Radom Now (and then)

Radom Teraz is a newly published magazine about graffiti culture in the central European city after which it’s named. Taking ‘Radom now’ as its focus the publication showcases images of graffiti taken in the city from around 2019 to 2021. Basically, every aspect of graffiti writing in Radom is covered here from trains to legal walls and street tags to sketches. There’s a series of particularly nice then-and-now photographs of typical Polish housing blocks showing the ageing of fresh chrome into faded white ghosts, or, in other cases, their complete obliteration by the new beige range of colours painted on the buildings’ façades. The images of graffiti are presented in a variety of formats so there’s a spread of full-colour legal walls on one page, followed by some atmospheric black and white yard photos on the next, then on another a selection of cut-and-paste style street scenes. Not all the images are strictly from Radom but, as explained in the publication’s intro, the city’s graffiti writers always carry the spirit of Radom with them. 

…the city’s graffiti writers always carry the spirit of Radom with them. 

Aside from the photographic content Radom Teraz has several texts beginning with a potted history of graffiti in the city. Made up of three separate essays, two of which are reproduced from elsewhere, the course of graffiti in Radom is charted from its beginnings up to the present day. An article originally written at the start of the century outlines the foundation of graffiti in Radom to the mid-90s, its increasing momentum to the end of the decade, and the development of a train writing scene despite the city’s lack of a train yard. The following decade is covered by Potiks who writes about changes within the local scene, and the fabric of the city itself. By 2011 the derelict post-industrial architecture was fast disappearing with new shopping centres springing up in its place. However, it is approvingly noted that the gentrification of Radom hadn’t brought street art with it and the tradition of letter writing remained dominant. Bringing it up to the current decade Radom Teraz’s editor paints an optimistic picture of contemporary graffiti in the city.

Although it is ostensibly about Radom in the here and now, history is ever-present on the pages of the magazine. In another contribution, Potiks provides a digital restoration of a piece painted at the end of the last century, although the process seems to be more of a philosophical exercise to question the intersection of graffiti, experience, and the virtual world in the present day. Later on, another spread of then/now images shows the free walls that sprang up in the city centre at the close of the nineties, this time another local, Skem, explains the historical context of how and why these spots came about. Elsewhere there are a number of other texts including three story sections. These are particularly nice additions to the publication adding some adrenaline and unexpected plot twists. Overall, Radom Teraz is a great new magazine with some original content, and nice production. Published by New Utopia Press they plan to have more publications out in the future, so keep your eyes peeled!

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