Banksy News

Banksy’s coming to South Bank... 

in the form of Lazarides new Gallery!

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Lazarides is about to add to your South Bank experience by opening a new gallery dedicated to Banksy prints! The gallery will be called "Banksy Print Gallery" and will be primarily selling secondary market Banksy Prints.
So, let's time-warp back and recap on the connection Lazarides gallery has with Banksy. It all started in the early 1990's, Steve Lazarides was working at a photoshoot for Sleaze Nation magazine and he met Banksy. Steve went on to work with Banksy for a number of years and this helped create the buzz and controversy around "street art" that we know today.

Over the years Banksy art has become more and more popular, with several artists trying to copy his work and murals being located all over the globe. The "Banksy Print Gallery" will simply be celebrating his work and offering the public the chance to buy his prints. All of this, just in time for Christmas.
In the words of Steve Lazarides, "This gallery will sell secondary market Banksy prints and will also have a collection of my photographs from our time together, as well as displaying ephemera from the period."
The gallery itself opens to the public Friday 2nd (December 2016).
Address: 22 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
(The gallery is based in the Mondrian London hotel)
Opening Times: Tuesday–Saturday 11am–7pm
Admission is free


More Irish poetry: Doireann Ní Ghríofa

While Bleeding

Related Poem Content Details

In a vintage boutique on Sullivan’s Quay,
I lift a winter coat with narrow bodice, neat lapels,
a fallen hem. It is far too expensive for me,
but the handwritten label

brings it to my chest in armfuls of red.
In that year, someone drew a blade
through a bolt of fabric and stitched
this coat into being. I carry it
to the dressing room, slip my arms in.
Silk lining spills against my skin. I clasp the belt
and draw a slow breath as a cramp curls again,
where blood stirs and melts. In glass,
I am wrapped in the weight of old red:

red pinched into girl cheeks
and smeared from torn knees,
lipstick blotted on tissue,
bitten lips, a rough kiss,
all the red bled into pads and rags,
the weight of red, the wait for red, that we share.

In the mirror, the old coat blushes.
This pocket may once have sheltered something
precious — a necklace, a love letter, or
a fresh egg, feather-warm, its shell brittle
around a hidden inner glow, held loosely
so it couldn’t crack, couldn’t leak through seams,
so it couldn’t stain the dress within.
Source: Poetry (September 2015)


 Stumbling upon all these verses...
This beautiful book of poems by William Butler Yeats is always by my side in my bedroom, and here I opened it tonight while listening to some Irish more modern poetry sent by an artist friend.

"The Wild Swans at Coole" 
by W.B. Yeats 
(read by Tom O'Bedlam)


In Memory of
Major Robert Gregory

Now that we're almost settled in our house
I'll name the friends that cannot sup with us
Beside a fire of turf in th' ancient tower,
And having talked to some late hour
Climb up the narrow winding stair to bed:
Discoverers of forgotten truth
Or mere companions of my youth,
All, all are in my thoughts to-night being dead.

Always we'd have the new friend meet the old
And we are hurt if either friend seem cold,
And there is salt to lengthen out the smart
In the affections of our heart,
And quarrels are blown up upon that head;
But not a friend that I would bring
This night can set us quarrelling,
For all that come into my mind are dead.

Lionel Johnson comes the first to mind,
That loved his learning better than mankind,
Though courteous to the worst; much falling he
Brooded upon sanctity
Till all his Greek and Latin learning seemed
A long blast upon the horn that brought
A little nearer to his thought
A measureless consummation that he dreamed.

And that enquiring man John Synge comes next,
That dying chose the living world for text
And never could have rested in the tomb
But that, long travelling, he had come
Towards nightfall upon certain set apart
In a most desolate stony place,
Towards nightfall upon a race
Passionate and simple like his heart.

And then I think of old George Pollexfen,
In muscular youth well known to Mayo men
For horsemanship at meets or at racecourses,
That could have shown how pure-bred horses
And solid men, for all their passion, live
But as the outrageous stars incline
By opposition, square and trine;
Having grown sluggish and contemplative.

