Tower Hamlets Watch

Painted Lady: OMG where did you buy that Burqa?

June 26, 2010
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On Tuesday I noticed a beautiful pair of blue eyes, so I took a photo;
Close Up of Females Blue Eyes
I then thought; “with eyes like that, her hair must be stunning”…OMG
Painted face just showing the eyes from previous picture

Leonardo, seems to be back, took a hiatus maybe, went to ‘sarfend’ for a break, I dont know, but he’s back. Brightening up our day’s, daubing up every bit of female flesh that appears to be exposed, on bus-stops up and down the land, well at least up and down the East India Dock Road……….Sorry I got away with myself a bit there.

Anyway this time hes Banksy-ied up the bus stop (east-bound) across the road from All Saints Church, next to the DLR station on East India Dock Road in Poplar.

Thought that this had ended but it seems that ‘Leonardo’ is out there still. Passing along East India Dock Road, I noticed that his fine art additions to our vibrant community are still confusing the residents of Tower Hamlets.

Photo showing whole vandalised poster on bus stop

This time, it seems hes actually trying to paint what looks like a burqa over the female form. The game is still afoot, he’s definitely still out there, if you see him, or his fine art skills take a photo, or contact me and I’ll take one for you.


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Painted Ladies Links with Tamil Killings in Sri Lanka

June 10, 2010
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Two reporters from the Evening Standard have been trying to get in contact with me regarding my blogging on the painting over of women in advertisements on Bus-stops.

Just got off of the phone with one of them, who informs me that todays edition of the Evening Standard is going to run a story regarding this vandalism. Although I’ve not noticed any other attacks recently, he told me that the Police are aware of the situation, and that so far there had been around 14 of these incidents.

He informs me that there is no proof or evidence showing a link between the attacks and religous fervour. He went on to tell me that he thought it had to do with something similar that was going on in ‘Pakistan’

Now I’m not too sure of what he means by this, but I do know of the controversy surrounding the movie ‘Kites’, hailed as the first truly big blockbuster bollywood movie.

Apparently the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) event held in Sri Lanka is being boycotted by the South Indian Film Industry. Heres a quote from the blog link above;

“They have been campaigning against the island government and the alleged killing of civilian Tamils during the conflict between Sri Lankan army and the rebel Tamil Tigers. “

Which the leading actors of the film have still attended in their quest for stardom. I watched this myself on the news the other night at the IIFA event, where one beautiful asian actress, told the camera that she feels that;

“politics shouldn’t be brought into it”

The Asian Tribune as well as a vast number of asian blog sites are highlighting the fact that screenings of the film at cinemas across the Indian Sub-continent have been stopped because of the fear of reprisals.

“This is immediate reaction to the Pro LTTE activists stopping the screening of a Hindi Film starring Hirthik Roshan in Chennai on Friday. The much-awaited Hindi film ‘‘Kites’’ was stopped following objections by Pro- LTTE and Tamil outfit ‘Nam Tamizhar’ party headed by film director Seeman and also by V.S. Kuhanathan – both from Sri Lanka. – Asian Tribune

Some are even calling for reverse boycotting of ‘Tamil’ led films.

If this is what the reporter I talked to is referring to, then I disagree. Maybe a small number may be to do with this boycott, but its not just the Kites film posters that are being painted over.

In Tower Hamlets this seems to be something far different. Anyway read todays Evening Standard, I maybe wrong but I think the reporter said they may be using a quote from my blog.

Anyone else interested in these blog articles should click the ‘Painted Ladies’ catagory on the right -> where all of the articles will be neatly placed on the same page..


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Leonardo De Graffiti ‘Strikes Again’

May 27, 2010
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Another H&M advert at a bus-stop, this time (yesterday morning) just across the road from ‘St Anne’s Limehouse’ on the East India Dock Road.

Clear Channel guy at East India Dock Road Bus-stop with offending grafiti

Again I managed to be there when a ‘Clear Channel’ employee (this time a muslim employee) who was attempting to scrape off the offending grafiti. After finding out from him that it was another H&M advert, I asked him if he had an opinion on who might be behind it. He replied that he thought it was

“my lot”

(I’m assuming he meant muslim by this) and he further went on to state that

“I cant understand it, I dont see the point, its not as if its in my house or anything”

and that as a muslim he

“doesn’t take any notice of the advertisement, he doesn’t look at it”

ie; he averts his eyes.

We then had a short conversation where i expressed others concerns that these type of adverts could actually be a distraction to male drivers, actually leading to accidents, which he stated;

“he hadn’t thought of that before”.

I asked him about any other attacks, and he informed me that reports were coming in

“from all over”.

