Archive for the 'Antifa' Category

FC St. Pauli stickers #2

I did a little more research and polished my previous blog post on St. Pauli stickers for two reasons: 1.) I needed a shorter, condensed version without links to use in the Street Art Graphics digital archive, and 2.) I will use this version in the traveling exhibition, Re-Writing the Streets: The International Language of Stickers.  I can also use this exercise to show students the differences and similarities among a blog post, metadata for a digital archive, and an exhibition text panel.

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Hamburg, the German port city home to the St. Pauli football club (Fußball St. Pauli or FC St. Pauli), hosts a sports team well known for its outspoken anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic politics and its staunchly progressive social activism.  Founded in 1910, the club is located in the working-class district along the docks near the Reeperbahn red-light district, and for the past thirty years has maintained a certain cult following across Europe, initially attracting radicals, squatters, dockers, and prostitutes in the 1980s, and later, anarchists, punks, bikers, anti-fascists, and other politicized groups.  Known as the “pirates of the league,” the club has adopted a number of shipyard-related visual icons, including the Jolly Roger flag’s skull and crossbones, which is the unofficial crest and seen everywhere, as well as anchors, galleons, and sword brandishing buccaneers.  St. Pauli was the first team in Germany to ban right-wing activities and displays at its stadium, in response to hooligan fascists and neo-Nazis in the 1980s and ‘90s that were infiltrating matches across the country, fighting rival teams and police, and causing a great deal of violence and damage.  The sticker “St. Pauli-fans gegen Rechts!” or “St. Pauli fans against the Right!” has been widely produced and distributed and is said to have sold over two million copies.  Variants of “St. Pauli is brown [and] white,” the team’s home and away colors, are also common.  Many St. Pauli stickers portray the revolutionary guerrilla leader, Ernesto “Che” Guevara.  Others incorporate ad-busting techniques and similar forms of culture jamming, as seen in the appropriation of popular television and cartoon characters such as Homer Simpson, Hello Kitty, and Beavis and Butthead.

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One of St. Pauli’s closest rival teams, the wealthier Hamburger Sport-Verein (HSV or H$V), utilizes a blue, white, and black diamond crest that is often mocked in St. Pauli stickers.

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St. Pauli football club stickers

Hamburg, the German port city that is home to the St. Pauli Football Club, hosts a sports team well known for its outspoken anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic politics and its staunchly progressive activism.  Founded in 1910, the Club is located in the working-class district along the docks near the Reeperbahn red-light district.  For the past 30 years, the team has maintained a certain cult following across Europe, initially attracting radicals, squatters, dockers, and prostitutes in the 1980s, and later, anarchists, punks, bikers, anti-fascists, and other politicized groups.  You can read more at When Punk and Football Collide, Punks, prostitutes and St. Pauli: Inside soccer’s coolest club, and Hamburg, Germany: Football fans say ‘Love St Pauli, Hate Racism’.

Known as the “pirates of the league,” the St. Pauli Club has adopted a number of shipyard-related visual icons, including the Jolly Roger flag’s skull and crossbones, which is the team’s logo and seen everywhere, as well as anchors, galleons, and sword brandishing buccaneers.

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St. Pauli was the first team in Germany to ban right-wing activities and displays at their stadium, in response to hooligan fascists and neo-Nazis in the 1980s and ‘90s that were infiltrating matches across the country, fighting rival teams and police, and causing a great deal of violence and damage.  The sticker “St. Pauli-fans gegen Rechts!” or “St. Pauli fans against right extremism!” has been widely produced and distributed and by now is said to have sold over two million copies.  There is even a Facebook page for Sankt Pauli Fans gegen Rechts.

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Ultras named on stickers refer to extreme football fan clubs and can lean both left and right.  Several St. Pauli fan clubs have been formed in the last 20 years, including the Sankt Pauli Skinheads in 1996 and the St. Pauli Ultras in 2002.  In these cases, skinheads, punks, and other alternative sub-groups are self-defined anti-fascists.  You can get a good sense of the raucous nature of a St. Pauli game at The accidental ultra – St Pauli away (“away” meaning “visitor” to the Brit author).

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The revolutionary guerrilla leader Che Guevera is represented on many St. Pauli stickers, as are other iconic figures, including the American actor John Goodman with a handgun from the movie The Big Lebowski and Yoda the Jedi Master from Star Wars.

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Other football related stickers in this series include A.C.A.B. (or 1312), which stands for “all cops are bastards.”

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Arline Wolfe at SLU recently catalogued over 100 St. Pauli stickers and added them to the Street Art Graphics digital archive (click on “sports”), or you can view the uncatalogued stickers on my Flickr site here.

