Legal Walls vs. Illegal Graffiti

Take a look at this deleted scene from our two-part documentary, SEE / LINE. In this bonus clip, urban planner Heather Deutsch, discusses the impact of the legal murals painted along the Red line metro. What effect do aesthetics have on a community?Does graffiti and spray paint have the same appeal when the art is sanctioned and controlled?

Watch this short video and tell us what you think. Leave your mark in the comments section below or share your thoughts with us on Twitter (#iseeRDC). We’d love to hear from you!

What Do the Murals Do? from citylovedc on Vimeo.


Destinations & Arrivals

Expect Delays_Effects

An independent documentary is a lot like a Red line train. Time and again, you must expect delays.

After many challenges and much ado, we’re FINALLY approaching our stop! This fall, The Red Line D.C. Project will release the long-awaited, much-anticipated documentary “See / Line,”  a two-part series on metro graffiti.

We’ve taken in feedback and tightened our story, combining part one “See Something, Say Something,” with the never-before-seen “Crossing the Line.” And like any good two-for-one special, both parts work together to explore the Red line’s significance and the relationship between access and aesthetics in the District.

Check back for event details, teaser footage and post-production updates. We’ll be using the summer to workshop the project and spark community engagement.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Red Line D.C. or hosting a screening, we’re looking for a few good editors and organizations to contribute their time, space and/or skills. Contact or @_RedLineDC_ for more information.

Red-Eye: Up Against the Wall

A visit to the red line does much for visual wonders and recently, our red line research took us up-close and against a wall of colorful evidence. With red line writers Fame & Grave as our tour guides, we found ourselves somewhere in between Ft. Totten and Brookland — or was it Ft. Totten and Takoma? All we know for sure was there was graffiti high, low and in abundance. See for yourself …

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Without Further Ado …

Here’s the rough cut of Red Line D.C.‘s first installment, See Something, Say Something. Check out our efforts in this first part of the red line series then let us know what you think in the comments section or by emailing us at . We hope you like what you see!

November 12, 2011 | Red Line DC on-board and in action. (Photo by Jada Smith)

Looking Back at Our Red Line Ride

This past weekend, five brave souls set their sights on the red line to talk about the metro and art. It was an experiment in filmmaking and community dialogue. We took the risk of approaching strangers and asking them to take a new look at their environment. We asked commuters about their red line histories, experiences riding and interest–if any–in the graffiti that greets them each day. The responses were varied and the results of our little adventure were surprising to all involved. In the days since our all-day shoot, here’s what the small and energetic crew behind Red Line D.C.‘s commuter interviews has had to say about the whole weekend excursion:

I think it was interesting how we were worried about approaching folks, but some people reacted really warmly. It’s an important reminder that filmmaking is a two-way street. We’re not just taking, but there is an exchange …
— Julie Espinosa, videography

I was pleasantly surprised by how open and receptive most people were about talking to us and being filmed; the friendliness of red liners! And, people gave really thoughtful answers, not just yes or no.
— Jada Smith,  interviewing

In general, I was surprised at people’s willingness to talk in such an open space. I only spoke with a couple people, but I was also surprised at how overwhelmingly negative their attitudes towards graffiti were. I mean, I guess my own opinions aren’t a good barometer, but … it seems like people were just forming their opinions [about graffiti on the metro] without discussing at all … They just may not have all the sides to the story.
— Mebrahtu Grmai, videography

The few people I was able to interact with, actually had a lot more to say than I expected. It almost felt like people are quiet, but when given a chance to express themselves, they really open [up]. [In] my experience with the metro people are quiet,  looking down, minding their own business (as much as possible), but that day, the 2-3 people I got to see or talk to, opinions just started flowing out.
— Philippe Bissohong, interviewing

I enjoyed soaking up the metro experience in a group. It attracted a lot of attention, but in ways that allowed us to spark conversations with  curious commuters. Announcing to a packed train that you are doing a metro graffiti documentary is probably the biggest ice breaker I can think of … Once the initial “we’re-transit-strangers-so-we-shouldn’t-speak” awkwardness passed, I was surprised by how many people we’re willing to share their points of view.
— Saaret Yoseph, directing

MuralsDC Celebrates a Summer of Graffiti at the H Street Temporium

September 6, 2011: WBL's executive director Mazi Mutafa (r) and art director Cory Stowers (c) with D.C. councilmember and MuralsDC founder Jim Graham.

WBL’s “The Show,” which displays the work of MuralsDC’s lead and apprentice artists will be taking place at the Temporium (1300 H st, NE) until September 13th. Check it out while you can!

August 11, 2011: Spray cans in hand for a mural at Edgewood, N.E. across from Rhode Island Ave. metro station.

Come for the Grub, Stay for the Graffiti

Our last pre-fall hoorah has arrived! To wrap up a summer of art across the city, WBL will be hosting an exhibit and BBQ Tuesday night at 1300 H Street, NE. Besides graffiti talk and good grub, expect to find gallery pieces by lead artists and apprentice artists who have contributed to the latest crop of public art projects throughout the District. And keep a lookout for our project, as well. We’ll be bugging you to supply questions for future Red Line D.C. interviews and showing footage of MuralsDC leaving its mark on the red line. Click here, to find out more info. on tonight’s event. If you can’t make it or just can’t wait till then, enjoy a sneak peek below:

An Evening in Edgewood from citylovedc on Vimeo.

More video snippets can be seen here on our Vimeo page. Subscribe to our channel or keep checking back for new Red Line D.C. remixes and teasers.