Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




DEMOCRACY
Olympics: British street artists take aim at the Games
by Staff Writers
London (AFP) July 31, 2012


An javelin thrower stands poised to make his throw -- but in place of a spear, he holds a missile.

The striking image, stencilled in black onto a dirty wall, is one of two new works recently unveiled on the website of British satirical street artist Banksy to coincide with the London Olympics.

The other shows a pole-vaulter, springing over a rusty fence onto an abandoned mattress.

Banksy -- whose works sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars -- is famed for his secrecy, but his witty observations about British life can usually be spotted on the street.

The location of the two new stencils, however, has been kept under wraps -- prompting speculation that Banksy feared they could be removed as part of a reported drive to clean graffiti from London's walls for the Olympics.

British Transport Police arrested four graffiti artists this month and banned them from Olympic venues in an apparent bid to prevent the Games becoming a target for subversive spray-painters.

"There's a more widespread clean-up operation than normal, definitely," street artist Mau Mau told AFP. "There's loads of work disappearing from the tracksides by the railways."

Mau Mau, who declined to give his real name, made his own Olympic offering to the city walls a few weeks ago: an overweight McDonalds clown, carrying a torch labelled "Coca-Cola" that was spewing out a thick plume of black smoke.

Both brands are official sponsors of the Games.

"I painted it to protest against the corporate takeover of the Olympics," he explained.

Mau Mau created the west London mural with the permission of the wall's owner, but it was whitewashed just six days later by the local council, which said it had received a complaint from a member of the public.

"It wasn't offensive," said Mau Mau. "It was just a picture of a fat clown."

The artist believes he may have fallen foul of strict regulations designed to protect the Games' corporate sponsors.

His mural clearly featured the Olympic rings, a symbol that can only be used with the approval of the International Olympic Committee.

With the rings emblazoned on his vest, Banksy's javelin-thrower also breaks the rules, which could give Games officials additional cause to paint over it -- if they can find it.

James Cochran, whose vivid mural of the world's fastest man Usain Bolt beams over an east London car park, said he was careful to seek official approval before shaking the first aerosol can.

"They said, "By the way, don't touch the Olympic rings -- there's very strict copyright control on that," he recalled.

"They're getting a bit authoritarian," the British-Australian artist told AFP. "The Olympic Committee have got to be careful that they don't infringe on freedom of expression. Sometimes you think, 'Jeez, Beijing was more open-minded.'"

The Games' corporate sponsors, and the lengths to which organisers have gone to accommodate them, have become popular targets of Britain's vibrant underground art scene, particularly near the Olympic Park in east London.

At Hackney Wick station on the edge of the park, someone scrawled the word "Shame" in huge letters over a mural commissioned by Coca-Cola, forcing the company to have the work painted over.

For Cochran, the Games are an opportunity to spread a more cheerful message. His image of Bolt, with brightly coloured rays pulsing from his face in all directions, is his "homage to the buzz around the Olympics".

"I love London, and I see this as an amazing and positive time for the city," the 39-year-old said.

"When the Olympics are done and everyone's gone home, it would be nice to have something that speaks about that time. But who knows if it will last? That's the interesting thing about street art -- anything can happen to it."

.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DEMOCRACY
US hits out at Asian nations over religious freedoms
Washington (AFP) July 30, 2012
The United States warned the world was sliding backwards on religious freedoms Monday, slamming China for cracking down on Tibetan Buddhists and hitting out at Pakistan and Afghanistan. As the State Department unveiled its first report on religious freedoms since the start of the Arab Spring, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was a "signal to the worst offenders" that the world was ... read more


DEMOCRACY
Sri Lanka navy urges Australia to deport boatpeople

Samurai festival returns to disaster-hit Japan

UNHCR official to visit Rakhine state

EU discusses new NGO law with Russia

DEMOCRACY
Quantifying the Environmental Impact of Structural Materials with B-PATH

Northrop Grumman GATOR Radar System Delivered to Wallops Island for the Start of Government Developmental Testing

Jury picked in blockbuster Apple-Samsung case

BELLA Laser Achieves World Record Power at One Pulse Per Second

DEMOCRACY
Delving into the molecular mechanism behind deep-sea bacteria's pressure tolerance

Scotland moves to defuse 'prawn war'

Ancient reservoir could bring water to dry Namibia

'Red tide' species is deadlier than first thought

DEMOCRACY
China to build first polar-expedition icebreaker

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

Scientists find Grand Canyon-sized rift under Antarctic ice

Tropical plankton invade Arctic waters

DEMOCRACY
Public strongly supports programs helping farmers adapt to climate change

Study: All chickens have Asian roots

Japanese Kobe beef debuts in Hong Kong

Isolated Paraguay pledged farmers' support

DEMOCRACY
UN heads for flood-hit areas in North Korea

N. Korea forecasts new storm damage after deadly floods

Geothermal activity seen in New Zealand

Death toll from Beijing floods rises to 77: Xinhua

DEMOCRACY
Panetta to visit North Africa, Middle East

Brother of exiled Rwandan ex-army chief gets 9 years' jail

Mozambique told to tackle crime

New sapphire find sends panners into Madagascar lemur park

DEMOCRACY
Piglets in mazes provide insights into human cognitive development

Genomic study of Africa's hunter-gatherers elucidates human variation and ancient interbreeding

Unprecedented accuracy in locating brain electrical activity with new device

The longer you're awake, the slower you get




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement