All posts tagged: Bethlehem

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.10.20 / Dispatch From Isolation # 49

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.10.20 / Dispatch From Isolation # 49

Happy Mother’s Day in the US and in Mexico too.

We praise the work and the love that mothers around the world are giving today and every day, with gratitude and recognition for their shaping of our global society. Salute to all the mothers! Without them, it goes without saying, we’d be nowhere.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Cake$, DG, Diez, GCG, HOACS, PREZ, Roachi, and Tag.

#TAG with commentary on one Mark Zuckerberg and the use of Pokemon to fully map and trace and predict our behaviors, and of course drive sales. In Tel Aviv. (photo © #TAG)
“This Space is Not for Advertisements.” AJ in Chihuahua, Mexico with commentary on walls free of advertisements. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
AJ in Chihuahua, Mexico with commentary on walls free of advertisements…and immigration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
AJ in Chihuahua, Mexico with commentary on walls free of advertisements and immigration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tribute to Jason DG. We don’t know who painted “Jason” (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tribute to DG by PREZ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
DG tribute. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hoacs, Roachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hoacs. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Don’t Believe The Hype…in Wynwood… (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist…please help…(photo © Jaime Rojo)
GGC in Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diez in Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists in Chihuahua, Mexico…please help…(photo © Jaime Rojo)
In da dog house in Wynwood…(photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cake$ Stencils in Bethlehem. (photo © Cake$)

“Today people all over the world are wearing the keffiyeh to offer support to Palestinians in their struggle for freedom,” says Street Artists Cake$, who sends us this new piece he did near the separation wall. He says he considers the wall to be a symbol of oppression – but worries more now that Coronovirus has hit the region as well – so he depicts Jesus with a face covering. “Because of the pandemic, this stencil is also a caution sign for locals that you need to cover your face to protect yourself and others. A new study and computer model provide fresh evidence for a simple solution to help us emerge from this nightmarish lockdown. The formula? Always social distance in public and, most importantly, wear a mask, scarf or bandana.”

Cake$ Stencils in Bethlehem. (photo © Cake$)
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Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or that we tripped over walking by the railroad tracks. This year we showed you about 250 of them.

We call it BSA Film Friday and it travels with us to cities around the world now when we do it LIVE with you and other audience members in theaters and lecture halls and museums. The beauty of the video/film form is you can get a full story quickly, and you are often surprised by how transformative it can be. You can also see how many people are affected by urban and street culture through these films – we see people’s eyes light up when they realize that they too can create in public space, that the world is not simply a product but is a piece of art that many of their peers are now jumping in to co-create.

As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, and achingly beautifully normal. From looking at the Separation Wall and Banksy to a travelling crew of graffiti writers on farms in Polish pig country to the amazing dance troupe who interpreted the 5 floors of art installations in a downtown Berlin former bank, you have before you a massive buffet of a visual feast.

The final desert is hand-held phone video caught in the moment last month in Mexico City. We didn’t know Keith Haring was coming down the tracks to surprise us, and we didn’t know that this unpolished jewel would garner thousands of viewers and commenters – effectively placing this little piece of video at number 1 for its popularity. Maybe the fact that it is so raw is what people relate to – along with an ongoing adulation for Haring.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.

No. 15
Faith XLVII / Aqua Regalia Hong Kong

From BSA Film Friday 05.19.17

“Distant universes delicately tangled,” says the near-whispering narration as you are gazing upon scenes from Hong Kong – those interstitial moments that carry you between the more remarkable ones. Faith XLVII gives us a quiet look at these inside a the dencse cacophony called “Aqua Regalia”, looking at the parts of a culture that a visitor is sensitive to because they are not taken for granted. With this ability to see, one takes a quick course of a city, a society. Invariably you end up with more questions.

“We speak of death and birth in terms of celebration and mourning.” Faith XLVII is in search of more universal truths, the timeless ones, since we understand them so poorly. Herein are glimpses, romantic and unvarnished.

“This is one of the first videos I’ve co-directed, alongside filmmaker Dane Dodds,” Faith tells us. “Its a project that is close to my heart.”