They were my close companions many a year,
A portion of my mind and life, as it were,
And now their breathless faces seem to look
Out of some old picture-book;
I am accustomed to their lack of breath,
But not that my dear friend's dear son,
Our Sidney and our perfect man,
Could share in that discourtesy of death.

For all things the delighted eye now sees
Were loved by him; the old storm-broken trees
That cast their shadows upon road and bridge;
The tower set on the stream's edge;
The ford where drinking cattle make a stir
Nightly, and startled by that sound
The water-hen must change her ground;
He might have been your heartiest welcomer.

When with the Galway foxhounds he would ride
From Castle Taylor to the Roxborough side
Or Esserkelly plain, few kept his pace;
At Mooneen he had leaped a place
So perilous that half the astonished meet
Had shut their eyes; and where was it
He rode a race without a bit?
And yet his mind outran the horses' feet.

We dreamed that a great painter had been born
To cold Clare rock and Galway rock and thorn,
To that stern colour and that delicate line
That are our secret discipline
Wherein the gazing heart doubles her might.
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
And yet he had the intensity
To have published all to be a world's delight.

What other could so well have counselled us
In all lovely intricacies of a house
As he that practised or that understood
All work in metal or in wood,
In moulded plaster or in carven stone?
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
And all he did done perfectly
As though he had but that one trade alone.

Some burn damp faggots, others may consume
The entire combustible world in one small room
As though dried straw, and if we turn about
The bare chimney is gone black out
Because the work had finished in that flare.
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
As 'twere all life's epitome.
What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?

I had thought, seeing how bitter is that wind
That shakes the shutter, to have brought to mind go
All those that manhood tried, or childhood loved
Or boyish intellect approved,
With some appropriate commentary on each;
Until imagination brought
A fitter welcome; but a thought
Of that late death took all my heart for speech.

by W illiam Butler Yeats



   In February 1918, Robert Gregory, a major in the British air force, died while fighting in battle over Italy.  In the eyes of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, Robert Gregory was a fine, young, Renaissance man, whom he described as a “soldier, scholar, horseman.” To help his dear friend Lady Gregory cope with the loss of her son and to ease his own pain, Yeats writes the poem, “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory.”  Many scholars suggest that this poem is the finest elegy in the English language since Lycidas.  In the poem, Yeats compares Robert Gregory to three deceased friends, each of whom exhibits a characteristic that Robert Gregory embodies.  In writing this poem, Yeats’s attempt at catharsis fails, as he realizes that his emotions in response to the death are beyond words.  A mere poem cannot fully express his grief or commemorate a man’s life.  Although he has learned to appreciate the value of human life, Yeats must come to terms with the loss of his friend before he can come of age.

By writing this elegy, W.B. Yeats glorifies Major Robert Gregory and seeks to provide comfort for Lady Gregory and himself.  Losing a friend is tough, and the reader can relate with Yeats's dilemma.  Throughout his life, Yeats has used his poetry as a means for solving his problems.  A coming-of-age process involves a person learning about himself, and therefore, during the Middle Yeats period, he usually comes-of-age after writing a poem.  However, this poem is an exception because it is one of four poems dedicated to Robert Gregory--it takes four full poems for Yeats to accept Gregory's death.    "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory" was not written for only one man but for an entire generation of youth who died in the horrors of war.  Major Robert Gregory symbolizes all the promising youth who fell to an early death.  In memorializing Robert Gregory, Yeats remembers three of his dear friends who also died young.  Each of these men had a third of what Yeats considers to be perfection, and Robert Gregory was the synthesis of these traits.  Robert Gregory was in harmony with mind, spirit, and body, as a "soldier, scholar, horseman."  He excelled at every task he set to do, and that is why Yeats labels him as "life's epitome."    Yeats's healing process is a microcosm of Europe's reconstruction following the first world war.  Deep wounds with "salt to lengthen out the smart" take a lifetime to overcome, and neither Yeats nor Europe has shown any sign of coming of age.  Yeats ends his poem in speechless frustration.  Europe has a second world war just twenty years later.  The poem provokes the reader to re-evaluate his own experiences with death.  If writing to achieve catharsis works for Yeats, then it might for the reader.  Following the death of a loved one, the reader must not keep his emotions bottled inside.  Accordingly, Yeats avoids the dangers of not facing the reality of death, and, at the same time, teaches the reader a lesson by venting his emotions through poetry. 


