The Egyptian-based artists were asked to cover the walls with authentic pro-Assad graffiti to make the set as realistic as possible. In the second episode of the fifth season, ’The Tradition of Hospitality’, Claire Danes’ character, Carrie Mathison visits a refugee camp on the Lebanese/Syrian border.
The Arabian Street Artists, including painters Heba Amin and Caram Kapp, were invited by a fellow street artist who had been approached by a production company looking for people to add authenticity to the set on the outskirts of Berlin in June.
But they revealed today that they took the opportunity to write slogans such as "Homeland is racist," "This show does not represent the views of the artists," and "Homeland is a joke and it didn’t make us laugh."
In a statement, the artists write that they were provoked by the show’s "inaccurate, undifferentiated and highly biased depiction of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans." Homeland has been criticised for its simplistic portrayal of Muslins as terrorists.
Amin told the Guardian: "We think the show perpetuates dangerous stereotypes by diminishing an entire region into a farce through the gross misrepresentations that feed into a narrative of political propaganda.
The Arabic script was not checked by producers prior to filming and the group have said this as an example of the problematic treatment of the Middle East.
"The content of what was written on the walls … was of no concern. In their eyes, Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East, a poster image dehumanising an entire region to human-less figures in black burkas and moreover, this season, to refugees."