115 x 170mm, 104 pages, softcover,
cover motif by Bob Haberfield,
editing by Jo Preußler & Stefan Wartenberg
Graffiti legend, artist and author BUS 126 has been surprising us for decades with ever new forms, techniques and locations for his paintings. In caves, in forests and on the facades of the city, he creates a work consisting of three letters and a number, BUS 126, reaching far beyond graffiti, extending like a root into the most diverse areas of artistic expression.
The original version of ENEMY KIDS was written in 1997 as a reaction to ODEM's "On the Run", the first german-language work of so-called "graffiti literature", which is, of course, above all an argumentative piece of coming-of-age prose. BUS 126 has two chapters dedicated to him in this book, in which he finds it difficult to find himself. Prompted by the text, which was noticeably formulated by a ghostwriter, he recounts his own view of the West Berlin graffiti scene, of his childhood and youth in Lichtenrade and Marienfeld. Were these beginnings of hip hop and graffiti in Berlin really so glorious and creative? Who were the young men whose lives included graffiti as naturally as violence, drugs and boredom? What was the mood like in the walled-in half of the city?
Finally completed after 25 years, ENEMY KIDS seems like a journey back in time, into a city whose places and street names are familiar to us but which is nevertheless a completely different world. Completely dispensing with name-dropping and glorification, BUS 126 tells of a time without mobile phones and the internet, without video surveillance and graffiti bars. A time in which knives were just as normal a pocket item in certain circles as markers, fights were as natural as surfing the subway and love was as far away as any prospect of ever getting out of it all.
West Berlin at the end of the 80s, the Wall is still standing. A pale skinny teenager calls himself Bus126 from now on, walks upright and expansively: does marching, though he wanders, no, he flees.
At home, heavy silence is punctuated by clattering slaps. Outside, nights usually end in bloody horror. As witness, as victim, as perpetrator. A young soul scratched by straggling thorny bushes and discoloured by witnessed evil of its own environment. No hold nowhere. Bus126 presents a coming-of-age text that describes the search for action and personality in a milieu of coldness and indifference in all its ruthlessness.