He did point out though that

“they had changed their form of attack”

by changing the substance used. This was not just simple paint that could easily be scraped off. This time it appeared to be

“some sort of tar-like ‘stuff’ that was extremely difficult to just scrape off”.

He went on to show me how difficult it was. I watched his failed attempts with the scraper, which only last friday, I’d watched his colleagues so easily scrape off with the same tool.
Closer picture of the tar-like substance covering the glass
I then picked at this substance myself, and realised that he was right, it was some form of tar or even melted plastic which had hardend. He informed me that he would have to call the

“emergency guys out, who had specialist tools….they’ve even got a steamer”

So basically it seems that whoever is attacking these adverts, seems to have realised that they are being removed quite quickly, and are now changing the substance, to something they feel is much more effective, and actually harder to remove. This doesn’t seem to be the work of people who are in it for a laugh, it seems to be from a dedicated group of individuals who obviously have some serious issues with these adverts. By yesterday afternoon the offending substance had been removed and the new advert was now sparkling clean.

Ian, who commented on my last post on this “More Painted Ladies” stated that he has

“seen two H&M bikini girls ads defaced in waltham forest, who is doing it, i think we know why.”

has confirmed and in the process probably corrected my earlier report of what the ‘Clear Channel’ guys told me last Friday that there were more in Waltham Abbey. They probably meant Waltham Forest as Ian has confirmed seeing, but then again who knows, this could be everywhere, spreading like the ‘Twelve Monkees’ graffiti…..

12 Monkeys Graffiti

As this seems to be an ongoing thing, I’ve now dedicated for the time being a category ‘Painted Ladies’ on the right-hand pane –>.
Just click on it and you will see all of the post dealing with this issue.

Watch out, watch out, Leonardo’s about…………


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More Painted Ladies

May 21, 2010
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Travelling down Burdett road today, I noticed another bus stop advert had been vandalised. The one nearest the corner of Mile End Road, on the south-bound side, behind the old Benjys/E1 Club. I went back to take some pictures and found some men from ‘Clear Channel’, the company who operate these advertising billboards, and who, by then had cleaned of the offending black paint:

Clear Channel Guys At Mile End Bus-Stop

This actual advertisement above is for the new Bollywood movie ‘Kites’ which was only released today 21 May 2010.

I talked to the two guys from Clear Channel asking them about the recent spate of vandalism. They informed me that in this week alone they have attended at least 6 cases personally for both the H&M adverts (which I’ve already blogged about here), and this advert for the movie. They went on to tell me that they know of at least a further 8 cases this week in ‘Waltham Abbey’.

They told me that they were then going to another case around the corner in Mile End road, so I followed them to take the photos below;

Guys Scraping Of Paint from Bus Stop Advert

As I was taking the photos, a guy pulled up on a bicycle, asking about the vandalism. Informing both the ‘Clear Channel’ guys and myself that he’d seen a lot of this, and thought it was something to do with the film. After being corrected by all three of us that it seemed to be a female thing. Meaning that the Bikini Clad women and the Kite advert had both been attacked. The ‘Clear Channel’ guys offered; “it seems to be every bare bit of flesh, that seems to get painted over”.
Bicycle guy then asked; “Do you think its a muslim thing then?”
A young asian guy at the bus-stop stepped in and stated, that; “No, I’m a muslim, and I’ve not heard anything from any of the/my brothers, maybe its the feminists”

Travelling on i noticed at the next bus-stop, that again another advert for the movie ‘Kite’ had been attacked:

Ladie walking by vandalised poster of the movie 'Kites'

So after phoning H&M during the week and talking to their press team, who announced “We wouldn’t want to comment on this”. I decided to also phone ‘Clear Channel’ who told me that the had become recently aware of a recent spate of vandalised attacked on some of their adverts showing women.

My next step is to phone the promoters of the movie ‘Kites’ to see if they have anything to say.

The case continues………..


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Painted Ladies

May 17, 2010
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Someones going around in East London defacing the H&M adverts showing two beautiful bikini clad women standing on a beach by blacking them out with paint.

Just been called by a friend who notified me that someone seems to be going around covering up the bikini-clad women on the new H&M advert adorning a fair number of our bus tops at present.

I went to see for myself and found one vandalised at the bus-stop on the westbound side of East India Dock Road just two stops before Burdett Road. Someone has taken a roller and a can of black paint to the two ladies in the poster, and completley blotted them out.
The same apparently had occured to the same advert at the Bus Stop in Burdett road by the Post Office Depot. Workmen had been seen scraping the paint off of this one, and I saw the evidence of this myself, where the scraped off paint was still on the floor.

Vandalised H&M Advert at a Bus Stop in East India Dock Road

I wonder if these adverts were attacked for religious reasons or sexist/feminist one?………..


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