The sound of Blade Runner...

For the love of music :

Vangelis' Blade Runner performed by Heritage Orchestra
at Massive Attack's Meltdown Festival, in 2008
- extracts:


'Rachel's Song' - Blade Runner


Visionary film... There we are. Destroying our planet, our own creations, and therefore denying our own humanity.

Live sets from 1996 / 2016

 Yesterday, at the Walrus record shop, Paris 10 art, we were talking about the evolution of Massive Attack's sound, with the inspired talk show host, Frederique Labussiere, from French radio FIP, the Nordest bookstore's owner, Patrick, and a couple of dozens fans and readers of my book.

To display a representation of the band's stage evolution, which represent a lot for them who have always been willing to deliver a message through visuals and performances, here are a few clips, one from the very creative area of the mid 1990s, comprising two songs - and three other live extracts from this year, 20 years later.


Massive Attack - Live From "The White Room"- 
Channel 4 - 2nd March 1996

"The White Room" was a Channel 4 music show that aired during the 1990's, and hosted by Mark Radcliffe. 
This is Massive Attack's two song performance from the show that aired on the 2nd March 1996.

01. Karmacoma 
02. Eurochild (Euro Zero Zero) 

Massive Attack - 'Girl I Love You' - Live at O2 Apollo, 
Manchester, 28/01/2016

Massive Attack feat. Martina Topley-Bird - 'Clock Forward'
 - Zénith de Paris - 27/02/2016 - France

Massive Attack & Tricky - 'Take It There' - Hyde Park, London, July 2016


PJ Harvey - 'We Float'

..."You carried all my hopes 
Until something broke inside"...

PJ Harvey - 'We Float'

"We Float"

We wanted to find love 
We wanted success 
Until nothing was enough 
Until my middle name was excess 
And somehow I lost touch 
When you went out of sight 
When you got lost into the city 
Got lost into the night

I was in need of help 
Heading to black out 
'Til someone told me run on in honey 
Before somebody blows your goddam' brains out 
You shop-lifted as a child 
I had a model's smile 
You carried all my hopes 
Until something broke inside

But now we float 
Take life as it comes

So will we die of shock? 
Die without a trial 
Die on Good Friday 
While holding each other tight 
This is kind of about you 
This is kind of about me 
We just kind of lost our way 
But we were looking to be free

But one day we'll float
Take life as it comes

Massive Attack, de Bristol à Brooklyn et Beyrouth: discussion le 26 novembre

Depuis 1991, le groupe Massive Attack incarne un métissage social et sonore britannique et s'attaque à l'actualité, dans ses raps, son art, sur scène... 

Ce collectif unique m'a donné un tremplin pour raconter autrement les 30 dernières années, au Royaume-Uni mais aussi aux quatre coins du monde où ses membres se sont rendus, de Brooklyn à Beyrouth. 

Bristol, 1985, rassemblement populaire pour dénoncer l'Apartheid en Afrique du Sud

Rdv le 26 novembre au Walrus avec Frédérique Labussiere et la Librairie Nordest pour vous en dire plus sur leur ville, Bristol, leurs origines, les groupes qui les ont inspirés et ceux qu'ils ont ensuite influencés.

RDV samedi à partir de 16 heures...


Thought of the day: Rumi

“I have come to drag you out of yourself, and

 take you into my heart. 

