'White Walls Say Nothing' Plans to Paint the Screens

Kickstarter for local doc about Buenos Aires street artists

The street art of Argentina, as depicted in the upcoming doc
The street art of Argentina, as depicted in the upcoming doc "White Walls Say Nothing"

Austin has its fair share of iconic murals but, according to the film makers behind White Walls Say Nothing, the street artists of Buenos Aries in Argentina have created a whole culture and political movement around their public pieces. Now they're trying to finish the movie, and are looking for Kickstarter supporters to finish the project.

The documentary, co-directed by Gates Bradley, charts how the street artists have become a key part of Argentina's political activism. They flourished as dissidents under the military dictatorship of the 1980s, but then gained a new role binding an ailing community together in the economic collapse of the last decade. The doc still needs to do more filming, and the $32,000 the film makers are looking for will cover travel, insurance, and equipment hire.

After Bradley spent six years in Austin, much of it with local film collective Super!Alright, he moved to Buenos Aries (cue dramatic irony: His co-producer, Carolina Peredo is an Argentinian living in Austin.) In Argentina, he discovered a network of former Texans. Through them, he met an English ex-pat Jonny Robson, co-founder of GrafittiMundo, an art collective and non-profit that introduces tourists and residents to the city's street art. He was Bradley's point of entry too. He said, "The more I learned about the story, the more I thought this is a story that needed to be shared with the wider world."

In America, whether a piece is considered street art and graffiti depends on either the kindness of wall owners or the speed of the artist. In Argentina, Bradley said, "It lives in this grey area, and it's one of the reasons why Argentinian society is fascinating to me. It's not criminalized, it's not legal, but I think people are just happy to see other people expressing themselves." Many view it as "a reclamation of spaces. … If you're trying to create something beautiful, more power to you."

In the politically and socially conscious work of his subjects, he sees spiritual links to other movements like Occupy. "People around the world are feeling relegated and like they don't have a voice. … The resilience of the Argentinians in the face of the last forty years is really inspiring."

The film has been a two year labor of love. Bradley said, "Since May, I've quit my job and I've been doing this full time. I've been burning through may savings." That's where Kickstarter comes in: The film is closing in fast on its deadline of 10pm on Oct. 31, but it's also within easy distance of its funding target. You can donate via their Kickstarter page.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Kickstarter
Opening the Book on Roller Derby
Opening the Book on Roller Derby
Local photographer Kickstarting history of Texas Rollergirls

Richard Whittaker, June 9, 2016

Adair Aiming for Indiewire Award
Adair Aiming for Indiewire Award
Linklater's editor's film eligible for prize

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 7, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
AFCA Announces Local Film Short List
AFCA Announces Local Film Short List
Five Austin films in contention for the annual award

Dec. 11, 2018

Guzu Gallery Celebrates Peak TV
Guzu Gallery Celebrates Peak TV
Binge: An Art Show Inspired by Television opens tonight

Dec. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Kickstarter, White Walls Saying Nothing, Grafitti, Street Art, Buenos Aries

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle