Category Archives: Features

Métro memories

In Paris they take graffiti seriously. Just walking around the French capital leaves a certain kind of tourist full of admiration albeit for the hardcore damage rather than the usual attraction of towering ironwork. In particular the technique of ‘punitions’ whereby a train panel is covered with repetitions of a tag, rather than a larger piece, fires the imagination. Travelling around the city on the métro and the eye is drawn to another type of tagging in the form of the numerous abrasive marks scratched into the shiny metal doors of the carriage interiors. Hidden in plain sight most passengers must barely notice these colourless tags but a new publication MF.67D: Ligne 12 sets out to document some of those that can be found on the twelfth line of the subterranean transport system. 

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Nationalist muralism in contemporary Poland

Having reviewed Wojciech Wilczyk’s work in the past the Graffiti Review were pleased to catch up and ask the photographer about his newest release Słownik polsko-polski, which translates as the ‘Polish-Polish Dictionary’. This evolved out of his previous book, named after the notorious ‘Holy War’ derby between the two major Kraków football clubs, which documented the graffiti of Polish fans. His latest publication focuses on the nationalist murals that have come to dominate the country’s walls under the PiS government. 

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Track & Field Interview

Track and Field / PE zine

I recently got sent a copy of a magazine called Track & Field. Open mouthed in horror I began to read the introduction; what an earth is a defence of Thatcherism doing in a graff mag I thought to myself?! Well it turns out the short introductory essay on competition actually refers to the sporting rivalry between Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe in the ‘80s. The determination of these two athletes is used as a metaphor for the struggles of a graffiti writer. Sports fans are invited into the pages of a magazine that aims to “bring a voice to culture that shows no sign of taking a defeat just yet.” The ‘voice’ refers to the index of text, in the back pages, that follows the photography.     Continue reading

XARPI Book Interview

XARPI book

I recently got sent an unusual book from Brazil titled XARPI which focuses on the unique tagging culture of Rio de Janeiro. The book’s author, João Marcelo, has produced a brilliant typology of xarpi, the variant of pixação found in his native city. Marcelo is a graphic designer, graduated in Industrial Design in 1998 at the Faculdade da Cidade, who has spent the last eight years dedicated to documenting every corner of Rio where xarpi could be found. As this style of graff is little known on this side of the globe I decided to ask him a bit more about how his project developed, what exactly xarpi is, and how the book came about: Continue reading

Is 52 weeks enough? Unsettling archaeology with graffiti recording

 

This is a guest post by Dr Alex Hale. Alex is an archaeologist, who works in Scotland. He considers archaeology to be a creative practice that should be far more accessible and part of a democratic process that enables people to understand themselves, each other and our space-time journeys together. Continue reading

Same Old Shit at the Barbican?

Sometime in the late 2000’s I found myself sitting in a police interview room opposite a pair of excited coppers. After a few minutes of pointless questions they gleefully put their theory to me: “we believe you were intending to travel up to central London to vandalise the Tate Modern!” This accusation left me slightly flabbergasted: aside from being completely daft, all they’d found on me was a Tipp-Ex, I felt insulted. Fuck the Tate!

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Adam Void Interview

Adam Void

Nirvana Rules is the latest of offering from among the many zines Adam Void has made. The title gives a clue to the content within which focuses on the ‘Nirvana Rules’ tag he first noticed on the streets of Baltimore. The graffiti is unconventional, both in its form and style, yet being well-executed and repeated often this clearly isn’t just a series of spontaneous tributes left by random Nirvana fans. Continue reading