I have come to bring out the beauty you never 

knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the 


~ Rumi 


En dehors de la zone de confort : Entretien avec le magazine Transfuge

En dehors de la zone de confort, Melissa Chemam

Par Line Papin
le Vendredi 18 Novembre 2016



Actualité -En dehors de la zone de confort , Melissa Chemam

Line Papin: Votre livre "En dehors de la zone de confort" paru en octobre 2016 aux éditions Anne Carrière, retrace l'histoire d'un groupe d'artistes et de leur ville, Bristol, de 1965 à aujourd'hui. Comment vous est venue l'envie d'écrire dessus ? 
Melissa Chemam : J'admire depuis longtemps l'engagement du groupe Massive Attack, et j'écoute énormément leur musique, très régulièrement. Je savais qu'il y a toujours eu autour d'eux toute une scène très riche, de Tricky à Portishead, et également Banksy, car le street artist a été inspiré par l'un des membres de Massive Attack, 3D, également artiste.
Puis, en août 2014, Massive Attack est passé en concert au Liban au moment où je travaillais pour France Culture et couvrais des événements au Proche-Orient depuis Paris : les manifestations contre les violences à Gaza, les élections en Turquie ouvertes pour la premiere fois aux Turcs de l'étranger, etc. Comme je travaille surtout sur la politique internationale mais aussi sur l'art, la musique et la littérature, j'ai pensé qu'écrire sur un groupe si imprégné par l'actualité serait une excellente façon de faire évoluer mon rapport au journalisme. Un groupe à la fois musical et artistique de plus, et dont les origines et la ville de naissance disent beaucoup de leur évolution. Bristol est une ville multiculturelle, qui a une histoire compliquée, liée à la conquête de l'Amérique, la traite d'esclave, puis de nombreuses émeutes et manifestations pour la défense des droits des minorités ou des travailleurs.
Cela présentait un merveilleux terrain d'écriture, mêlant reportage sur place et réflexions historiques et artistiques. J'ai parlé de mon idée à mon ami Bertrand Dicale, grand journaliste musique, qui m'a mis en relation avec les Editions Anne Carrière. Et le projet s'est concrétisé lorsque 3D a accepté de me rencontrer. 
L.P. : Est-ce un mouvement, une culture, une ville, une histoire qui vous paraissent trop peu connus du grand public ?  
M.C. : J'utilise le mot révolution souvent dans le livre parce que oui, un mouvement culturel est né dans cette ville et a changé la façon de produire de la musique. Massive Attack est le groupe le plus connu de la ville, mais il a été nourri par de nombreuses influences à Bristol pendant les 10 années qui ont précédé la sortie de leur incroyable premier album, Blue Lines, en 1991. Notamment la passion des jeunes de cette ville pour le reggae et pour la musique punk, deux styles imprégnés de références politiques. Le Pop Group et les Cortinas enflamment alors les foules à Bristol. Le groupe de reggae Black Roots est également pionniers.
Nous sommes alors en 1980, au début des années Thatcher, et quelques DJs mélangent tous ces genres dans des bars et caves de Bristol, accompagnant leur soirée de performance de breakdance et de superbes graffiti. 
L'histoire et le contexte était peu connu en France, et aucun livre sérieux n'avait été écrit sur le sujet, même en Grande-Bretagne. Depuis, Massive Attack a atteint le sommet des charts, entrepris plusieurs tournées mondiales, pris la défense des réfugiés, et révolutionné son propre son à chaque album. Mais parce que ses membres restent très discrets et peu prompts à parler aux médias, beaucoup d'éléments de leur riche créativité restaient selon moi mal connus. Il était temps de leur accorder un espace pour s'exprimer! C'est pour cela que j'ai rencontré une trentaines d'artistes de la ville. 
L.P. : Parleriez vous de Bristol Sound et de Bristol Urban Culture ? 
M.C. : Oui, tout à fait. Le Bristol Sound ou slow tempo ou trip hop mêle samples et rythmes hip-hop, mais ralentis. Il a une touche mélancolique très présente dans des titres comme 'Unfinished Sympathy' et 'Protection' de Massive Attack et sur le premier album de Portishead, Dummy, sortir fin 1994. Quand au street art, il a vraiment explosé à Bristol à partir de 1984, en même temps qu'à Birmingham et Londres, provoquant un enthousiasme très fort chez les jeunes, dont nombreux chômeurs à cette époque. Et 3D, le rappeur, parolier et musicien éclectique de Massive Attack a été le premier grand street artiste de la ville. Une exposition de Graffiti a été organisé à Bristol en 1985 autour de lui, et des artistes sont venus de New York, Londres et Birmingham pour y participer. C'est probablement là que Banksy a découvert sa vocation! 
L.P. : Auriez vous l'envie d'écrire ou d'organiser autre chose autour de Bristol et de ces mouvements artistiques et musicaux ? 
M.C. : J'organise déjà une série de rencontres à Paris dont la première le 26 novembre avec le disquaire-café Walrus, en partenariat avec la librairie Nordest. Ensuite d'autres rencontres auront lieu avec des galeries d'art urbain. Je veux aussi parler du livre dans les lycées, avec des enseignants d'histoire et d'anglais. 
Et je travaille à la traduction du livre en anglais en ce moment. Ce sera l'occasion de créer l'événement sur place à Bristol!  
L.P. : Ou bien de vous pencher sur une autre ville, puisque vous avez aussi beaucoup voyagé ?
M.C. : Je viens de passer une semaine à Belfast notamment pour explorer sa scène artistique. De même, j'aimerais retourner en Afrique, en Afrique de l'Ouest cette fois, sûrement, pour parler des liens entre art et politique. Ou peut-être au Liban. Les voyages sont toujours pour moi une grande source d'inspiration. J'aspire à une forme différente de journalisme, plus lente, plus créative, et plus subjective.



