The biggest shocks on “Homeland” are usually the result of some plot twist or character death, but this season, the show made headlines for different reasons altogether.
During the October 11 episode entitled “The Tradition of Hospitality,” graffiti appeared on the set of a refugee camp that translated to the phrases “‘Homeland’ is racist” and “‘Homeland’ is a joke, and it didn’t make us laugh,” among others. The production mishap gave Season 5 its biggest headline-making moment, and now Field of Vision, the documentary collective co-founded by Laura Poitras earlier this year, is here to reveal the team responsible for the set design hack.
In “Homeland Is Not a Series,” which will premiere on The Intercept later this evening, the collective responsible for the hack reveal themselves as Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Don Karl. The three banded together under the collective “The Arabian Street Artists” to exact the plan, though they’ve gone under different names in the past, according to various internet sites.
At the time when the mishap was making news, Showtime released a statement saying they had hired local Arabic-speaking graffiti artists to lend a credible hand to the set, but the team assigned to do the task clearly had other intentions in mind.
In the new video and accompanying story, the three artists talked to Intercept reporter Eric Hynes about their mission. According to Karl, he was the first one to get the call from Showtime looking for artists, and he promptly assembled a team based on previous collaborators. Karl and Kapp had last worked together on an book about graffiti in the Egyptian revolution.
“None of us were certain that we wanted to work with them,” said Amin. “In fact, Don struggled to find people who actually wanted to take on this job, because we so strongly oppose the politics of this show…We decided at that point to at least meet with the set designers, and see exactly that they wanted us to do. It turned out that it was a much easier set up than we thought it would be. In fact, they came with references for us — they brought images of what they wanted this graffiti to look like. And the images they brought us were of pro-Assad graffiti — they had no clue about the content of what they were showing us. So we already knew that they were pretty clueless, and that they didn’t have a concrete idea of what they wanted us to write.”