No. 14
Gonzalo Borondo / Cenere

From BSA Film Friday 08.11.17

Borondo keeps it open for you. He provides the stage, the staging area, the proscenium, the altar, the emanating light, the associations and memories you have with your belief system, or lack of one. During his artist residency with Pubblica, curated by Carlo Vignapiano and Elena Nicolini in May, the Street Artist (among other things) creates a journey as much as a destination in this intimate chapel. The video by Gerdi Petanaj captures this and perhaps a little more.


No. 13
The Haus / Lunatix Dance

From BSA Film Friday 04.07.17

From the moment it opened on April 1st, the Haus was a hit! BSA was very lucky to be there in February for a full tour while still in development in Berlin, nearly dancing ourselves through all five floors of this former bank with full scale installations in places that once held offices, conference rooms, employee coffee lounges.

By inviting Creative Director/dancer Serdar Bogatin and the film crew “Shuto Crew” into the space with members of the Lunatix Dance Production troupe, these spaces and art environments come completely alive, invoking stories and dramas – clearly making the spaces into elaborate set-design pieces.


No. 12
Ella & Pitr / Frappés PinPins

From BSA Film Friday 05.05.17

The French duo Ella + Pitr here revel in the simplicity of the gestural act of a full-body full-bucket splash of black paint.

Carnal, visceral, overlaid with psychographical information, the motion of splashing inky pigment across a white quadrilateral is an act of defiance and a release of the inner chaos – instantly recognizable as chaos elsewhere in the world.

The uncontrollable quality, especially when purveyed within an atmosphere of prim control, provokes amplified emotions in some. Fear, liberation, rage, release. Which ones will you experience?


No. 11
Indecline/ Rail Beast

From BSA Film Friday 10.20.17

“This reminds why I hate vandals! All this does is create more unnecessary work for the guys at the paint shop,” says a commenter on the Vimeo page where INDECLINE has posted this locomotive takeover.

You see kids, this is why we can’t have nice things. I just mopped this floor and you come running in here with your muddy boots! For Pete’s sake.

Truthfully, this decidedly unpolitical piece is a surprise coming from INDECLINE. Guess they were taking the day off from railing against hypocrisy and injustice with this animated train that recalls Saturday morning cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.


No. 10
Olek / In the Blink of an Eye

From BSA Film Friday 01.13.17

“It is one thing to read about the events in those parts of the world, but it is something totally different to actually look in the eyes of the women who lost everything while running from the war,” says artist Olek about how her world view changed when crocheting the project featured this week.

While gathering and producing materials for her installation with Verket Museum in Avesta, Sweden, the Brooklyn based Street Artist was holding informal crochet workshops with volunteers who would be producing the decorative yarn skin that covered every single item inside and outside of the house with their handmade crochet stitches.

Some invited guests were refugees who had escaped war in Syria and Ukraine and the artist and local folks shared stories and crocheted, sewed, and prepared the art materials together over the course of a number of days. It was during these exchanges of personal stories that, “a conversation started that has changed me forever,” she says – and she immediately needed to reflect it in her project with the museum.


No. 09
Sebastian Purfürst – Soniconoclasm / Broken Motor

From BSA Film Friday 06.02.17

In Berlin recently we met a photographer/media artist/musician who showed us a music video he just made of regular people whom you might meet on the city streets at night. This spring he asked more than 25 of them to recite phrases and “cut-up of army radio slang phrases” and by splicing them together with his band mate’s recitation of the lyrics synched to their lips, the rawness and rage and disconnected connectedness of people whom you can meet on the street rang true. “

This unvarnished quality bypasses the styled self-awareness of a lot of commercial media, and the anger actually comes across as fear. Perhaps you’ll think its too dark in demeanor – but then suddenly the melding together of the faces into one common entity makes it magic, even transcendent – revealing a simple sameness of everyone.

“This suspenseful individuality of the people is almost completely dissolved in the chorus,” says Sebastian Purfürst of his video with bandmate Markus F.C.Buhl.

