The second episode of Homeland season five aired this week and saw Carrie head off to Lebanon to a refugee camp on the Syrian border. To add authenticity to the scenes, graffiti artists were hired to put their artwork on the walls around the camp, however it's emerged that they used the opportunity to give their own views of the show.
The artists, Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Stone put up a statement online after the episode saying how they were contacted by a friend and fellow street artist about adding their graffiti to the set, which was actually just outside Berlin; "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."
They went on to say that in their first meeting they were given "a set of images of pro-Assad graffiti- apparently natural in a Syrian refugee camp."
However, they decided that instead they would communicate their own thoughts on the show through Arabic; "Set designers were too frantic to pay any attention to us; they were busy constructing a hyper-realistic set that addressed everything from the plastic laundry pins to the frayed edges of outdoor plastic curtains. It looked very Middle Eastern and the summer sun and heat helped heighten that illusion. The content of what was written on the walls, however, was of no concern. 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."
Their plan worked and the scenes aired this weeks depict Arabic writing which can be translated to "Homeland is a joke, and it didn’t make us laugh" and "#blacklivesmatter" as well as "Homeland is racist".
Homeland creator and executive producer told 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."
It is pretty ironic that a show whose storyline is about hacking this season managed to get hacked themselves... just sayin'.
The article images were taken by the artists, you can see their statement here.