Media > Use of Media

PAINTBACK

HEIMAT, Berlin / LEGACY BLN / 2016

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Overview

Credits

Overview

CampaignDescription

The Hakenkreuz is a symbol that spreads fear and hate. You can remove it and hide the problem. But how about facing up to it and turning it into a medium to send back a different message? We decided to answer messages of hate with love and turn places of hate back into places of joy.

Execution

In the first step three established graffiti artists answered messages of hate with love. And Hakenkreuz graffiti turned into owls, flowers, Rubik’s cubes, cute cats or dancing ballerinas. Artists even inspired people by showing how you can easily transform the Nazi-symbol into something nice during a live event.

The artworks then became ads in a graffiti magazine, indoor posters, Facebook posts and a magazine, whose last page could be used as a #Paintback stencil. So you could instantly buy a couple of cans and spread the Paintback movement. Thus we inspired and activated people to redesign a Hakenkreuz as soon as they spotted one.

Outcome

Messages of hate were answered with love and fun. Within two weeks in March, 22 Hakenkreuz graffiti were turned into artwork and shared on social media, reaching thousands of people. The summarizing video quickly became the most successful Facebook post for LEGACY Graffiti store, with more than 500% higher than average in reach and more than 1000% more than average in shares.

Many more Hakenkreuz graffiti were turned into happiness but not shared on social media.

#paintback has just started to spread and will continue to turn countless places of fear into places of joy.

Relevancy

Extremists use the Hakenkreuz to mark their territory and to trigger fear. Instead of removing them we turned them into a new medium. And answered the message of hate with love. And turned back places of fear into places of joy.

Strategy

Based on the core of the Legacy Graffiti Store –beholding the legacy of

graffiti culture – we wanted to stand up against racism not by fighting hate with hate and aggression but with love, joy and fun.

In Spring 2016, we encouraged artists and people to #PaintBack. Inspiring the world to face radicalism in a new, positive and creative way. The Instagram and Facebook account of the Legacy Store Berlin became the base of a social movement against racist and nationalistic thinking that by it’s social cause would exceed the graffiti niche by far.

Synopsis

The Legacy Store Berlin is the home base of many of Berlin’s graffiti artists, heir of well known within the graffiti scene of Berlin. Especially because it’s not only a store to buy cans but a beholder of Berlins graffiti culture

A culture which has always been about spreading joy. However, since the outbreak of the refugee crisis more and more extremists started spraying “Hakenkreuze” to spread fear. The social background.

Racially- and nationalistic-motivated crimes increased by 80 percent in Berlin1 and 40 percent in Germany as a whole2 in 2015 alone. 60 percent of all nationalistic crimes are linked to vandalism and nationalistic daubs3.

Graffiti, for the Legacy Store Berlin a language to spread joy, suddenly became a language of hate. Particularly expressed in one symbol German nationalists use most: The Hakenkreuz. So Legacy wanted to make clear what Grafitti is really about: Joy, Love, Fun.

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