Together they are called SONICONOCLASM.


No. 08
Pixel Pancho/ UN – Berlin

From BSA Film Friday 09.22.17

Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!

This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botanical knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.


No. 07
FifthWall TV / Occupied in Bethlehem – A visit to BANKSY’s “Walled Off Hotel”

From BSA Film Friday 06.16.17

“It’s almost become a playground for people to come to,” says your host Doug Gille as he looks at the section of the Separation Wall that the Banksy “Walled Off” Hotel is installed upon. “I think it is so crucial for people not to just come to see the wall or to paint on the wall,” he says.

“50 years under military control makes it the longest occupation in history,” is a quote that Gillen brandishes across the screen from the United Nations. The fact that Banksy is using his art star power to keep this on the front burner says a lot about the man.

“I think a lot of these people feel like we are forgetting about them and we have to remind them that we’re not,” says Gillen as he soul searches next to the Dead Sea.


No. 06
Various & Gould / City Skins – Marx und Engels

From BSA Film Friday 07.14.17

Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.

You may have seen our piece on their most recent public project called “City Skins”: Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould.  Here is a mini-documentary that shows you the artists, the process, and the thinking behind the process.


No. 05

From BSA Film Friday 01.27.17

Now to the Polish pig farms! Another Street Art/Mural road trip movie, this time across Poland with JAYPOP, Seikon, Krik KONG and filmmaker Cuba Goździewicz. See the discoveries, the relationships, the reactions to the work from a warm and considered human perspective.

The beauty of randomness and the randomness of beauty. These guys are fully engaged with their surroundings, the opportunity, the myriad people they befriend or portend to make allies. It’s an uncharted trip where permissions are sought and often refused, but they never stop painting somehow.


No. 04
Swoon/ Fearless

From BSA Film Friday 10.13.17

Using existing and new footage of Street Artist Swoon and selected interviews with people in her orbit, director Fredric King presents and hour long documentary that looks over two decades of art making. The stories told and the insights that Calendonia Curry aka Swoon presents while en route to her next adventure illustrate the fluidity with which she pursues the creative spirit, whether on the street, on a vessel down a river, or installing in a museum. An integrated explorer, Swoon brings you into the fold to go on this journey that always feels like its just begun.

No. 03
Fin DAC/ Rooftop in San Francisco

From BSA Film Friday 08.25.17

On an expansive rooftop in rainy/sunny/rainy San Francisco, Street Artist Fin Dac brings to life ‘Shukumei’, an ebullient and mysterious muse. The film is largely a stop motion record of the work set to music, but did you notice how much dexterity and effort goes into this precision play when you are working at this angle, basically painting the floor? The remarkable integration of the glowing skylight orb, dramatically revealed, imparts the figure a mystical dimension as well.

Video editing by Tonic Media, Soundtrack by Mombassa/Lovechild, and shout out to Ian and Danielle at Rocha Art and Missy Marisa, model.


No. 02
Niels Shoe Meulman In Magic City / The Art Of The Street

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

Niels Shoe Meulman spent some nights in a Munich jail thirty years ago for mucking about on the walls. This year he was paid to do it in Munich for Magic City, the travelling morphing exhibition (now in Stockholm) where Street Art is celebrated along with all its tributaries – including a film program and a number of photographs by your friends here at BSA.

Born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shoe shares here his new improvisational piece and some of his reflections on his process and his evolution from being in advertising as an art/creative director and reclaiming his soul as a graffiti/Street Art/fine artist. As ever, Martha is in the frame, putting him in the frame.

No. 01
Keith Haring- Rough Cut / Mexico City Metro

This rough cut lil’ video reached more than 300K individuals and had 100K views with thousands of shares on FB and on Instagram with dozens of comments and high engagement was easily propelled to the #1 spot.

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

It all took us by surprise last week in Mexico City when suddenly a whole train covered on both sides with Keith Haring’s work approached while we were waiting at the platform to catch the Linea 2 of the Metro. He made his name in part by illegally doing drawings like these in NYC subways and here now they are crushing a whole train. The name of the project is “Ser Humano. Ser Urbano” or “Being Human. Being Urban” and it aims to promote human values and human rights. The pattern you see is from “Sin Titulo (Tokyo Fabric Design)” – now stretched across these whole cars, if you will.

