'Homeland is racist': Artists 'hack' latest episode with Arabic slogans

Homeland, now in its fifth series, follows former CIA agent Carrie Mathison tackling international terrorism

Rose Troup Buchanan
Thursday 15 October 2015 07:44
The new series of Homeland is filmed in Berlin
The new series of Homeland is filmed in Berlin

Artists have "hacked" the latest Homeland episode, covering the walls with Arabic slogans mocking the award-winning show for its simplistic depiction of Arabs and the Islamic faith.

The Arabian Street Artists, including painters Heba Amin, Don Karl and Caram Kapp, were invited to cover the Berlin set in authentic graffiti for the most recent episode, set in a refugee camp on the Lebanese/Syrian border.

Instead, the artists used the platform to write slogans such as "Homeland is racist," "This show does not represent the views of the artists," and "Homeland is a joke and it didn’t make us laugh."

The artists, who worked on the set design for the episode 'The Tradition of Hospitality' over three days in June, said they were provoked by the show’s "inaccurate, undifferentiated and highly biased depiction of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans."

Although the claims could not be independently verified by The Independent, Homeland has been criticised for its simplistic portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the past.

Ms Amin, an Egyptian visual artist currently studying at the American university in Cairo, said the graffiti was intended to "make our point by subverting the message using the show itself."

Writing on her personal website, she claims the show’s set producers were "too frantic to pay any attention" to the artwork. "In their eyes, Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East."

Mr Karl, a German publisher and artist who was also involved in the hack, also claimed the set designers "just don’t care."

"In another episode they had Hebrew price tags on clothes in a market in an Arab country. They had shot the scene in a fake souq in Tel Aviv," he told Egyptian Streets.

Showtime, the US network behind Homeland, did not respond to requests for comment.

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