Three street artists employed by Homeland to populate scenery with apolitical graffiti sneaked in their own commentary on the oft-controversial series — including the statement that “Homeland is racist” (pictured).
Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and a third artist named Stone answered a solicitation from the Showtime drama for “‘Arabian street artists’ to lend graffiti authenticity to a film set of a Syrian refugee camp on the Lebanese/Syrian border” (as featured in Season 5’s Oct. 11 episode), the trio shared online in a detailing of their “hack.”
The artists said Homeland’s set designers were “too frantic to pay any attention to us” as they painted on walls, among other things, “Homeland is NOT a series,” “Homeland is watermelon” (meaning: nonsense) and even “#blacklivesmatter.” Instead, on-set supervisors were busy fixating on the fraying of curtains and accuracy of plastic clothespins, the trio blogged. “In their eyes, Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East, a poster image dehumanizing an entire region to human-less figures in black burkas and moreover, this season, to refugees.”
Amin, Kapp and Stone said that Homeland deserved to be taken to task for what they describe as an ongoing “inaccurate, undifferentiated and highly biased depiction of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans, as well as its gross misrepresentations of the cities of Beirut, Islamabad — and the so-called Muslim world in general,” adding: “Homeland has maintained the dichotomy of the photogenic, mainly white, mostly American protector versus the evil and backwards Muslim threat.”
“Granted, the show gets high praise from the American audience for its criticism of American government ethics,” the artists allowed, “but not without dangerously feeding into the racism of the hysterical moment we find ourselves in today.”
In response to the stealthy commentary, Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa said in a statement to our sister site Deadline, “We wish we’d caught these images before they made it to air. However, as Homeland always strives to be subversive in its own right and a stimulus for conversation, we can’t help but admire this act of artistic sabotage.”
What do you think of the artists’ crafty commentary?