The train itself is inexplicably having brake troubles, so we get some jerky spur-of-the-moment footage but all week on Instagram and Facebook we’ve received tons of comments from people reacting to this little bit of Keith video by Jaime Rojo on BSA.


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Banksy Goes Into The Hospitality Business in Palestine

Banksy Goes Into The Hospitality Business in Palestine

Hotel, museum, funhouse? Political/social satire, self-advertisement, genius? All of it and more. Street Artist and showman Banksy’s team of advisors, marketers, fabricators, and assistants have already mounted a vast museum show, a theme park, a treasure hunt across New York, among other events. When it comes to creating spectacle and courting controversy, Banksy and company know how to get attention and this spring it’s happening again in fabulous Bethlehem with a hotel in which you can actually book a room – and learn Banksy’s political opinions.

Giulia Blocal took a trip there to take in the local color and to enjoy the Walled Off Hotel and she shares her observations here with BSA readers.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

by Giulia Blocal

After having released a video ironically describing Gaza as an attractive tourist destination in 2015, Banksy is back in the Palestinian Territories with a project that levers on the same key but pushes it further. This time his invitation to visit Palestine isn’t a provocation, but a fact. And in order to be taken seriously, he opened an actual hotel in Bethlehem, which overlooks the infamous wall that divides Israel from Palestine.

A few days ago, I accepted the above-mentioned invitation and went to Bethlehem. I was eager to see with my own eyes what had already become one of the most controversial projects of the year – as it always happens when it comes to Banksy. While some people still haven’t forgiven him for dropping out of the streets, others are arguing that, with The Walled Off Hotel, he is speculating on Palestinian suffering.

When I got off the bus, several taxi-drivers-improvised-guides came to me, eager to help. Banksy-related tourism was already a thing in Bethlehem, where the artist had painted several murals (along with many other street artists who had left their sign on the wall, among whom the Italian BLU and the German twins How & Nosm) and, after the opening of The Walled Off Hotel, the situation was denounced by graffiti-purists as intolerable.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Much to their dismay, the declared goal of the project is exactly that: to bring tourists to the Palestinian Territories, therefore helping the area both economically and through addressing the inevitable media interest to the problems arising from the conflict.

However, The Walled Off Hotel is just what it claims to be: a hotel. Eight fully equipped rooms customized by Banksy and fellow artists Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin, some budget barracks for lower income travelers, a gallery showcasing artworks by contemporary Palestinian artists, a museum that looks at the wall from different angles, and a Piano Bar area where non-residents can have a ‘mocktail’, a salad or the very English afternoon tea.

Inspired by the Colonial style (in reference to the 100th anniversary of Mandatory Palestine), at a first glance the Piano Bar reminded me of a sophisticated English tea room, but after my gaze had wandered around a bit I’ve begun spotting all the quirky, twisted, Banksy-style artworks.

Banksy. Clay sculptures by Iyad Sabbah. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

CCTV cameras, which compose the sophisticated Israeli security system, are hung on the wall as if they were mounted deer heads, right above a single row of harmless slingshots, which represent the Palestinian resistance.

The bust of a rebel, who unquestionably looks like Michelangelo’s David, is in a cloud of tear gas, skewing the representation of heroes in classical art.

Vandalized oil paintings, two goldfish flirting from different bowls, cupids flying seraphically, although wearing oxygen masks… all artworks are imbued with brazen social commentary, each one highlighting a different aspect of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Next to the pieces specifically created for the hotel, Banksy reinterpreted some of his most politically subversive works of art, such as the kids swing-riding around an army watchtower (painted in Gaza in 2015) and the iconic rebel throwing the bunch of flowers, which here are actual flowers put in a vase.

