which was her mother’s favourite, should be there amongst a community she cared so deeply about.”
Beauty Mlakalaka, the owner of the small house on which the painting appears, said “I think it is beautiful. Also people must know who this person was and what she did.”
Ruth First was a journalist, academic and a gifted and dedicated political activist. She authored several books including “117 days,” the account of her imprisonment under apartheid’s 90 day law, and “The Barrel of a Gun,” her book about coups in Africa. She also edited a number of books, including Nelson Mandela’s “No Easy Walk to Freedom.” She was married to Joe Slovo who became the Housing Minister in Mandela’s government.
On 17 August 1982, Ruth First was murdered by order of Craig Williamson, a major in the South African Police, when she opened a letter bomb made by Jerry Raven and sent to her university. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee granted amnesty to both Williamson and Raven.
This painting will form part of a film documentary on the anti-apartheid struggle currently being produced by , a London based documentary production unit.
All images and text by Six Oranges (c), with thanks.
mural in Windhoek, June 2012
>> More pics
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.
Okuda visited neighbouring Mozambique while he was in South Africa for the .
He placed his ‘signals’ in Katembe and Inhaca.
As mentioned in a previous post, Once Upon A Town is the new “splitpiece” graffiti project by Cape Town’s . This time he brought along and the two have aimed to paint 40 murals in ten days to create ten splitpieces!
Although it has been raining quite a bit in the town of Pella in the Western Cape, the two should be finished off very soon. We can’t wait to see the completed splitpieces because the murals are looking hella tight on their own…
Images via .
Check out a time lapse from Day 1:
View more pics from the project and .
This is ‘s first time in Africa, although he did have 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.
Just received some pics from Prefix of his first solo exhibition, , that took place earlier this year:
Photographs by .
, a street artist who travels the world, recently painted a large sociopolitical mural in Johannesburg’s diamond district - a base for around 300 diamond traders. Known for his large-scale wordplay pieces, and his trademark ‘arrows’ (of course), he approached the owners of the wall with the intent to paint “Diamonds are a woman’s best friend” in big letters. The owners of the wall swiftly agreed and left him alone to paint.
Above then added “and a man’s worst enemy” as a surprise for Jewel City, one of the biggest diamond exporters in the world with over R7-Billion worth of diamonds being exported every year. This daring move has been seen as “unfair” by the property owners but the main intention was to create awareness of in Africa, where more than two-thirds of the worlds diamonds are extracted.
Read more about this and .
Also, check out what Above painted in Cape Town .
is an interactive street art project that has been done in other parts of the world and is now in South Africa. The project is a study of peoples aspirations and was as the basis for her graduate thesis. The words “Before I die I want to _” are stenciled onto the wall and chalk is left at the site for passer-by’s to write with.
Graffiti art by Rasty and Clark.
The project will be up until April 21st as part of the and is located at the corner of Kruger Street and Fox Street in the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg. Follow the project on Facebook .
Spanish artist is in South Africa and just finished his latest art work last night in Woodstock, Cape Town.
The mural was painted on a building that is now the home of , a new space in the ever growing art district of Woodstock that will host 30 up and coming young artists mainly from the street art community.
Okuda will be in Johannesburg for the that opens tomorrow. Last year he was also in Africa and .
Street art on VW Beetles in Cape Town by visiting German artists:
Street Art VW Beetle by Miguel Lomott (Germany)
Street Art VW Beetle by Miguel Lomott (Germany)
Street Art VW Beetle by Miguel Lomott (Germany) and Mymo (Germany)
Street Art VW Beetle by Miguel Lomott (Germany) and Mymo (Germany)
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 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Below are some works he did in Mali in 2011:
have been one of the most productive crews of late. Forming in 2009, the crew has been painting some very nice productions which is really upping the bar with graffiti and urban art in South Africa.
They recently started a blog and shared the link with us. Below are a few of the walls that they have done:
Siren Crew holding it down in Botswana:
The 2012 edition of the presented by Grayscale kicks off tomorrow (8 March) at their store and gallery in Johannesburg.
Below are some favourites from last years battle:
>> Click through the gallery below to see all the sketches from O.S.B 2011:
All sketches were drawn on a piece of overhead transparency using an over a one-hour period. Only black markers were allowed and an audience watched the entire process as it was projected onto the wall.
South African graffiti artist Aybe (DS crew) just sent us new pics of his work in Coppenhagen, and Malmo, . He also met up and painted with Durban’s Mym.
Really cool pieces by Spanish artist in in 2009:
^ You can watch a video of the piece above being painted .
