Today Tom and I spoke to the now world famous “Homeland Hackers.” Heba Amin, Don Karl, and Caram Kapp sat down with us to discuss how they got the opportunity to work on the show and how they subverted it by filling the set with Arabic graffiti saying, among other things, “Homeland is racist” “Homeland is not a show” and of course our personal favorite, “Homeland is a watermelon.” We began the conversation by discussing how in fact they were chosen by the set designer to work on episode 2 of season 5. The artists described how the production did little to no research into what would be in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon, and essentially left them to their own devices once on set. Later we explored the show it self and how the propaganda with in Homeland has reached new levels of manipulation and racism. All three artists talked about how Arab’s and Arabic are used as mere window dressing and one dimensional plot devices for the show’s propaganda. Later we discussed the aftermath of the hack, and the typical media response; Muslim artist activists show the softer side of Islam. We also talk about how Laura Poitras and The Intercept got involved after the hack. As we wrapped up the discussion we got the seal of approval from Heba, Caram, and Don when we asked them about our podcast. In the outro section I talk about how Tom and I do not believe the rather crazy claims that this is some sort of CIA disinfo/ psy-op.
I have to say this was one of the most enjoyable and fascinating interviews I have conducted. Homeland is a Watermelon.