After having a “Earl Grey & Tonic”, which was so good to make it up for the absence of alcohol, I was off to the Art Gallery, which is curated by the art historian Ismal Duddera, who selected different artworks from Palestinian artists and relied on Anisa Ashkar for the inauguration of the temporary exhibition. The gallery space has been totally underrated by the media, but trust me: it’s worth a visit.

I came back downstairs and headed to the museum, which aims at retracing the evolution of the occupation, from the British imperialism (represented by a wax statue of Balfour while signing the declaration, recalling that “it all began 100 years ago with an Englishman and the stroke of a pen”) to the apartheid wall, the one we can see just by peeking through the window.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

The museum displays different items, from ‘Visit Palestine’ and ‘Boycott Israel’ posters to the camera that saved the life of the cameraman Emad Burnat (author of the award-winning film ‘Five Broken Cameras’) by stopping a bullet fired by a soldier during the protests in the Bil’in village in 2005.

There are two clay sculptures by Iyad Sabbah, from the extremely moving public artwork that originally stood in Gaza, and ‘the scale of justice’, a sculpture by Banksy himself twisting a well-known Biblical adage into a more fitting “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a thousand teeth”.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

There is also a shop selling spray cans to leave your sign on the wall, although it is specified that not only it’s illegal, but also disliked by those locals who are against the ‘beautification’ of the wall.

Banksy’s sarcasm goes beyond the installations and the paintings inside the hotel and, as it often happens with his art, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The way he manages to convey media attention is itself part of the artwork and, this time, his highly provocative invitation to Israelis to visit the hotel fits for the purpose. Some people criticized the biased nature of the project as Banksy leaves no doubts where he stands but, as he spray painted on the walls of Gaza back in 2015, “if we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful –we don’t stay neutral”.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Our sincere thanks to Giulia for sharing her experience and photos with us. Read more of Giulia Blocal’s growing list of travelogues on her Travel & Street Art Blog called BLOCAL. (


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HOW & NOSM on the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall

HOW & NOSM on the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall

After a half hour, soldiers yelled down, asking what they were doing.

“We’re from New York, we paint,” they shouted back, and continued spraying. Moments later the gate rolled up to the side and four soldiers came out, with the lead officer shouting, “What are you doing here?”

“We’re painting,” they replied.

“It’s illegal,” he shouted back. “I’ll have to arrest you.”

How and Nosm are at the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall, or they were until a few days ago, and no arrests were made. Invited by William Parry from the London based charity called Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), the internationally known Street Art/graffiti/muralist twins have traveled to about 60 countries with spray cans over the last decade or so, but they say they were not prepared for this experience.


How & Nosm. Mural on a metal gate on the Separation Wall by Rachel’s Tomb. Palestinian side. Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

As graffiti writers in their youth, How and Nosm weren’t very surprised when their aerosol works were painted over or “buffed” for being in illegal locations. They were, after all, kids being vandals with spray cans and challenging authority and trying to get away with it – but it still was a bummer.


How & Nosm. Detail. The text is translated as “Freedom for the Honorable” – a stencil made by women in an art workshop led by How and Nosm. Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

Getting their painting sprayed-over by Israeli guards was a new experience entirely.  Their image of a key, a symbol for Palestinians that is tied to homes they were evicted from, was painted onto a gate by Rachel’s Tomb. Loaded with such associations, obviously it was not a benign gesture and it was one so off-putting to the guards that shortly after H&N finished it, according to Parry, soldiers opened the gate and one picked up a spray can “and scribbled over it: ‘The occupation will prevail’ and made Stars of David symbols.”  By that time, How & Nosm were walking coolly up the street.

A typical graffiti writer back home in New York might have taken that as a serious “dis” of their canwork. Instead How says he was happy, “We painted a key and the gate opened!”


How & Nosm. The defaced mural on a metal gate on the Separation Wall by Rachel’s Tomb. Palestinian side. Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

“I first interviewed How & Nosm a year ago in Prague at an exhibition that they were participating in,” says the British photojournalist Parry, who published a book called “Against the Wall” in 2010 about a number of Street Artists who have created work there. “We got talking about street artists and Palestine and Israel. How & Nosm were clearly aware that what they read and saw on mainstream media was only one part of the story and when I asked if they would consider doing a trip out to Palestine and Israel with MAP, they said ‘sure’.

