Don't Call Me Urban

Photographer Simon Wheatley gained the trust of key figures in the UK grime culture who allowed him to capture the harsh elements of the London streets with its raw violence and drug taking as well as the more personal and private moments of their lives. The portraits and commentary from the likes of Dizee Rascal, Wiley, Skepta and others where brought together creating a insightful book called 'Don't Call Me Urban'
Here is a nice slide show (cheers Ed) with commentary by Simon.


Un-cool Geneva

Graffiti, or “graff” is not cool.

It was cool in 1979 when Fab 5 Freddie was at it but, with the way trends come and go, it was probably loosing interest with the cool set by 1984 when the film Beat Street was made. Making a Hollywood film out of any trend has a habit of killing it. For reference see Thrashing.

So, graffiti is not cool. But on the up side, like skateboarding which is also not cool, it’s become something more than just a trend. And once something loses it’s cool status you’re left with the real players who weren’t in it for fashion but because they sincerely love it and are generally pretty good at it.

I was thinking about this on my way to work in Geneva. I’ve got a half hour walk from Saint-Jean to Carouge and along this route I see a lot of Graffiti. Geneva is commonly known as a pretty uncool city. There’s too many transient NGO workers and boring bankers to ever really turn Geneva into anywhere cool.

But what about all the expatriated kids who are dragged along with their parents to live in this “better place”? Teenagers who are desperate to fit in, even though there’s nothing to fit in with? Well, maybe that’s why there’s so much “cool” graffiti in and around Geneva. In a city that has no great voice the people are speaking up on the walls.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Geneva is not cool. It’s got nothing to live up to but if you know where to look you’ll still find some cool shit.

Here are some pictures I took on way to work. (Apologies to the artists for the poor quality of the shots, they were just taken on my phone).

This shot doesn't do this bike justice... It was 20 feet tall.

I love this. It's like HR Giger as been down here with a can.

Old school.

How great is this? So simple, I love it.

All the best,


Shoreditch Department of Advertising Correction

On my way into work in sleepy Carouge, Geneva, I came across the Shoreditch Department of Advertising Correction.

As a person who works in advertising this is not a sight you want to see on your way into work. Who knows what they might want? Could I have put a hyphen in the wrong place on my last headline or was the last shot I used not 300dpi?

So far they haven't come knocking for me.

So, to make things more interesting, I left a Saatchi&Saatchi business card under their windscreen wiper and asked them if they wanted to pop in for a cuppa.

The kettle's on but no takers yet.

In case you don't know about these guys check'm out here.

What the're really doing in Carouge I have no idea.



Win: China's Answer the the Swiss Army Knife

If you are China...

How do you do justice to cutting-edge innovation on the traditional shovel?

9 minutes of guys in camouflage, digging like badgers to a John Wayne soundtrack. That's how.

Take that Switzerland.

China: Racism

Chinese officials make it quite clear that black people performing tribal dances will not be tolerated in public parks and gardens.

See for yourself.

No Raving



China Corner #1

The American TV series “Prison Break” was hugely popular in China. Michael Scofield’s tattoo inspired many young men and women to emulate the fictional character…with disastrous consequences...

Michael Scofield

This is almost life like ...

This is my personal favourite ... reminds me of somebody ;-)

A hint of humour in this one ...


Big thanks to Steve for this :-)
The Padwar


Steal & Copy

STEAL & COPY is a Pop Art inspired firework of mutated childhood heroes, transformed icons and abstract patterns. It is the first solo-exhibition of graphic artist Lain. Besides working as a graphic designer the 28-year-old also publishes the Swiss art magazine Amateur.

As an extra goody there will be the premiere of the Art Clash video (by Pussiesparadise) in full length and a after party with Pablo Color & Stardust.

The location - Galerie Bleifrei - is a huge old car garage, just five minutes from Aarau train station.

OPENING EVENT: Sat. May 8th, 2010. Starting at 7 p.m.

Galerie Bleifrei
Buchserstrasse 19
5000 Aarau


Brian Gittins and Cemetery Junction in cinemas from today.

If you are in the UK then get yourself along tonight to the cinema to see Brian Gittins in the new Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant film called 'Cemetery Junction'

I was able to contact Brian in between shifts at his cafe for a brief but exclusive interview.

ARAB: Hello Brian how was it working with Ricky and Steve on set of Cemetery Junction?

BRIAN: Very awkward. I've never liked anything that they have done in the past, bunch of idiots those two. I basically did it for the money. My Dihutsu hi-jet van had broken down... I think I got about 700 quid which wasn't bad.

ARAB: Did you struggle at all with learning your lines?

BRIAN: Yes! especially if you are not interested in the project you are working on. I wanted to speak to Ralph Fiennes to ask for advice but he didn't want to come near me, basically he gave me a wide berth.

ARAB: How have people in the cafe reacted to your movie performance?

BRIAN: Well it's not really their cup of tea. They don't understand all this celebrity businesses.

ARAB: What film would you like to be in next?

BRIAN: Well errrrr, I've seen that Sylvester Stallone is making a new film called Expendables looks bloody brilliant, I want to be in that or the squeal.