The methods we use to graffiti different areas depends on the situation in each town. In Damascus, for example, the biggest challenge is obtaining cans of spray paint because the majority of salespeople ask for a piece of I.D. As a result, we try to only go to people who we trust or who attach the name of a foreigner to the purchase – someone who is complicit but would never be suspected of doing graffiti art.
We also had the idea of asking carpenters that we know well to transform boards of wood into stencils. It takes too much time to follow the tutorials to the letter and over time stencils made of laminated cardboard get worn out.
“Graffiti has allowed us to reach out to a portion of the population that won't risk joining the opposition movement”
We work under the cover of night and mostly in neighbourhoods that are poorly lit or have been hit by electrical blackouts. We also stick to places that are rarely patrolled by police. We scope out the situation a few days before taking action. The group that carries out the project should never be more than four people, so as not to attract attention but also because it’s easier to escape if ever the police catch us. To avoid getting caught, there’s always one of the group who stands guard a few metres away, armed with a mobile phone. If he senses even the slightest risk, he gives us a call and we disperse.
We’ve already organised a number of actions in Damascus, such as painting a statue of Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, red
to symbolise the blood of those who have been killed by the regime. But graffiti has allowed us to reach out to a portion of the population that won't risk joining the opposition movement. Some people are terrified by the messages of violence some in the opposition have begun to spout, such as calls to arms or the death of Bashar al-Assad. We hope that these people will find the artistic and peaceful nature of our approach more appealing.