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Antifa Jugendfront stickers from Infoladen Daneben

One of my students at SLU, Carolyn Dellinger ’16, is starting to catalogue the Antifa Jugendfront stickers from Infoladen Daneben that I scanned over the summer (see Berlin-based sticker collections in previous post).  From 79 original raw scans, I came up with a total of 48 edited image files consisting of 16 complete stickers, 4 full sheets of “pre-Photoshop” color-separated stickers, and various individual color-separated stickers and overlays.  Carolyn also created seven image files that are diptychs or triptychs to show the color separations side by side.  The 54 image files in this set can be viewed on my Flickr page for Stickerkitty’s collection (uncatalogued).

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This is the first time I’ll be working with a student on more advanced cataloguing, and so it’s sort of a trial run for future Weaving the Streets & People’s Archive (WSPA) projects.  One of the long-term goals for WSPA is to develop a process to train students and others on how to gather and catalogue examples of street art for a digital archive.  The first step in cataloguing is to create standard metadata fields and terminologies.  (Metadata is data about data.)  In many cases, fields will be populated with the same metadata (i.e., creator = unknown, time span = 1991, geographic location = Berlin, Germany, etc.).  Students will then complete the more difficult fields, such as description, subject, key words, and themes.

Below is the outline for cataloguing the Antifa Jugendfront stickers.  Information in [brackets] will be used as is for every record.  Carolyn will create new metadata for the fields marked in bold.

  • Title [Antifa Jugendfront – and all or most of the main text on the sticker using a logical, “natural language” approach in approximately 10 to 20 words].  We’re using “Antifa Jugendfront” at the beginning of each record in order for the stickers to appear together in the digital archive.
  • Title-Alternative (any additional text that doesn’t fit in Title)
  • Title-Translation (try Google Translate and see what you get)
  • Creator [unknown]
  • Contributor [Antifa Jugendfront (Antifa Youth Front)]
  • Source [Infoladen Daneben, Berlin, Germany]
  • Time Span [1991]
  • Geographic Location [Berlin, Germany]
  • Language [German]
  • Class [graphic arts]
  • Type [sticker, spucki]
  • Format/Medium [offset lithograph - black and red ink on yellow paper]
  • Description (will need to create guidelines)
  • Curator’s Statement – (CT will write – mention both sets of individual stickers and paired stickers)
  • Key Words (will need to create guidelines)
  • Subject (Arline will do)
  • Themes (see attached handout)
  • Notes [Scanned by Catherine Tedford, August 2013.]
  • Cataloguer, Date [Carolyn Dellinger, SLU ‘16]
  • Digital Image File Name (original) (use the edited image files you created)
  • Digital Image File Name (new ContentDM name) (to be determined later)

I did some research last week on Antifa Jugendfront and was surprised and delighted to find that several examples of the stickers we’re cataloguing are also available online at the International Institute of Social History, based in Amsterdam.  I’ve never come across street art graphics catalogued to this extent, and for the geeks out there, the records have call numbers, as well as super geek MARC (MAchine-Readable Cataloging) standards metadata (which stopped Arline in her tracks).

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The sticker Gegen Sexismus und Frauen-Unterdrückung (http://search.socialhistory.org/Record/788102) is included in the IISH catalogue, but in this case it’s represented as a poster at 29.5 x 42 cm.  It’s also dated ca. 1989, so that confirms the time span we have listed in our database.

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A full sheet of stickers is also included in the IISH catalogue, measuring 30.5 x 43.5 cm before they were trimmed to sticker size.  See http://search.socialhistory.org/Record/787803.

Infoladen full sheet

Blockupy Frankfurt stickers

Stickers and street posters for Blockupy Frankfurt and Blockupy Deportation Airport (also in Frankfurt) now blanket Berlin.

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What I find interesting, though, is the contrast between these in 2013 (above) compared to these in 2012 (below).

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B2B x 2

B2B = back to blogging!

It’s been over a month since my last blog post.  I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately with the flood of information that is available online to the point where I can’t write.  I leave tabs open in Firefox to remember all the cool stuff out there: a new online anarchist archive at the University of Victoria in BC, Canada; a book called OurSpace: Resisting the Corporate Control of Culture; Death and Taxes’s Occupy Wall Street Systematically Ignored by Mainstream Media; AP’s Wall Street protester’s dress as zombies in NYC; Occupy Boston at Dewey Street’s downloadable print and post flyers; the Anarchist’s Developments’s article called The Response of Cultural Studies to 9/11 Skepticism in American Popular Culture; a YouTube video about Peter Claussen als Diplomat in der DDR (Peter Claussen is a U.S. State Department colleague of a friend of mine now situated in Berlin and might be a great contact!); an Ai Weiwei photography show at the Martin-Gropius-Bau opening this Friday; and, of all things, a story about the spiritual side of the OWS protests, in which a Tom Beaudoin, associate professor of theology at Fordham University, writes,

“… when they embody visions of a possible future that influence the larger social imagination, and when they sculpt the desires of the protestors themselves for the better.  In these ways, resistance can become symbolic action, protests become like religious ritual — and in those ways, even more important.”

