Warllords 2010 Video
Monday, January 31, 2011
Wallords of Afghanistan - Stage 1 - Mission accomplished.
At the end of last year Combat Communications ran a weeklong workshop in the Afghan capital Kabul, teaching stencil art and graffiti to a group of young, Afghan artists. It culminated in a two-day painting session on the walls of an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Kabul.
Ten Afghan artists, (three women amongst them) took part in the project, dubbed “Wallords of Afghanistan”, and got an intensive crash course in all things graffiti by legendary street artist Chu.
Chu, who has been involved in street art for over twenty years, came to Afghanistan with no idea what to expect from the artists who signed up for the workshops. They were all extremely talented individuals but Chu brought three alien concepts to the table; SPRAY CANS, PUBLIC SPACE & BIG ART. As you can see in the video, they took to the new medium straight away and the results are pretty amazing.
The main aim was give the students the tools and background knowledge to think about their own cultural environment. The youth of Kabul have little outlet for creativity, and self-expression is often mistaken for a challenge to authority.
Many countries with much more repressive governments have grasped the concept of ‘street art’ as a way of provoking thought and stimulating discussion but it seems that Afghanistan’s difficult recent history and unique set of cultural circumstances mean that somewhere along the way the concept of social and politically driven art has been lost.
These workshops will hopefully be the catalyst required to get more artists out of the classrooms and studios and onto the streets. Combat Communications are not trying to start a revolution. That’s the last thing this place needs, but we do believe that self-expression has a place here as much as the streets of Tehran or Palestine. Besides all that there’s a lot of blank, ugly looking, bullet-riddled walls crying out for a bit of colour.
Watch this space. Check out the blog and stay tuned for more happenings in the Summer of 2011.
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