Political street artivists in print

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Joined: 11-12-03
Jan 29 2006 17:30
Political street artivists in print

For potential graffiti artists & subvertisers everywhere, get a load of this...

bristle presents: Political street expressions in Bristol & the South West – a photo archive 1998-2005

200 full colour, A6 size pages, with nearly 500 different images of stencils, murals, graffiti, subverts and other expressions which our cameras have been collecting for seven years.

At last, the long awaited bristle book…as New Labour continue to crack down on dissent, bristle celebrates it! Whilst a few of these images have been published in bristle before, most of them haven’t. All together they show the real depth of street expression and art in the city, and to a degree the ongoing political activism. Amazing. It is bigger than just Banksy, although he has been strong influence, and is included in the book too. Some of the issues covered show the level of outrage at war, or Bush’s visit to the UK, when the whole city was covered with messages, stencils… Some are very clever, some very artistic, some just basic. Some just add to what was already there…

This book demonstrates how much people need a space to express themselves, to be heard. The street, that space that we walk through day and night, was the medium. In many cases defying the laws, ASBOS, the cops, the council - some of the works included here are amazing in that sense – a mural done using a scaffolding, which was removed, and left a ‘rioting’ mural for life; another in a hotspot which took five days to create. Ingenuity & creativity.

There are many ‘subverts’, the activists’ mark that catches our eye, on the billboards that blight our neighbourhoods. Making nonsense of capitalist nonsense. Some are removed so quickly they go unnoticed, others last for weeks. This book allows you to enjoy them, to smile, and maybe be inspired too.

Included in this book is text on art activism written by the artivists themselves. Some has been published in bristle before. Some, such as articles by Graphic Attack and Clandestino, have not. There is also explanatory information relating to subvertising, publicity sabotage, etc. These and other articles are published purely to document a living history, and never to encourage direct action. Oh no.

Cost: £6 by post (cheques to ‘bristle’) to address below OR £5 direct from our stalls, non-commercial outlets, and from the Kebele Kulture Project’s bookstall (same address).

Buy on-line:

Also available from Active Distribution and 56A Info Shop, London

bristle, c/o 14 Robertson Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY

For more information, bulk orders, & review copies:, placing ‘bristle book’ in subject header


The images featured in this book are images following the principles of graffiti art: art produced in the street without a commercial purpose and as a way of expressing an idea, in most of the cases with a creative twist. The majority of them are anonymous, although some prefer to add their name to be recognised. Due to this anonymity and public concept, bristle has been reproducing examples of these expressions in Bristol and the South West since the start of our magazine in 1998.

We’re also faithful to this art’s non-profit principles: bristle is produced entirely by a collective of volunteers, and any surplus from sales of our magazines or books is used for the printing of future issues or similar projects. This book and the art included in it are ‘copyleft’ - free to reproduce for everyone with a non-profiting purpose, with a credit to bristle. Otherwise, copyright rules will apply to you.

Bristle does not identify with all the art included in this book and we don’t want to encourage vandalism - bombing houses to the ground is not nice!