(Made me miss my dad, again.)

B2B also means back to Berlin!!!!!!  I’m heading over on Thursday for a week, and once again, same as my last trip, the stars are aligned for good things.  A series of demonstrations around the world will take place on Saturday, October 15, for “a global revolution.”  I’ve been trying to find a single Web site for the event, which I realize is impossible, but have only come up with various FB sites and YouTube videos.  Knowing what I’ve seen in German stickerland, however, I’m sure there will be some serious street art in Berlin.  I’m also making a short trip to Hamburg this time.  A few people have indicated that Hamburg has a pretty lively street art scene and left-wing political antifa culture.

I also learned today the Stroke Urban Art Fair #5 will be in Berlin this weekend, October 14-16, 2011.  Hot dawg!  SLU students, Spencer-la, and I traveled to Munich in May 2010 to see Stroke #2, and everyone said how the Munich show was much more focused on sales and $$.  Richer clientele.  The Berlin version is supposed to be a little more alternative.  We’ll see.

Okay, off to pack and do laundry.  Count down!

Newest protest stickers

Examples from the May 2011 trip to Berlin in relation to my previous post.  These are all antifa specific.  Others to follow.  I miss collecting stickers in Berlin.  Time to schedule another trip!

By good fortune

By good fortune or great coincidence, I met someone in the Inuit art world who was actively involved in German street art in the late 1980s and early 1990s – working with others in stencils, stickers, and posters.  He contributed to the publication of “hoch die kampf dem: 20 Jahre Plakata autonomer Bewegungen” (“20 years of autonomous movements posters”) and “vorwärts bis zum nieder mit: 30 Jahre Plakate unkontrollierter Bewegungen,” which on Amazon translates awkwardly to “forward to the down with: 30 years of posters of uncontrolled movements.”  When I put “with others” above, he told me that individuals rarely worked alone.  Rather, people worked in collectives—by consensus in small associations for a particular protest, or in more long-term antifa movements and support network for autonomous centers (his words, not mine).  The first publication is available as a PDF PlakatbuchBand1, and it appears to be reviewed online here.  Both publications come with CDs, which may be a little more difficult to track down.

Even though I don’t speak German, I can see in the first publication that some of the themes and graphics found in contemporary stickers date back several years to the mid- to late-1980s, such as “Atomkraft: nein Danke!” (“Atomic energy?  No thanks!”) and “Kein mensch ist illegal” (No one is illegal”).

The other weird coincidence is that this guy from Germany goes by kleiner kosmonaut, and when I looked online, I found this:

Which looks a little like the wallpaper in the Jetson Room at the John Morris Manor B&B where I stayed when my twin nephews graduated from Hobart William Smith a few weeks ago in May.

Can’t make this stuff up!

A.C.A.B. stickers

A.C.A.B. is an acronym that stands for “all cops are bastards,” a punk phrase that can be heard shouted at public demonstrations and protests throughout Germany and many counties in Europe.  The formidable police presence at these events gets little notice in the United States, yet hundreds of videos on YouTube depict violent head-on clashes between armed police and unarmed protesters and passersby.

In prisons in the United Kingdom and United States, the letters A.C.A.B. can often be found tattooed on the front of a person’s four fingers in clenched fist.  Alternately, in various other contexts, the acronym can mean, “always carry a Bible,”[1] “anarcho-communists are beautiful,” and in the photograph below, “acht Cola, acht Bier” (eight colas, eight beer).[2]

Banners and flags with A.C.A.B. appear at European football games, and in April 2010, police in Amsterdam arrested three men at a game for wearing T-shirts with the number 1312.  In January 2011, the men were each fined 330 Euros.[3]

A.C.A.B. stickers depict a range of sentiments from photographs of militant antifa hooligans clad in black standing face-to-face with armed riot police and uniformed Polizei snorting coke, to cartoons of young punks, musicians, and street artists.  In one sticker, a vengeful Bart Simpson and clan are shown running from a calamitous scene of fire and smoke with bottle rocket, wrench, and wooden bat, chasing down dopey and bewildered cops.

