Unlock News

The Unlock Showcase travels to Lund, Sweden

The Unlock Showcase will pop up next week in Lund, Sweden, by invitation of the Lund Urban Creativity Conference 2019. Come to check and buy rare, underground publications sourced from the Unlock Book Fair.

Find us at the following venues and hours:

Biskopsgatan 3
Wednesday 12:15–13:30 and 17:45–19:00.
Thursday 12:15–13:45.
Friday 12:15–13:30 and 17:00–19:00.

Kastanjegatan 13
Saturday 13:00–17:00.



The Unlock Showcase is a travelling pop-up bookstore focused on graffiti and street art. Our books are sourced from the Unlock Book Fair, an event that brings together independent and underground publishers from all over Europe. These are publications printed in short runs and scarcely distributed, you won’t find them in regular bookstores!

The Unlock Book Fair is the international publishing fair for graffiti and street art. It provides publishers, artists and aficionados with a unique space for meeting and exchange. It has thus become the annual meeting point for this thriving publishing scene, and the place to showcase the most cutting-edge projects in the field. The fair has taken place in Barcelona (2016), Berlin (2017) and Amsterdam (2018), and in 2019 it travels to Cologne.

In the past three years the Unlock Showcase pop-up bookstore has visited Lisbon, Moscow, London, Tartu, Besançon, Wien, Cáceres, Málaga, Madrid and Aberdeen. Next stop is Lund, don’t miss it!

2019 / 05 / 06|

The Unlock Showcase visits Aberdeen

Unlock Showcase

Unlock Book Fair’s travelling bookstore, the Unlock Showcase, will visit Aberdeen (Scotland) in two weeks. Come to check and buy a selection of books from the fair. The Showcase travels to Aberdeen by invitation of Nuart Aberdeen Festival.

Belmont Filmhouse
49 Belmont Street
Friday 19 and Saturday 20
11h – 17h

nuart aberdeen

Unlock Showcase

2019 / 04 / 05|

The Unlock Showcase visits Madrid

Unlock Showcase

Unlock Book Fair’s travelling bookstore, the Unlock Showcase, will visit Madrid next week. Meet us at the lecture hall of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Complutense University, to check and buy a selection of books from the fair.

Facultad de Bellas Artes UCM, salón de actos
Calle Pintor el Greco, 2
Metro Ciudad Universitaria
Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7
16h – 21h

Unlock Showcase

2019 / 02 / 28|

Unlock Book Fair 2018, Amsterdam – recap

The third instalment of the annual Unlock Book Fair took place last December in Amsterdam, with close to fifty exhibitors coming together for the latest meeting of the international graffiti and street art publishing scene. Publishers came from seventeen different countries representing the whole European continent, but also from Australia and Japan. The fair took place at the spacious and beautiful Broedplaats LELY in Amsterdam West. See the full program and list of exhibitors here.

This time the topic of the events program was “punk and graffiti”. We were honoured to host lectures by local punk graffiti legends Hugo Kaagman and Diana Ozon – who also treated us with a reading of her poetry. A third star lecturer was Carlo McCormick, who flew from New York to speak about the early years of graffiti, punk and hip hop in NYC. For the screenings session Unlock unearthed extremely obscure films about Amsterdam’s 1970’s punk graffiti scene featuring the only known images of some of the scene’s key writers – including interviews and images of the writers in action.

Other highlights of the events program were a book-signing session by graffiti pioneer Boris Tellegen AKA Delta, who brought his recent book OH documenting his groundbreaking work on freight trains, and the launch party for the highly anticipated 30th anniversary issue of the venerable Dutch publication Bomber Megazine. The program of publication launches featured a long list of projects ranging from DIY zines, and hardcover books, to scientific journals.

Two companion books were published by the Unlock team on the occasion of the fair documenting two legendary European punk-related graffiti scenes. The first book, entitled Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands, covers the country’s thriving punk graffiti scene from 1977-1983. The second book, entitled Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid, studies the barely known “flechero” graffiti scene from 1985-1989. The production of the books involved months of research into several private archives, including the two largest existing archives of punk graffiti related documentation – the Diana Ozon Archive and the archive of the Dutch Graffiti Library. Both books have become milestones in the study of these very underexplored topics and collector’s items for graffiti aficionados.

On the two days immediately preceding the fair the Unlock team organised for the second consecutive year the Tag Conference, a unique academic event focused on name writing, or tagging. The conference gathered twenty-one speakers from ten different countries in four continents delivering fascinating insights into the topics of contemporary and historical tagging, all in front of a full auditorium.

Our most sincere thank-you to the publishers, speakers, volunteers and visitors who made this new Unlock Book Fair possible. More in 2019, stay tuned!

2019 / 02 / 18|

Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands

Punk Grafiti Files The Netherlands

“Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands”, covers the country’s punk-originated graffiti scene that thrived from 1977 to 1983. The book was published as a companion to the 2018 Unlock Book Fair, together with its twin volume, “Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid”. The fair took place in Amsterdam in December 8-9 under the topic “punk and graffiti”.

The production of “Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands” involved months of research into several private archives, including the two largest existing archives of punk graffiti related documentation – the Diana Ozon Archive and the archive of the Dutch Graffiti Library. The book includes several newspaper and fanzine clippings from the era translated into English.

Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands
17 × 24 cm
164 pages
194 illustrations
Full colour
Published by Urbanario, Madrid, 2018

From the book’s introduction:

Throughout the decades of 1980 and 1990 the New York tradition of graffiti conquered the whole European continent. But by the early eighties graffiti was nothing new for many urban youth in Europe. Graffiti done by punks was commonplace — slogans, bands’ names and personal nicknames. And punk-originated tagging scenes had developed in some cities with little knowledge of what had been happening in New York.

Two scenes in particular grew to become full-fledged competitions for all-city visibility and reached a notable degree of maturity regarding graphics, methodology and values. One was the Amsterdam scene, started in the late seventies and faded around 1984. The other was the “flechero” graffiti from Madrid, practiced mostly during the second half of the eighties.

Both scenes disappeared when the New York tradition of graffiti became better known through the arrival of books and documentaries. The imported culture was far more complex than the local ones, and in many senses more interesting, so many writers abandoned the local codes and started to explore the game of tags, throw-ups, pieces and trains.


In the late 1970s an intense but casual tagging scene was developed in Amsterdam by punk and squatter kids. By the turn of the decade a second generation of writers not necessarily connected to punk took over and really pushed the idea of getting up and going all-city. The scene thrived until the New York tradition of graffiti was imported and widely adopted by local writers in the mid eighties.

2019 / 02 / 17|