A group of Berlin street artists hired by Homeland to add “authenticity” to their Syria refugee set took the opportunity to insert their own political slogans – and no one in the show noticed.
In episode two, set to air on Channel 4 this Sunday, you can see Carrie Mathison (Clare Danes) walking past a graffiti message that translates as “Homeland is racist”.
It wasn’t the only hidden slogan the three artists managed to scrawl on to the set.
The artists, Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Stone, explain in a statement that Homeland’s production company “were looking for ‘Arabian street artists’ to lend graffiti authenticity to a film set of a Syrian refugee camp on the Lebanese/Syrian border for their new season.
“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 were surprised when nobody questioned what they were writing: “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.”
Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa told Deadline he wasn’t too concerned about the artists’ ‘hack’: “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.”
Homeland continues this Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4