On Nov. 17, 50 years ago, this genius was born: Jeff Buckley

Oh dear, November 17, Day of a Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Czech Republic (the Velvet Revolution) and Jeff Buckley's birthday (the velvet voice)...

Surely cruelly missed.

But musicians never die... 
Especially if there are poets to remember them and remind others of them.


Last words of a poetical shamanistic genius...

"You want it darker
We killed the flame"...

Leonard Cohen - 'You Want It Darker' (Audio)

"My Open Heart"

Yes, this...

..."Born of a light
The wind rushing round my open heart"...

..."Different types of love
Are possible"

'Desert Island Disk'

Help as I go upon my way
So let me go upon my way
Born of a light
Born of a light

The wind rushing round my open heart
An open ravine
With my spirit white
Totally alive
And my spirit light

Through an open doorway
Across a stream
To another life
And catching my reflection in a window
Switching on a light
One I didn't know
Totally alive
Totally relieved

Waking up, waking up from shutdown
From a thousand years of sleep
Yeah you, you know what I mean
You know what I mean
You know what I mean

Standing on the edge of you
You know what I mean
You know what I mean
You know what I mean
Different types of love
Different types of love
Different types of love
Are possible
Are possible
Are possible
Are possible

"Saving" Dadaab? Helping Somali refugees in Kenya...

A temporary relief... but a relief still:

  • Long-term refugee camp in Kenya is no solution but it’s vital Somali refugees don’t feel pressured to return home, warns the IRC. 

Nairobi, 17 November, 2016 - While the announcement by the Government of Kenya to defer the closure of Dadaab refugee camp does little to allay refugees’ fears, it presents an opportunity to critically reflect on humanitarian concerns that have emerged since efforts to close the world’s largest camp began six months ago. 

Since May, the rate of refugee movement from Kenya to Somalia has increased four-fold. While refugees are moving to Somalia for a number of reasons, it is clear that many are departing because they feel under pressure. It is critical that moving forward no refugees feel forced to leave Dadaab.

While the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is strongly against involuntary repatriation, the organisation is not, in principle, against camp closure. For repatriation to be successful, refugees must be supported to expand their skills while still in Kenya, which will provide them with more earning opportunities in Somalia. It is also critically important to support integration into their new communities after they have left the camp. This will take large-scale, long-term investment in Somalia, including the host communities who will receive them. Without that the repatriation effort is likely to fail.

Conor Philips, IRC’s Kenya Country Director, said: “While we agree that long-term camp settings are not the best solution for refugees, it is essential that residents of Dadaab do not feel pressured to leave. I believe we have an opportunity to move beyond the current camp-based status-quo by presenting new opportunities for refugees. Doing so will take a well-coordinated effort, donor commitment, and flexibility from the governments of Kenya and Somalia.”

