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Brooklyn Street Art

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Day 4: General Howe’s “Battle of Brooklyn 2010”

Posted on August 25, 2010

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This historic week for Brooklyn and the U.S. is being marked daily by New York Street Artist General Howe at the sites where the actual “Battle of Brooklyn” took place exactly 234 years earlier. Brooklyn Street Art is pleased to bring you daily updates on the plundering of boundaries between Street Art, performance art, and historical land-marking along with live social media updates by Kianga Ellis. All week we will travel around Brooklyn tracing the troop movements as General Howe stages small-scale battle scenes to connect us with history and possibly examine the childhood pastime of playing “war”.

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“Consolidation of allies”

Today we traveled with General Howe within Red Hook to recall and honor the skirmishes and dead that began to pile up; also to stuff papers with proclamations by the actual General Howe in Park Slope. That political animal, the British General Howe whom our intrepid street artist has taken his name from, used propaganda in this handbill to try to convince new Americans living in Long Island to switch it up and be nice subjects of the King of England.  In his handbill, he promised that all would be forgiven, generous General that he was;

Twisting their status as freedom lovers into dolts who had been duped, he offered those who were ” forced into rebellion, that on delivering themselves up at the head quarters of the army, they will be received as faithful subjects; have permits to return peaceably to their respective Dwellings, and meet with full protection for their persons and property.”*

Nice, right? Well don’t be so quick to judge because Mr. General  absorbed the militia from four Kings County (Brooklyn) towns.  Oh, snap! Brother’s got a silver tongue!

General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)

General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)

General Howe the Street Artist explains what was happening August 25th:

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The Action: General Howe releases a proclamation as a hand bill soliciting support for the British in their pursuit to reclaim the colonies. Howe entreats both Loyalists and slaves who are promised freedom in exchange for fighting on the British side. German soldiers, hired by the British, arrive to assist in the war. Patriot soldiers from Manhattan and New Jersey continue to flow into Fulton Ferry to reinforce the American forces in Brooklyn.

The Landscape: Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Park Slope

General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)
General Howe’s gentle parody of himself shows his soldiers on a log of wood against a graffitied corrugated metal fence with razor wire. This nested self referential paste up is next to the proclamation by the original General Howe. Confused yet?  (© Jaime Rojo)

General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)

“Read all about it! Todays’ insert tells how to surrender to the King!” General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)

General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)

Sometimes irony is serendipity. General Howe (© Jaime Rojo)

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* Quote from The Battle for New York The city at the heart of the American Revolution by Barnet Schecter

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This six-day event is shared live with the public complete with historical quotes, the General’s musings, and twitpics by Kianga Ellis on

Twitter (www.twitter.com/kiangaellis) (subject hashtag “#RevWar” if you like)

and Foursquare (www.foursquare.com/user/kiangaellis)

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HuffPost-ButtonSee our interview with General Howe, “WAR ON APATHY” on The Huffington Post

Link to other days in the Battle of Brooklynjust click the date.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Battle-Brooklyn-August-22
Brooklyn-Street-Art-Battle-Brooklyn-August-23
Brooklyn-Street-Art-Battle-Brooklyn-August-24
Brooklyn-Street-Art-Battle-Brooklyn-August-25
Brooklyn-Street-Art-Battle-Brooklyn-August-26
Brooklyn-Street-Art-Battle-Brooklyn-August-27

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