Tag Archives: German

The Root of All Evil

AuriSacraFamesOnly a blind man could be in Berlin and fail to notice the graff and even then he’d probably find himself clattering into piles of empty spray tins as he traversed his way across the city. My point is that graffiti is as much a part of modern Berlin life as currywurst is. Now it may be possible to find a publication based around the local wurst scene but more interestingly for me there is a magazine that represents Berlin’s graffiti. Auri Sacra Fames is a mag that comes highly recommended although until now I’ve not had the pleasure. Continue reading

Hessian nights

Writing Hessisch

Writing Hessisch is the first in a planned series of magazines that focuses on graffiti in the Hesse region of Germany. A quick look on wikipedia shows that Hesse has a distinct cultural identity and it obviously deserves to have its own distinct graffiti magazine as well. I like this idea of magazines that focus on a specific scene or idea as it allows a greater insight and helps give the magazine a clear character. As all the text in the magazine is written in German, and my German is very poor, I only managed a basic translation of the introduction but here goes: The magazine is released after thirty years of graffiti in Hesse. They don’t want to produce a glossy advert filled mag but aim for an honest representation of the ideas, history and stories behind the graffiti of Rhine-Main.

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Compulsive graffiti

I recently got a copy of the German magazine Zugzwang Zeitung. Looking the phrase ‘zugzwang’ up, the title translates as something like ‘the compulsion to move newspaper’. As the name suggests the main topic of the magazine is train graffiti from within Germany but also elsewhere in Europe, and some bits-and-bobs from Australia and the US. There are also a couple of interviews and a few walls chucked in for good measure.

The magazine is introduced with “a literary backjump” – a kind of ode to graffiti and graffers. After that the magazine kicks off with short photo reports of steel from various towns in Germany alongside a few smooth looking trains by Clik and a sort of Dulux colour chart of graffiti by Kid Rue. Then there is the first text which is a slightly left-field ‘style advice’ interview with Yoga. Again this is followed by a series of trains, a few yard shots and some action shots from all over Europe and Germany. Towards the centre of the magazine there are the obituaries of two writers Slam and Fawts.

Zugzwang Zeitung Nuremberg

The content then changes slightly to focus on worldwide trains, a few freights and some street shots from all-over. The final text is a few paragraphs of graffiti reminiscence and experience written by a member of Radicals crew. The interview is followed by a load more trains mostly from Germany and finally a nice double-page spread of pieces by the EQT crew.

Whenever I’ve picked up a German graff mag they’ve always been of a high standard with top-notch graffiti and Zugzwang Zeitung is no different. It’s well produced with a range of good quality photos while the text is a bit unconventional which is interesting to read. The magazine squeezes in a lot of content over 72 pages yet keeps the images at a nice size so I didn’t feel like I needed a magnifying glass. Although there’s so much I liked, the simple chrome DFV on page 47, the ‘crack-house-blues’ piece from Cologne on 24, and the bubblegum train on page 33 were some of my favourites.

I couldn’t actually find the Ⓐ in this magazine…

The graffiti intellectual

Wir stehen bereit presents the actions of Zelle Asphaltkultur an unconventional ‘cell’ of graffiti writers. The work of the group is somewhere between graffiti and hardcore street art that obviously aims to provoke the viewer. This publication is as highbrow as graffiti gets. Inside there are six intellectual articles written by graffiti artists through to a cultural critic which are then followed by an interview with ZA.

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