Richard Crothers, IRC’s Somalia Country Director, said: “We share the concerns of many humanitarian organisations that refugees who return to Somalia face potential harassment, crippled infrastructure, and little to no access to basic services in many areas. Many refugees also end up in unsafe and overwhelmed internally-displaced persons (IDP) camps, with even fewer services than Dadaab.”

(International Refugee Committee: https://www.rescue.org/country/kenya




So long, M

"Our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine"...

Leonard Cohen to Marianne Ihlen, in his farewell letter, just before her death, in August 2016.


'Well Marianne, it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.
And you know that I've always loved you for your beauty and for your wisdom, but I don't need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey.
Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.'

Leonard Cohen - 'Bird on the Wire'

'So Long, Marianne' by Leonard Cohen

Massive Attack - 'Dear Friend' (ft. James Massiah)

It's about being relevant...
About taking "the right step".
"This is my prayer for your my friend... Be set free and escape".
"Be free; make your own way, my dear friend".

This song only came out on a number of vinyls, distributed in a small number. I'm lucky to have one.
This person uploaded a recording on YouTube...
I hate to share unofficial uploads but this is so important.

Massive Attack - 'Dear Friend' (ft. James Massiah)



Dear friend, look at you now
All tied up in knots and starting to rot
Thought it was alright in the light but now it's dark and it looks wrong
But what'd you expect?
That's what you get from worshipping moon gods
False deities living off reflected glory, like our colonisers
Queens and kings reaping the royalties from someone else's story
But let's return to yours, you, the author of your own destiny
Escaping the demons and bastards of a past life
Arm in arm with your wife, a highland type
With a big heart and a wise mind
It's gonna help you to escape the long arm of the swine
Which helps, seeming as you've been tired of, and trying to escape the wildlife
Which now bores the young man with the family from the horn
Lands wartorn, new allegiance sworn, you're part of the swarm
Survive the storm, now withering

Raised with worthy morals by an upright mother
And a father who slaved days and days to make a wage
Chewing cats will alleviate the pain and pressure
That came with the career in a country that saw you as a cancer and a casualty
Alienated on the way up to a higher education
That you were lucky enough to catch
Smart and working hard enough to keep
You were caught in criminality
The catalyst for your change
And plenty of it came from the ketamine, the weed and cocaine for the customer
Middle class kids on campus were burdens to bear
Each of them facing oppression of their own
Victims of a different kind of prejudice
Their condition: psychosis, mania, suicidal thoughts, sexual inadequacy
Academic underachievement, social separation and a desire to fit in
The madness of youth that you've medicated
All the while dedicated to serving your god
When the deities of this life would allow you to
Driving through the town, you approach the road to Damascus
Blue lights that flash and leave you blind
Bound by a belief that the god of your father set you free
Weeds plucked, wife covered, 5 times a day, a proud slave
Praying for proof that you picked the right way
Seeing that your sister's changed, your brother's enraged, on route to a cage
You're gonna need more than faith in this day and age
You don't need friends, you need facts
Don't need poems, you need raps
Don't need peace, you need war, and defeat, and a grave to bury your doubts
You've got love and a spouse, now you need space
A chance to breathe, and time away
In time, you'll remember this day
When you're 50 years old, thinking of all the fickle things that you would fret over
But you're not 50 yet, so take the right steps
Unless you wanna be down when you get there
This is my prayer for you, my friend, so fly away
Be unbound by the ropes and the chains
Be set free and escape
The demons of your past become the demons of your present
Old habits stick, what you learn as a young gun becomes hard to kick
Clutch gets stuck and hard to shift
Automatically return to the ways of days gone by
A bullet in the mind, a beam in the eye
And a bitch, yeah, that's life
Ignorance is bliss, but wisdom's nice
Hopefully it comes with age, 'cause you don't live twice
And then you can't live it again, I'm afraid
So fly now, be free, make your own way
My dear friend