“One year on,” he recalls “after scores of emails to follow up their commitment and logistics, my sigh of relief was audible as I saw them pass through the “Arrivals” sliding doors at the airport. First it was Nosm and about 10 minutes later, How, after he was questioned by the immigration staff about why they’d come to Israel. With their tattoos, curious NYC/German accents and a bag of spray caps and stencils, we were off.”


How & Nosm. Main mural in the Palestinian Side of the Separation Wall. Bethlehem, Palestine. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

Not merely on “spraycation” to hit up some walls with their signature style, which they did, the two also made time to work with two populations specifically traumatized by war within the community and to teach them some of the techniques of art-making that the brothers have used in cities like LA, Lisbon, Prague, Paris, Quito, Mexico City, and Brooklyn. “Initially about five Bedouin women came to the workshop,” says Parry.


How & Nosm.  Mural on the Separation Wall, Palestinian side en route to Manger Sq., Bethlehem, Palestine. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

“By the following day,” he reports, “as word went round the encampment of the fun they’d had, there was twice the number of people, with several kids joining in too. The women have never had any art classes. One woman, Ameera, said it was the first time she’d been given a pencil to draw with. Despite this, most showed real skill in designing and cutting out stencils to reflect life around them, creating desert-scapes and floral collages with the adept help of the twins. The workshops had a constant air of fun, creativity, chatter and laughter.” The brothers worked with the moms and the kids to create stencils, some of which were gathered together to create a collage of the works on the metal walls of one woman’s home.


How & Nosm. Mural on the Separation Wall, Palestinian Side. Bethlehem, Palestine. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

An odd scene perhaps for some to contemplate the brash talking streetwise How and Nosm carefully and gently leading art workshops with small kids when you consider your typical image of the nihilistic rebel graffiti writer, right?

Maybe it is our own perception, or the perception that has been created for us that graffiti writers and Street Artists are rather one dimensional vandals. Things are not always the way they appear.



How & Nosm. Bedouin Women Workshops. West Bank. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)


How & Nosm. Children take interest at the Bedouin Women Workshops. West Bank. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)


How & Nosm. Bedouin Women Workshops. West Bank. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

Another surprise was the easy flow of information one can get sometimes these days, even here in the these contested, war-torn lands where reliable information itself can be at a premium to get in and out. The brothers were sort of surprised one day when they went to buy a number of cans of paint in their typical red, black, and white – and they were instantly recognized by the proprietors.

“The young guys running the shop seemed excited to have How & Nosm in town and were asking where they were going, what they were planning, and said they would be very happy to show them round and get them some great walls,” says Parry. “How & Nosm remained tight-lipped and said ‘We’ll call you,’ taking the contact information of the guys,” he remembers, still marveling at the reach of the art world. “About two hours later, we were in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, looking for the ideal locations for murals and smaller art pieces.”


How & Nosm. Beit Sahour, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)


How & Nosm. Beit Sahour, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

In the Street Art scene we always like to say that context is everything, and clearly here the artists and their hosts feel strongly about the conditions in the occupied areas they witnessed in Palestine and they place sincere blame for the dire situation that envelopes even the smallest children in an atmosphere of fear and trauma. Using art as a vehicle for expression, therapy, and perhaps furtherance of understanding, they say their workshops were instrumental is giving something valuable to the community.


How & Nosm. Saraya Centre workshop for children. Old City, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

“It was just four days of workshops but the impression that How & Nosm left on the Bedouin women and children who participated in the workshops was enormous,” says Parry, as he speaks of the collaborative mural using the stencils the women produced on a structure in the Jordan Valley. He says he “asked what they liked most about the workshops and the women said that it gave them a rare opportunity to express themselves creatively, to discover talents, and to produce beautiful things. ‘We also rarely laugh so much,’ added Hanan, the joker in the group.”

