Graffiti artists hired to decorate the set of the hit TV series Homeland have hidden subversive messages accusing the show of racism.
The three artists – Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Stone – were asked to paint Arabic script on the walls of a fictional Syrian refugee camp to add “authenticity” to a scene.
In a statement published online explaining their motives, the artists wrote: “Given the series’ reputation, we were not easily convinced, until we considered what a moment of intervention could relay about our own and many others’ political discontent with the series. It was our moment to make our point by subverting the message using the show itself.”
“The content of what was written on the walls… was of no concern,” the statement continues. “In their eyes, Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East, a poster image dehumanising an entire region to human-less figures in black burkas and moreover, this season, to refugees.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 15, 2015
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 15, 2015
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) October 15, 2015
Homeland has been criticised in the past for its alleged negative portrayal of Muslims and the Middle East as a whole.
One of the artists, Amin told The Guardian: “We think the show perpetuates dangerous stereotypes by diminishing an entire region into a farce through the gross misrepresentations that feed into a narrative of political propaganda.”
“It is clear they don’t know the region they are attempting to represent. And yet, we suffer the consequences of such shallow and misguided representation.”