All City Queens – book review

All City Queens book by Syrup

All City Queens book by Syrup

Books about female graffiti writers are still very rare. I did my own work almost 10 years ago with Graffiti Woman, but this book is meanwhile after such a long time pretty outdated.

Now, Syrup from England added her own contribution to celebrate female graffiti art. A female graffiti writer herself, gives the book a true insight and you know what she is talking about. It took her two years to finalise this massive project and she spent a lot of heartbeat and money into this lovely project. But the result is worth seeing and all the hard work was fruitful and I am proud of her, that she realised this despite all the difficulties. I know from my own experience how hard it is to put books like this together.

The outcome is stunning and massive. Pure graffiti writing with a few figurative elements, but mostly name writing is shown here. A 200 pages thick softcover book, filled with many great names we already know like Lady Pink, Mickey, Claw and Miss17, Queen Andrea and Akit. Next to it we also find a great amount of unknown writers such as Ferkl (what a great name!!), Winkstyles, Kwim, Mymo, Tyles and many many more. Each artist is introduced with a little text and there are short interviews with heroines such as Claw, Lady Pink and Mickey.

Luisa Fernanda Hernández Herse contributed a good insight to the female graffiti movement in Mexico, that gave me some backgrounds I did not know as well.

Mostly individual artists find their way on the pages, but also international crews or projects such as the two team Illegally Blonde, the crews Stick Up Girls or Female Soul, the blog Gurls Love Vandal or the Few and Far projects are highlighted.

Sometimes I was surprised why the designer put not very good quality images on a two-page spread, which resulted in pretty blurry images that where blown up to two pages. This did not serve the quality and I personally would have made a rather different choice.
At the end I was missing some further information like websites, where to learn more about the artists or their websites, books or magazines that also deal with the subject of spray-painting women.

Overall a great book about street writing with many great influential graffiti writers from all over the world and finally someone took over this duty to go on, where I began almost 10 years ago and celebrates the amazing women in the graffiti movement. Thanks a lot Syrup for all your hard work.

You can get your copy here: http://www.allcityqueens.bigcartel.com/

All City Queens book by Syrup

All City Queens book by Syrup

All City Queens book by Syrup

All City Queens book by Syrup

All City Queens book by Syrup

All City Queens book by Syrup

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Rejecting the good

She found this man
in the middle of a dark night
with tears raining from heaven
and from her eyes.
She knew this diamond looked good on her
and her friends were jealous
and told her to keep it
as a gift of life.
She realised,
this wonder can only happen
once in a lifetime
and just now and today.
He was like food,
when she was starving.
He was like cream,
when her skin was dry.
He was like water,
when there was thirst
for someone who has
pure love, pure passion
and fully respect to her.
She saw a light at the end
of the tunnel,
but it was only the truck
of wrong ideas
and a lack of confidence,
a missing will to
put energy into someone else
that is not herself.
The light in this tunnel
grew bigger and came closer,
but it was only the truck
driven by herself
and it was too late for him
to rescue her,
because she already let him go.
His hand too far
to reach her
before the truck,
rolled over her.

Lovely creatures

You took my hand and said:
„I want to show you friendship.“
We went down to the river
and talked to the fishes.
They explained us how they can flow
with the river and breathe
inside water.
We both jumped into the current
and tried ourselves
and we failed.

We went to the forest
and spoke to the trees.
They realised, we are too small
to smell the air up in the sky
and they showed us how to breathe
with leaves and how to drink
water with roots.
We tried to drink from the
dark thick ground and we failed.

We went to the highest hill
and spoke to the birds and
they laughed at us, that
we are not even able to fly.
But they showed us how to spread your wings
and swim in the air,
like fishes do in the water.
We ran as fast as we could
down the hill and tried to fly,
but landed on our feet and fell
back into the world of humans.

There they laughed at us
and called us crazy and
we asked ourselves
what is it that humans can show us?
They can’t fly, can’t breathe
in water and with leaves
and don’t have roots to drink.
But we found a tree, a fish and a bird
at their homes, but no-one dared to listen
to these lovely creatures.

Canova’s kissing couple

The sun was shining
when we kissed
and it was raining
when we had to depart.
People smiled at us
when we deeply hugged us
in this museum
full of Italian masters.
We were there
like a sculpture
of a kissing couple
that Canova never did.
They let us be
when the museum was closed and
we loved us the whole night long
and Hayez, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Rubens
painted our naked bodies.

