Back 19.09.2020

BOOK: The Street Art Manual: A Guide To Hacking The City’ by Bill Posters, Laurence King Publishing

The Street Art Manual


Price: £14.99 / $19.99

Release Date: 3rd September, 2020

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The Street Art Manual: A Guide To Hacking The City

With all the intense concern with public health right now it feels off to even be speaking of such things however I am pleased to announce that my latest book ‘The Street Art Manual: A Guide To Hacking the City’ will be released globally on 3rd September 2020 in four language (English, German, French, Spanish).

The Street Art Manual includes includes chapters such as ‘A Guide to Hacking Urban Space’, ‘Trespass/Access/Infiltrate’, ‘Operating in Public Space’ and tactical sections that cover the history, processes and practical advice for 11 forms of art in public space (Graffiti, Stencilling, Paste-ups, Subvertising, Large-scale Murals, Yarn Bombing, Guerrilla Theatre, Banner Drop, Guerrilla Projection, Projectiles, Aerial Art).

Written at a time of unprecedented social and environmental upheaval, The Street Art Manual is a call to action for artists, creatives and aspiring activists to harness the power of street art and creative activism in the fight for a brighter future. In each chapter, historical art movements and stories of resistance are intertwined with contemporary examples of powerful forms of individual and collective forms of art to show that one way to create another world is by helping to make it visible to others – one street at a time.

The book explores how artists and activists from both the past and present have used art and creative processes to overcome everyday struggles and fight for climate and racial justice, refugee solidarity, democracy, LGBTQI+ rights, and for an end to racism, corporate power, corruption, species extinction and hate.

This illicit and tactical handbook delves into the history of street art to bring to the fore artworks that will inspire a new generation of artists to take to the streets and includes guidance and advice concerning white privilege; breaking laws safely; keeping yourself and your friends safe when dealing with police; what do do if you get busted or arrested, documenting your work and how to stay anonymous online when sharing your images, plans and more.

The book cover and each chapters ‘step by step’ illustrations are designed by the hugely talented Matt Bonner. I would also like to pass on my huge respect to Chelsea Edwards and the team at Laurence King publishing for backing such a provocative and advocacy-orientated book about art in public space.

The Street Art Manual consolidates over a decade of experience of working in various forms of art in public space and it’s been a really meaningful process to create a useful tool and resource for young people that reconnects street art to its non-commercial and anti-capitalist roots whilst also rounding off an era of my art and practice.


The streets matter. We are in an age of great political, economic, social and environmental upheaval. Fuelled by divisive media platforms, far-right politics are on the rise around the world. So is the temperature of our atmosphere. The promised benefits of financial capitalism (neo-liberalism) for those less privileged in society have failed to materialize, leading to the worst levels of inequality in modern history.

In its most powerful, non-commercial forms, street art pries open the cracks in capitalism to give voice and visibility to other ways of seeing each other; our shared urban spaces; and the world we collectively inhabit. Like the founders of the modern street art movement, street artists today must rebel against the status quo of the consumer society and demand more from life, not less. This book aims to equip readers with the creative and theoretical knowledge to make this world visible and prominent in streets around the world.

I use the term ‘street art’ in the manual to cover all forms of unauthorized visual (and also, in some cases, sculptural) art in public spaces. While not all examples of artists’ work in this book are strictly ‘unauthorized’, all are forms of art that manifest creative forms of resistance to the multiple threats of climate change, bio- diversity loss, racism (and the ever-present fear of ‘the other’) and inequality that threaten our understanding of what is truly important in life.

The act of creating art in public spaces without permission is what gives street art its power and the capacity to change society’s perception of itself. When joined with other cultural movements, street art has a role to play in changing society itself. Your street art will be a valuable gift to society.

You may be a young person, or art student, who is considering sharing your art with others in public spaces. You may be an activist or campaigner who wants to raise awareness of a particular issue by using creativity to engage public audiences. You may be a member of a community who thinks the streets in your neighbourhood would look much better with a fresh coat of paint, a bit of urban projection or a tasty banner drop from the top of the local supermarket that is undercutting the independent shops. Whatever your reason for thinking about creating art in public space, one thing is clear: a city, town or community with more public art, and a mixture of stories and voices in its public spaces, is a healthier and more representative place for people to live, work, loiter, drink and dream in.


‘The future will only contain what we put into it now’

Parisian graffiti, May 1968


The artists, crews and collectives featured in this book work in the city streets, often unnoticed by passers-by. Most of the street art included here is socially, environmentally and as a result politically engaged. The artworks rise above the individual artist(s) – they are ‘bigger than self’. They have been selected because their works are giving something back to society, something more than just beauty. In addition, a great number of these creators have taken huge personal risks to share their creative visions and poetic forms of resistance around the world. Some operate in countries where freedom of expression is heavily repressed, and the serious risks they face from the state or police should not be underestimated.

The Street Art Manual is best seen, not as a rule book for creating art in the streets, but as a guide, as a provocation for finding – through contact with the public – new visions for the social, cultural, envi- ronmental and political possibilities of life. The act of creating art in urban spaces is a radical one that should not be underestimated. It isn’t without its pitfalls, as readers will discover, but hopefully the tactics and tutorials included in this manual will help you avoid many of them and help keep the power of street art where it originated – in the streets.