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Why resist with art?

Subversive artwork has an ancient and important history in the story of humanity. Early Christians, fearing punishment from the Romans, announced their presence covertly to other Christians in Ephesus with graffiti. Jewish people and many others employed creative resistance against fascists in Europe. It has always been a way to connect with others when the stakes are high and speaking out can be dangerous. Art is a wonderful, fun expression of our humanity and is an effective tool in our resistance toolbox. What's best about art is anyone can participate! Read on for methods and media that suit every personal ability, inclination, and skill level.

A note about safety

Please take responsibility for your own safety while making and posting your artwork. This website does not advocate breaking any laws, so travel in groups, research the regulations that apply in your area, and gain permission from the property owner before you go.

Formats

Guerrilla art doesn't consist simply of spraycan art. There is a rainbow of options available to you, the artist. They vary in levels of permanence, destructiveness, and artistic skill required. So choose your format and get making!

Posters/flyers

Wheatpaste is a popular adhesive for many street artists, but be warned that some cities don't permit it. Frightening Prospect recommends going in groups of 2-3 for safety, and The Big Picture uses language like "beautify", "short term", and "washes right off with water" to make posters more palatable to property owners.

Tutorials:
Wheatpaste recipe + poster pasting
Creating large images (thread)

Stencils

Spraypaint stencils are familiar in no small part to iconic artists Shepard Fairey and Banksy. You'll need to be fairly handy with image editing software. Use spraypaint at your own risk, or try using chalk as a non-permanent alternative.

Tutorials:
Complex stencilmaking
Large format stencil
Spray chalk stenciling
Chalk dust stenciling

Signs + banners

Creative signs and banners can hang just about anywhere, from your apartment window or front yard to fences and overpasses. Print 'em, paint 'em, sew 'em, glue 'em. The hardest part might be keeping it simple.

Articles:
How to make protest signs
Arts amplify the power of protest signs
Art build techniques for protest

Light projection

Messages and images projected onto buildings, particularly those belonging to the target of the protest, have gained notoriety recently. Artist Robin Bell picks Trump Hotel, the World Bank, and the FBI as his targets.

Tutorial:
Projection bombing
Projection bombing shopping list

Organics

Moss graffiti is an unconventional eco-friendly way to spread your message. It takes some nurturing though, so it will be harder for you to remain anonymous.

Tutorial:
Moss graffiti

Other ideas

  • Sticker art
  • Zines
  • Book inserts
  • Crochet / yarn bombs
  • Music
  • Poetry
  • Puppetry
  • Pothole filling
  • Performance art (e.g. as a form of civil disobedience)
  • Flash mobs

Download some artwork

Come get a file, print it out, and stick it up on a surface near you.