Earlier today we received an amazing email from
Marie, a French journalist at the newspaper Liberation in Paris. As you read
below, and if you decide to participate, please let us know. Also, be sure send
us photos of your work when it goes up so that we can place them up on the
Wooster site. We support this idea, and do hope that as many of you as
possible, from the smallest to the largest cities and countries, all
Marie tells us that their reporter Florence Aubenas and
her guide Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi were captured in Bagdhad on the 5th of January
and they are still missing in Iraq. A Defense Committee has been created and
they trying to organise events that will raise awareness of the situation of
Florence and Hussein and lobby for their release.
So on July 5th,
they are organising a worldwide event by inviting all graffiti artists, street
artists, and muralists to participate.
Already a group of prominant
French artists have agreed to participate including Zevs, Andre, Invader, and
So here’s the info you need:
“Paint their walls
July 5th: dozens of painted walls in support of Florence and
French newspaper reporter Florence Aubenas and her assistant
Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi were reported missing in Iraq on January 5th, 2005. This
upcoming July 5th will mark their sixth month of captivity since they
disappeared in Baghdad.
Florence Aubenas arrived in Baghdad on
December 16, 2004, to cover the Iraqi elections for Liberation, one of the three
leading French national dailies (with a circulation of 150,000 copies a day).
She sent several articles to the paper just before her disappearance on the
afternoon of January 5th. At this date, she was reported missing along with her
guide and interpreter Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi. Florence Aubenas had previously
traveled to Iraq in September 2003. She was one of a handful of Western
journalists who returned to Baghdad in order to inform the French public on the
reality in Iraq (for further information, go to
I am appealing to you today on behalf
of the Defense Committee that was created in the days following their abduction
in order to raise awareness of their plight and to lobby for their release. The
French public is currently widely informed and supportive of their cause. But as
time goes on, and the hostages remain captive, our anger increases. We feel it
is time to go one step further and to alert the international public opinion as
to their intolerable fate.
For this reason, we would like to ask you
for your help. On July 5th, we are organizing a worldwide event, inviting all
graffiti artists, street artists and muralists, of all styles and obedience to
participate. The idea is simple: find the wall with the best possible exposure
in your town, obtain legal permission and invite the press for the best possible
media coverage. Then let your imagination do the rest.
Make sure you
keep us informed on your participation so that we can organize the buzz around
it on an international level. Why are we making this appeal to graffiti and
street artists? Because it offers an alternative, and vividly visual, political
point of view. Because we think it represents an aspiration to freedom that can
be expressed in many ways but with the same message around the world, from Los
Angeles to Bamako, from Berlin to Tokyo, From Bogota to Moscow. We are counting
on you because we appreciate and respect you and your work. So fire up your
spray paint to free Florence and Hussein.
For the Florence and
Hussein Defense Committee,