All pics via
Highly respected Danish graffiti artist began writing in the late 90s and has developed a well-constructed ‘wildstyle’. In a recent visit to South Africa he painted many pieces in both Johannesburg and Cape Town with some of the local writers.
via Soten’s blog @
Born in China in 1984, is becoming a prominent figure among the new wave of graffiti art. He studied sculpture at the Institute of Fine Arts and began doing street art in 2004. In 2011 he relocated to Cape Town, marrying South Africa’s first lady of graffiti, . We have been following his work since and are blown away by his unique style and the fine detail in his artworks.
Commonly depicting animals in a wire-like style, DAL’s work is complex but simple, beautiful and always intriguing. Using different mediums and spaces to create his works, he is inspired by the material world around him, life’s emotions that are part of it, as well as the spiritual world and infinite space that surrounds us.
Some of his works are currently on exhibit in New York as part of ‘s . This group show features other street artists from around the world that have also been pushing boundaries and developing new techniques. A term has yet to come to describe these revolutionaries as street art has been referred to as post-graffiti on past occasions. Whenever the relevant term comes about, it is sure to be a new bookmark in the history of art.
With his bright, colourful and highly detailed stencils, Christian Guémy a.k.a , 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!
Check out all the in Africa, by city:
is the new name of the collective responsible for , a wheat-paste project in Dakar, Senegal.
Since 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.
Spanish graffiti artist painted in the for a festival called in 2011. Here are some of the pieces that were painted:
February 8th, 2012
Renowned Brazilian artist, , recently visited the sunny shores of South Africa. He is one of São Paulo’s original old-school writers who played an important role in growing the now thriving Brazilian graffiti scene.
Below is a wall that he painted with :
He also linked up with :
And he got into with authorities at Muizenberg beach with this commission:
It’s so nice to have talented artists like this visiting our country and promoting the use of graffiti art for urban beautification and visual stimulation.
February 4th, 2012
It has been a whole year since the 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 of some Cairo street art:
Graffiti by Skarz in Madagascar…
Pics courtesy of
The small crew of Chaoze One, Rebelz, Michael Fritz, Lutz Zaumseil and filmmaker Julia Dragon were recently involved with in the East African country of Uganda. They are from , 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:
from on .
, a symbolic figure and the face of the revolution in Egypt, was recently awarded the ‘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 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 from the famous photo realist graffiti crew, . 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 (courtesy of ).
The infamous have painted …
Below are pics from the , “A Load Off”. The event took place over the weekend at the premises at 180 Sydney Road, Durban.
The winner was Jason “ Jase” van Zyl, receiving the R10 000 cash prize at a F.A.T.S Cheese and Wine function last night. The artist also painted the F.A.T.S company logo on the outside of their building.
As , 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
Amidst the few revolutionaries that are trying to make any real impact in today’s society, one artist consistently brings a kind of positive reinforcement and commentary to the walls of cities around the globe. This artist is BLU, an Italian street artist that paints huge roller pieces reflecting various themes and ideas, sometimes focusing on topical but always relevant subjects.
We’ll let his amazing work speak for itself…
“BIG BANG BIG BOOM” - the new wall-painted animation by BLU
from on .
We are very excited that BLU will be displaying art works in Cape Town for “Outside”, a contemporary urban art group exhibition featuring internationally acclaimed street artists.
For more information on this exciting exhibition, click
>> Feeling BLU? Go here:
Aybe recently painted in Rome. Check out more pics
Danish artist Asbjørn Skou a.k.a 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.
Shot B & Spank One in Maputo, Mozambique…
The first wall in the country done with
Read the article on the Montana World blog
Photos: Dilayla Romeo.
Some graffiti in Uganda…
Some pics to get you excited for the upcoming street art exhibition, Paste. The project is taking place in Cape Town and begins this Friday in Khayelitsha township and in the city center on Monday and Tuesday…
Contact curator Shani Judes for further info and also if you’d like to be a part of the project -
A body art and chalk drawing competition took place at Durban’s uShaka Marine World on Saturday August 27. The event was hosted by Ewok and had an under water theme. Eight artists from around the country competed in a chalk board competition and twelve artists in the body painting competition. There was a guest chalk street artist from Florida, USA who demonstrated his art to the masses.
Durban artist Pastel Heart took first place in the chalk art competition…
>> AND HERE
Monk and Crio, UND/BA (Germany)
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2010
Makweni, Sierra Leone, 2010
All images from , used under the
Shelflife store launched it’s first worldwide release sneaker collaboration project with Puma. In classic Shelflife style this special occasion was celebrated with a very memorable party event. VIPs, celebrities, friends & family were all in attendance along with local graffiti artists, sneaker heads & facebook photo competition winners. It was history in the making with plenty of party entertainment including a killer line up of Dj’s, an art exhibition, live graffiti bombing, live “shriiimping” art & even the opportunity for guests to shop in store and make their own mark on a full 3D model train!
