Narratively Presents Live from the Underground by Jamie Maleszka

How Videograf Continued the Graffiti Legacy

Narratively, a website devoted to telling somewhat untold stories, has recently published a story written by Jamie Maleszka on graffiti media innovators Videograf. Videograf, was a video magazine founded in 1989 that sought out to report on, for, and from the underground. Videograf’s team consisted of three members with roots in graffiti: William “Nic One” Green, Colin Turner, and Carl Weston, who participated in our Write Of Passage program’s lecture series. Credited by folks within the culture as the first of its kind Videograf served as the only outlet that provided access to writers, their work, and the most elusive and guarded elements of the culture. Check out an excerpt below and head over to Narratively to read the full piece, that includes a quote from our own Sacha Jenkins on his early contributions to the development of Videograf.

“We tried to give our fellow writers something from us, for us,” says Green. “We helped to give the movement a platform, its voice and promise.”

Footage was often shot under cover of night. The always-impending feeling of getting caught lurks in most frames. The unmistakable hiss of spray paint and the jingle-jangle of the cans are ever present between the questions asked by Cameraman Carl: “Who you down with?” “What do you write?” There is an energy and an ease when the writers respond. They know they are with their own. Walls are hit, live trains are bombed. Writers brag and boast. The montage of gonzo adventure in vandalism is punctuated with the reckless daring of youth.

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