The AJAK antifa sticker (Antifa jugendaktion Kreuzburg) shows a photograph of a young man being arrested.  Dressed in green as a mischievous Peter Pan with arms bound in cord behind him, he is escorted into a police car.  The interaction depicted here is not overtly violent, unlike some of the others.

Silvio Meier demonstrations in Berlin

Twenty-seven-year-old Silvio Meier was murdered on November 21, 1992, by neo-Nazis at the U-Bhf Samariterstraße, a train station in Berlin-Friedrichshain, a district in former east Berlin.  From London’s Daily Mail, November 27, 1992, this was one of over 1,800 racist attacks in Germany that year.  From the article, “according to Interior Ministry figures, 1,483 of these were Right-wing inspired.”  Also from the article:

“NOVEMBER 21, Berlin: Silvio Meier, aged 27.

A SQUATTER with Left-wing views, Mr Meier was stabbed in a Tube train in the East Berlin suburb of Friedrichshain.  Friends were badly injured after being stabbed several times. Mr Meier died from his injuries.

Media coverage: The attack was reported in detail on the front pages of all the Berlin newspapers.

Police action: On Tuesday, Sven M, 17, was charged with manslaughter.  He describes himself as a ‘soccer hooligan’, but maintains he is not a member of any Right-wing group.  He claims that before the attack Mr Meier had shot him with an airgun.”

The New York Times, November 24, 1992, describes the event:

Anarchists and leftists fought a bloody brawl with rightist skinheads at a subway station in eastern Berlin Friday night, and a 27-year-old man, Silvio Meier, who was fighting alongside the leftists, was stabbed to death. A police investigator said one of his attackers wore a patch on his jacket reading, ‘I am proud to be German’.”

Over 3,500 people marched in November 2010 in Meier’s memory.  Graphics this year can be found and downloaded from the Web site www.silviomeier.de.vu.  One poster includes three images of young people participating in relatively non-violent protest.  One portrays a young black man with his arm raised in solidarity.  A second shows a group of young people playing and partying on the street, knocking around, goofing, flipping the bird, laughing.  A third shows a much larger group marching the street; in this case one of the protesters waves a torch on fire.  These images stand in contrast from the more militant images from the demonstration in 2009.  You can also click on the link below for a PDF of the poster.

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Here again, we find social media at play.  This year, a blog entitled “Fighting Fire with Gasoline” posted an announcement for Siempre Antifascista November 2010 in Berlin, an international antifascist festival featuring concerts, a demonstration, and conference.

According to the RASH site an international Antifa action day is planned for the 11th of November 2010.  The Antifa conference with speakers from different countries I am so looking forward to is planned for the 12th to 14th of November.  The yearly Silvio-Meier demonstration will also take place during the festival weekend 19/20th.  You are all encouraged to use the ‘Siempre Antifascista’ logo for your actions and send the reports to the RASH web site!  Remembering means fighting! Kick fascism out of the subcultures!

The same “Fighting Fire with Gasoline” blog later tells of the Silvio Meier remembrance demonstration in 2010 in which neo-Nazis fire-bombed a shop in Berlin.  The post also states:

[The] right of centre government decided to apply its ‘extremism’ label to governmental funding of so-called civil initiatives, which mostly act against neo-nazis and racism.  I don’t think Antifa groups are going to have to go back to black and white flyers, most did not get too close to state funding anyway.  But some initiatives especially in the East where doing a good job but I think they will have to sign a clause which says that they support the constitution.  That may be the reason why the Silvio-Meier demonstration 2010 will take place under the banner: ‘Fight the Nazis, fight the state!’.”

ctrl + alt + T

Firefox came out recently with a handy free add-on called ImTranslator that allows one to select text from any digital source, hit ctrl + alt + T, and receive an immediate translation.  Easy to install and easy to use.  If you like it, you can make an online donation to help cover costs, I assume.

Here is an example from antifastreetart’s About page:

Nachdem dies mit dem deutschen Faschismus vernichtet wurde, entstand im konservativ geprägten Nachkriegsdeutschland mit dem Beginn der 68er Bewegung ein neuer Anlauf, die Menschen vor allem durch politische Plakatkunst zu erreichen. Unter dem Motto „Kreativität gegen Kapitalismus!“ wurden so tausende Plakate unter die Bevölkerung gebracht….

that translates in a blink of an eye to this:

After this was destroyed with the German fascism, a new approach originated in the conservatively stamped post-war German land at the beginning of the 68th movement to reach the people above all by political poster art. Under the motto „ creativity against capitalism! “ thousands of posters were brought thus under the population….



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