In 2001, shortly after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th, two Chicago-based educators, Kevin Coval and Anna West, decided to create an outlet for young high school students to express themselves through spoken-word poetry. Nearly 20 years later, Louder Than A Bomb has grown from a small number of local high school teams to a full-scale competition made up of 120 teams from high schools all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The success of the program has inspired educators to form spoken-word poetry competitions in 13 cities across the country, and even in Canada. Today, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) prides itself on being the largest youth poetry festival in the world. The success of the program, as well as the students and educators involved with organizing it every year, was the subject of a 2011 documentary, Louder Than A Bomb, by filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel.
Jacobs and Siskel followed four individuals competing in the 2011 competition to paint a portrait of youth outlook on world events, social climate, politics, and their own personal stories. The film not only received praise at the Chicago International Film Festival, but also at film festivals all over the country, including Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Portland. Prelims for the upcoming 2018 festival are being held at Columbia College starting on February 21st-22nd. You can check eligibility rules and sign your team up on the Young Chicago Authors website. Louder Than A Bomb is available on Amazon Prime, and if you have an account I would definitely add it to your Watchlist.
A little late on this one, but British street artist Banksy has finally concluded his “Better Out Than In” residency of New York City. His final piece is a simple balloon print stencil of his name, complete with a jpeg image of his signature NYC t-shirt. Word on the street is that the city of New York has already erased the tag, however a lot of the other pieces can still be found around the city. Banksy left the NYC print up to his fans to actually go out and get printed for clothing purposes, if you’re interested it’s 100% up to you. No news on what’s next for the Brit, but we’re sure it wont be long before he makes his mark again.
As Banksy wraps up his “Better Out Than In” residency of New York City, Day 30 pops out as one of my favorites. The Brit took on the legendary Yankee Stadium as a canvas, painting a leopard stencil along the wall. If you’ve ever been to the Big Apple, you know that the city can indeed take on a “Concrete Jungle” like feeling. This might not be one of his most provocative or satirical, but in my opinion it’s definitely one of the better pieces over the entirety of the exhibition. Today is day 31 marking the end of “Better Out Than In”, stay tuned for the conclusion to what’s been a wild ride.
British street artist Banksy seems to have taken a more classical approach to Day 29 of his month long “Better Out Than In” residency in New York City. Entitled “The Banality of The Banality of Evil”, Banksy is said to have bought the painting for $50 from a New York City thrift store and replaced it a couple days later. Initial reports are estimating that the newly painted piece will now fetch up to $1,000,000 and of course is no longer for sale to the general public. Stay tuned for more as Banksy wraps up “Better Out Than In” tomorrow.
Banksy continues his “Better Out Than In” campaign with an interesting piece located in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. The piece shows a “caught in the act” looking robot spray painting a barcode while a pigeon flies from the scene. Initially one might be confused by the image, but upon further inspection you’ll come to find a few discreet clues. The numbers under the barcode read “132741”, when plugged into google; the number set is the exact set indicating the number code for navy blue. No confirmation on whether there is any correlation, but the NYPD wears a strikingly similar shade of blue and many have interpreted the pigeon as another warning that the police are present (Training Day). Reading in too much? Maybe, either way another dope piece from the British street artist; stay tuned for the conclusion to “Better Out Than In” this week.
British street artist Banksy’s Day 27 piece might be taking shots at The New York Times. He originally planned to have his op-ed featured in the paper, however they declined (obviously) his submission. In response Banksy took his talents to the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn where he painted the above stencil regarding censorship. Not sure if this was all apart of the plan, it’ll be interesting to see what he cooks up for these final days; stay tuned.
After cancelling yesterday’s piece for his “Better Out Than In” exhibition, Banksy has resumed the campaign with a new piece entitled “Waiting in Vein”. The street artist chose a good location as the stencil resides on the door to New York City’s famous Hustler Club, an establishment dedicated entirely to nude dancing. Not sure if Banksy is just anti-everything or if a stripper once broke his heart, hopefully the piece lasts awhile as the door is completely removable; don’t be surprised if it pops up at one of the city’s many auction houses.
As we enter the final stretch of Banksy’s “Better Out Than In” campaign, the British street artist again throws convention to the wind with this 1/36 scale re-interpretation of the Great Sphinx. Located in Queens, New York; Banksy constructed the replica out of smashed cinder blocks and states “Don’t drink the water” in his satirical style. Who knows how long this one will be on display, hopefully the people of New York leave it be for at least a couple of days; stay tuned for more as “Better Out Than In” continues.
Banksy is on fire right now, just incase if you’ve been living under a rock the past 21 days; the British street artist is now on day 21 of his “Better Out Than In” street exhibition within the confines of New York City. His most recent piece features the signature style that we’ve all grown accustomed to, the piece depicts a young lad tagging “Ghetto 4 Life” accompanied by his butler. Playful yet satirical the piece is located in New York City’s South Bronx section displaying a stark contrast with it’s environment. Peep the above piece and stay tuned for Day 22, lord knows what the man, the myth has in store for “Better Out Than In’s” final stretch.