12ozProphet Presents… Namaste India – Featuring Finok & Ise VLOK

Created by 12ozProphet – Words: Spencer Knowles, Video: Finok / 12ozProphetBR Crew, Photos: Finok & Ise
There’s a whole lot of the world out there to see, but odds are your average Joe barely scratches the surface. On the whole, writers and street enthusiasts do better than most, seeking out unseen opportunities in unusual locations. Networks run deep, and if you’re plugged in right there’s not a major city in the world in which you’ll be left without a couch to sleep on. Sometimes though you need to escape it all, finding peace in the obscurity of your destination and the freedom it allows. Bowing to the will of new adventure, you say namaste.
It’s a solace found only in places so removed from the reality you know that the world becomes unrecognizable. A place void of the first world luxuries. Foreign lands of unusual tongues, with new tastes, sounds, and sights. In New Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi, India there was another piece of the landscape that made it like none other. It was a piece that was missing, graffiti.
It’s there, In India, that ISE and FINOK found the freedom they were looking for. Imagine the joy of virgin walls a city wide. Compared to scrawled upon their home city of Sao Paulo there couldnt be a cleaner canvas. In India was an opportunity to get up like none other, with purpose beyond fame or recognition focused instead on exposure and enlightenment.
Here was a whole country, population, and society with no traditional understanding of graffiti or street art. What were these foreigners doing? What were they painting and why? Curiosity coming from both sides, and both ends of the spectrum, to create something brand new.
Colors, language and people weren’t the only new aspects of life ISE and FINOK were exposed to. All around them, in every aspect of life, were the harsh realities of a still developing country. In general, writers are comfortable among the fringes of society; It’s what many of us we’re brought up in, the areas people we are relegated to operate amongst.
Coming from Brasil, it’s no stretch to assume that ISE and FINOK had experience impoverished communities, we saw it when we were there in 1997 and it remains a harsh reality even today. But in India the poverty, the skeleton frames, begging, dirt floors and fractured infrastructure revealed itself on a such uncompromising scale, that it too appeared new.
One evening as ISE and FINOK painted hidden beneath a low hanging bridge suspended over a canal running through the center of the city, things were set in perspective. There, floating amongst the trash and shadows of neighboring homes, was what appeared to be a body.
At first is was difficult to decipher, but as the motionless shape slowly floated closer, moving silently amongst the litter and flotsam of a filthy canal, it became clear. Lit only by the moon was a man, forgotten in a wide gutter of New Delhi and left to whatever unfortunate resolve might find him further downstream.
In the end however, the striking reminders of pervasive poverty and death could do little to dampen the spirit of two writers on an unforgettable voyage. Some people go on vacation to see the wonders of the world, or to relax in pampered, perfectly manicured palaces of their choosing.
But ISE and FINOK left Brasil on a different agenda entirely. Here was a trip of inspired purpose, of curiosity and revelation. Perhaps ISE and FINOK knew exactly what they were looking for when they set off, or maybe they had no expectations at all. Either way I’d bet they found it somewhere on the walls of India. Namaste, they said.
To see more of Finok’s work, visit his website at www.finok.com.br or follow him on Instargram at @finok. You can view more of Ise’s work by following him on Instagram at @ise_grapixo or help support more of his travels by shopping at his online shop, grapixo.com.br.
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