Parry also asked the brothers about their experience. “We agreed to participate because we agree with what MAP is doing and we thought it was going to be a nice collaboration between an organization helping people in need in Palestine and for us to bring attention to the it and for us to see what’s going on in Palestine,” says Raoul.


How & Nosm. Saraya Centre workshop for children. Old City, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

For Davide, his days there produced more of a critique of the Western media that he depends on back home. “It was important for us to see firsthand what is going on in the conflict rather than just reading about it. Even in the independent media you don’t get the full picture, it’s just not the same experience as coming and seeing the illegal outposts and settlements and other things that exist, and I think we have a better understanding of that thanks to MAP.”

For the kids, it was hard to let go, says Parry, and some even cried at the end. “They completed their artwork and mounted them on foam board to create a mural of color and symbolism,” Parry says. “As they said goodbye, one child broke down in tears, then like dominoes, several others followed.” Many people on the street came to tell the guys how much they liked the work they were putting up on different walls.


How & Nosm. Saraya Centre workshop for children. Old City, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)


How & Nosm. Separation Wall, Palestinian Side. Zeitoun Checkpoint. East Jerusalem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

But the brothers say they will think twice as artists if they would recommend others to go paint there. Instead of just hitting a wall, they say they would want people to be sensitive to the impact it may have on the populations who live there. “It’s such a difficult situation here politically. We believe that just coming here and tagging, doing pieces, would be inappropriate and selfish,” says How. Nosm continues, “We felt an obligation to bring more than just our names so we brought some messages. If you’re an artist you should take that into consideration.”

Truthfully, in a continually tense war-like environment like this, almost any act, including kindness, can be interpreted as being a political act of some sort. Not all art is necessarily political however and most people understand that it is a form of expression that we can grant latitude to because of its proximity to our own creativity. Who doesn’t long to return to the world of discovery we each inhabited at least once or twice in our childhoods?

But it isn’t every day that you hear tough-talking graffiti writers speak about considering the affect of your street work on the people in the neighborhood. But this isn’t just any wall. And these aren’t just any artists.



How & Nosm. Separation Wall, Palestinian Side. Zeitoun Checkpoint. East Jerusalem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

For more information about MAP please click HERE.



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This article is also published on The Huffington Post. HOW-Nosm-Huffpost-BSA-Screen-Shot-2013-10-02-at-10.18

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Fun Friday 02.04.11


All Eyes on the Streets of Egypt


Image from his Twitpic © Ahmed Ramadan

How can you not be riveted to Al Jazeera online and Twitter and Facebook and Youtube right now as a purely people-powered movement in the streets of major cities all over Egypt is working to dislodge their president?  Even after the government shut down the internet in the most comprehensive way in history, Egyptians have taken to the streets to reassert their right to self-determination.

Mint&Serf & BSA @ District 36 Tonight


Joe Iurato and Shai Dahan @ Vincent Michael Gallery in Philadelphia

brooklyn-street-art-joe-iurato-shai-dahan-vincent-michael-galleryExhibition Details
What: Natural Selections & Salvation: Featuring New Works from Shai Dahan and Joe Iurato
Where: Vincent Michael Gallery
1050 N. Hancock St. Suite #63 Philadelphia, PA 19123
When: Exhibit runs February 4th thru February 25th
Opening Reception Friday, February 4th 7pm – 10pm


Conor Harrington in Tel Aviv (VIDEO)

Crossing Lines is a short film that documents Irish artist Conor Harrington’s trip to Tel Aviv, Israel and Bethleham, Palestine in May 2010.

Chris from RWK has a brand New Website

Check it out!

Chris RWK (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris RWK (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Henry Rollin is 50! Shepard Slips One In

Keep your eyes open today for a new print release celebrating American Hardcore superstar and punk poet laureate Henry Rollins.  Dude is a far cry from the pretty candy coated mummification of punk that ensued as it became a commercialized lifestyle. This is the first of a two part release by Obey celebrating the quest for truth that fires inside Henry.


18 x 24 Screen Print, Signed and Numbered Edition of 700.

Release Date: 2/4/11

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