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German Artist Sells the ‘Homeland’ On-Set Graffiti That Declared Show Racist Without the Original Artist’s Approval

The original hack painted "Homeland is racist" in Arabic onto the set of the Claire Danes-led Showtime drama, calling the show "thinly veiled propaganda."


Teakwood Lane Prods./Cherry Pie Prods./Keshet/Showtime/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

The artist behind controversial “Homeland” graffiti that declared the show racist says her work has been plagiarized by a German artist. Egyptian artist Heba Amin is a member of the group “Arabian Street Artists,” which snuck political messages into the Claire Danes-led Showtime drama after being hired to paint on-set graffiti in 2015. The graffiti included the phrases “Homeland is racist” and “Homeland is a joke, and it didn’t make us laugh,” which aired in a Season 5 episode. The powerful message and subversive protest tactics stirred up much media attention, and now a German artist is trying to capitalize on the event’s notoriety.

In show titled “This Show Does Not Represent the View of the Artist,” David Krippendorff made silkscreen images which he says “commemorate the ‘Homeland’ graffiti hack.” In a statement on his website, he calls the project “an homage, a tribute, and a celebration.”

“When you discover your political protest is plagiarized and sold at an art fair,” Amin tweeted last week upon finding the images, along with a side-by-side photo of her original work and Krippendorff’s print.

Oscar-nominated Filmmaker Lexi Alexander (“Johnny Flynton”) tweeted her support for Amin, writing: “Stop. Stop. Stop. I’m about to lose my mind. A German dude named David Krippendorf is currently selling prints at a Berlin art fair of the protest graffiti a group of Arab artists tagged Homeland sets with, as protest of the racism portrayed in the show. No. Stop.”

Krippendorff responded to the criticism: “We live in an age of sampling and appropriation … I was not ‘stealing’ anybody’s narrative. Homeland is a product of the US entertainment industry, and my homage to a hack at its expense also becomes my narrative.”

In a statement on her website following the hack, Amin said she disagreed with the way “Homeland” portrayed world events, calling it “thinly veiled propaganda,” and a “dangerous phantasm [that] has become mainstream ‘knowledge’ in the U.S. and has been repeated as fact by many mass media outlets.”

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