Learn from Culture

After last night’s show, I woke up early today to go to one of the legal walls in my town to paint a picture.

I had prepared the stencils during the last days and now the time was right to go out and paint them. Due to my work as autor or writer, I had to make a decision, if I shall paint or write. I decided for the latter one and wish I had more time (and financial support) to do both.

I am neither a calligraphy artist, nor a calligraffiti artist, but I love the shape of the ornamentic lettering and occasionly use them in my work. I do not follow any of the rules of calligraphy, so please don’t mind the mistakes.

During my time in Burma/Myanmar, when I made my research about the effects of the military dictatorship on the people and the civil war against the ethnic minorities, I surely came across the Kayan people. Their women – the so-called „long-neck women“ are wearing metal rings around their neck, so that their chest is pushed down and the imagination of a longer neck is created. In past times, this tradition was used to protect the women against tiger bites or to prevent them to marry with men from other tribes along with other myths. These brass rings can weigh up to 10kg and the tribe is meanwhile trying to end this tradition, because it can cause health problems to the women.

I took the photo of the lady in one of the refugee villages of the Kayan people in Thailand at the border to Burma in 2006 and her portrait was published in my book „Burma – an alternative guide“ in 2009.

Keinom - Learn from Culture - Essen, Germany - 20.12.15

Keinom – Learn from Culture – Essen, Germany – 20.12.15

Keinom - Learn from Culture - Essen, Germany - 20.12.15

Keinom – Learn from Culture – Essen, Germany – 20.12.15

District and Vageenas – 19. December 2015

Oldschool punk reminds me of my own youth, when I still had blue hair and clothes, that I stitched together from old clothes and fabric. The outlook is different today, even though the inside and mind still remains the same (yes, I still have the same two kidneys and lungs). There is so much to learn and take from punkrock and you sohuld always keep this spirit alive in this mad world.
Some bands still keep this spirit alife and this makes me feel confident that something did not die out.
On 19. December, a few days before silent Christmas, the two loud punkbands District and The Vageenas invited for an anniversary show at the Trompete in Bochum.
The venue was located in the city centre of Bochum and the most funny thing was, that you had all these black-clothed punks standing outside before they were let in and next to the Trompete was a fancy restaurant with a very expensive looking furniture and more expensive looking people inside. A great contrast, that I loved a lot.
The venue was located in a basement, so the place was greatly chosen for a show that is called „Going Underground“.
District invited to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Even though this band has gone through a couple of changes not only with their name, but also with some band-members. Today, they are standing on the stage with some members from the original line-up and some new ones.
At first, the band Vageenas rocked as hell and the sticky air filled with swet. This band is as old as District and was founded in 1994 by punk-heroine Babette V. A pink-clothed and fully tattoed lady, that burst with energy. She was jumping, running to the counter of the bar, sang from there, ran back, jumped again, ran to the other side of the room, where she was standing in the middle of the crowd. What energy she had and this energy was reflected in their music as well. Sometimes the musicians were alone on stage for some time, because Babette was with the people in the crowd.
The main act of the night, District, shared the same drummer as The Vageenas and it must have been an intense night, playing for two powerful punk bands.
The band and especially the look of the singer Marc De Burgh reminded me about a time, that reminded me of the 90’s and felt a little younger. Maybe?
Their music was intense, loud, some songs were so familiar to me and it was great to hear them again. The crowd was active to every single note and sang many lyrics and made a great choir. It was hot and sweaty and worth being there. Thanks to both bands for an amazing night of good old punkrock and raw energy.

The Vageenas - Trompete - Bochum, Germany - 19.12.2015

The Vageenas – Trompete – Bochum, Germany – 19.12.2015

District - Trompete - Bochum, Germany - 19.12.2015

District – Trompete – Bochum, Germany – 19.12.2015

And a little video, the quality is not so good, because of the lack of good light in this place:

My voice was heard

I am inside society,
but you did not
recognise me.
I spoke out loud
and my voice was heard,
but my words not understood.
I realised, that you see
with your open eyes
but with a closed heart.
When my tears were rolling,
you thought it was raining.
When it was silent
around us,
you heard my heart beating
and you thought it was
a knock on your door
and ran away.