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April 26, 2010

Guerilla 'Talibanksy' artists hit Kabul

They have been dubbed the "Talibanksy."

Inspired by celebrated British graffiti artist Banksy, this small group of Kabul-based activists has been using spray paint and stencils to gradually spread its anti-war message across Kabul.

The images include a soldier and a dollar sign joined by an equals symbol, and an equals symbol connecting an insurgent with an RPG and poppies.

As the AFP's Lynne O'Donnell reports, the clandestine group, calling itself Combat Communications, is using the sides of Poppy Palaces, blast walls and abandoned buildings as a war zone canvas for its anti-war message.

You can see the artists at work here.

The artists work day and night. They enlist help from young Afghans. They even hit the side of one of Kabul's infamous Poppy Palaces.

"'Selling the peace, AKA (also known as) winning the war, has also become a big industry," according to a Talibanksy communique from their clandestine Kabul command post. "Propaganda is everywhere, from counter-narcotic campaigns to counter-terrorism to army recruitment. You can't move without some form of visual purposeful persuasion burning a hole in your soul. Social and politically driven graphics, AKA street art, can evoke thought and stimulate discussion."

While Combat Communications has been paying homage to Banksy in Kabul, the British artist has apparently been hitting San Francisco with his latest works, including this commentary on his own popularity and the fact that some of his wall art has been auctioned off for hundreds of thousands of dollars...



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to find out more on the recent history of graffiti in Kabul check out: http://www.dustnroses.com/2010/04/taggers-vs-writers.html

I love this post! You bring beauty to the web and to our lives. Great lookin' out!

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Checkpoint Kabul is written by McClatchy journalists covering Afghanistan and south Asia.

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