More pics of the sneakers
Images and text courtesy of Dr Zulu Green
in Mombasa, Kenya (2006)…
More cool GIFs…
August 4th, 2011
This emigrant is really killing it in New Zealand these days…
>> Check out other South Africans overseas
Thanks to Editor for sharing the pics with us.
Spanish artist in Tanger, Morocco (2009)
Click on a thumbnail to view larger image…
All pics courtesy of Laguna
is a project conceived by 2011 TED winner . The project just hit the streets of Cape Town…
>> More info on the Cape Town activation
is back in the US - painting murals, exhibiting works and doing some sight-seeing.
He has already painted great stuff with international artists in New York and Rochester, and is currently in Portland. He is taking part in which takes place next month in Atlanta.
Mak1one, and are also stateside and they too have been painting.
Check out some of the new works that Freddy Sam has done:
Freddy Sam collaboration with Jaz (Argentina), Two One (Australia) and David Shillinglaw (UK)
All pics courtesy of Freddy Sam, with thanks
The 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
We featured Spanish graffiti artist . While there he also got round to some sticker bombing which he showcases on a separate blog…
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:
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 . 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 and for more information or images contact Ricky Lee Gordon (curator) directly at
Please also visit and support the 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.
Pics from ‘s visit to Sierra Leone in February 2008.
JR’s other African ventures:
Pics from ‘s visit to Monrovia, Liberia in February 2008.
JR’s other African ventures:
Write On Africa is currently in The Gambia for . 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 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 .
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 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:
Sydney Road in Durban is a popular place for the local graffiti scene. The walls have seen a few graffiti jams over the past few months. Here are some pics from the which took place over the weekend. Writers were asked to put up another name other than their actual graffiti name.
And below are pics from the 100 Plus jam which took place earlier this year:
Click NEXT to cycle through the images…
Thanks to Kirsty @ Step Up for the images.
One of SA’s best, Rasty, was in London recently. He hit up a few spots with SoloOne…
Recently painted graffiti pieces in Durban, South Africa:
The streets are alive with ‘s Street Detective in Zonnebloem, Cape Town.
The Overhead Sketch Battles came to an end last week Thursday. The final was the closest battle yet as it came down to the very last vote. Here are some pics to roundup the whole event:
( pic below by Rasty)
Rekzo vs. Ben:
Mr Alpha vs. Breeze:
3rd & 4th Place
Rekzo vs. Mr Alpha:
Ben vs. Breeze:
Congratulations to Breeze who won the first Overhead Sketch Battle.
All pictures courtesy of
We finally received some pics from the graffiti battle which took place at last weekends My Culture Resurrection Jam…
Muro (1st Place):
Kanz (2nd Place):
What (3rd Place):
More train graffiti in Egypt:
Thanks to Disco Rick.
Montana Writer Team member Smash137 from Germany was in South Africa earlier this year. The internationally renowned artist was in Johannesburg for the City of Gold Urban Arts Festival.
Here are pics of what he painted during his stay:
Cape Town graffiti writers Epik and Raze spent their 2010 Christmas in Lesotho…
Recently painted graffiti pieces in Johannesburg, South Africa:
Rekzo, Rasty, Myza
The first rounds of Grayscale’s Overhead Sketch Battles took place on the 5th and 12th of May 2011. Check out the pics of the artists at work:
All pics courtesy of Rasty.
The onlookers were asked to vote for a winner of each battle and the winners progressed to the next round.
The semi-finals take place this Thursday, May 19:
- Rekzo vs. Ben
- Mr. Alpha vs. Breeze
South African artists are painting all over the world and we just love seeing what they are getting up to. Check out some of the pics in our
Bryite1one - Dublin, 2011
Bryite1one - Dublin
East, Aybe - London
Aybe - London
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 for even more pictures of his first African adventure.
“Anyone can’t do everything, But everyone can do something.”
Faith47 and DALeast were on Reunion Island in April for the Forum On Urban Culture 2011.
Spanish graffiti artist Sex (a.k.a. El Nino) was in Joburg last week. Check out the pics of what he painted - crazy, cool stuff!
Below are new photographs of the murals in Woodstock, Cape Town. Some were for the and some by international artists as part of the .
Artists that feature are:
- Dathini Mzayiya
All photos courtesy of
of in The Netherlands has very recently painted in Kumasi, Ghana.
The annual Back To The City Festival took place a few days ago. Here are some pics of the graffiti pieces that were painted: