Joe is writer with a collection of short stories slated to be released this November/December through a small press. The book is called The Abridged Autobiography of Yousef R. and Other Stories, and the centerpiece of the work is a story called “An Oral History of IRAQ.” The story concerns a graffiti crew that gradually radicalizes into something more political.
You can read some about it below :
AN ORAL HISTORY OF IRAQ
COPYRIGHT © 2014 BY JOSEPH RATHGEBER
WHAT ARE THE CREW’S ORIGINS? How did you guys make the switch from graffiti to guerrilla tactics? How did the transition from big city to suburbs come about?
We were accustomed to subterfuge. We were writers, but everyone else called us graffiti artists. We always said it artistes to be smart. We curated an ever-expanding gallery. Our audience was oblivious to our bios, but they were well acquainted with our work. They thought we’d disappeared when quality of life laws appeared on the docket. Only difference was we began to operate more quietly. Surreptitious, O’SHEA called it. We focused less on graffiti and more on sabotage. We were probably the only of our ilk that wore gray mechanic pants and combat boots. Check that: We had no ilk. We tied the boots tight—corseting the laces—to prevent being caught. We had to be swift of step, even if the cops—pigs—couldn’t scale a trough, let alone a retaining wall. Our uniform never changed, only our agenda.
We fled to the suburbs. Central booking had become our home away from home. And the big city block parties never suited us. That wasn’t our idea of fun. A lot of beef developed. Heads were robbing. Roughhousing turned to ruckuses. There’s no law in a subway tunnel or a stairwell. Plus, all the trains were being buffed.
More infos about the book here : JOSEPH RATHGEBER