Following in the great tradition of graffiti as political activism, a group of street artists explained today how they duped the producers of Homeland to slyly critique the show on its own turf.
Done by the group Arabian Street Artists, the graffiti backdrop of a refugee camp for an October 11 episode translated critical statements like “Homeland Is Not A Series,” “Homeland Is Racist,” and “Black Lives Matter,” among others.
Artist Caram Kapp told the BBC the group asked friends and family to suggest proverbs and slogans before tagging the set.
“We are aware of Homeland’s reputation and found it an ethically difficult job to take,” he said. “However, after some consideration, we took the meetings with the people and were explicitly told to come up with our own material, to not emulate anything that was on other walls.”
Arabian Street Artists member Heba Amin gave a more detailed explanation of the group’s motivation on her website:
“For four seasons, and entering its fifth, “Homeland” has maintained the dichotomy of the photogenic, mainly white, mostly American protector versus the evil and backwards Muslim threat. The Washington Post reacts to the racist horror of their season four promotional poster by describing it as “white Red Riding Hood lost in a forest of faceless Muslim wolves”. In this forest, Red Riding Hood is permitted to display many shades of grey — bribery, drone strikes, torture, and covert assassination — to achieve her targets. She points her weapon of choice at the monochrome bad guys, who do all the things that the good guys do, but with nefarious intent.”
Showtime president David Nevis told EW he didn’t want the drama to shy away from controversy this year, so this should please at least one person in programming.