It's official: the entire world has been Sherlocked. What started as a small idea on Tumblr has become a viral internatiomal art project. The concept is actually really cool by itself: at the end of season two, Sherlock has faked his death after being condemned as a fraud. The fans thought that the character left behind (particularly John Watson) wouldn't stand for it. They were sure that John and the others would be working to clear Sherlock's name. The graffiti project began as a real-world expression of what fans imagined would be happening inside the world of the show.
And it grew.
This was recently discovered in Barcelona. There are tear-off strips with the hashtag #BelieveInSherlock and a QR code at the top to connect to more information. The project has been curated by the blog We Believe In Sherlock, which also provides templates for similar printouts. They have themes like Watson's Warriors and Richard Brook Was A Fraud, which build on the story the fans have constructed around the original media. Since I live in New York, I'm not sure where I might place something like this (I probably won't go full graffiti because it's kind of illegal...), I wonder what we could add to the conversation now that seson three has aired.
This was found in a London subway. I think it's so cool that fans are leaving these for each other, and incorporating elements that are already there (the subway ad) with ideas from the show. Since they used masking tape it's also less obtrusive than traditional spray paint graffiti. The purpose of the campaign was to create a community around the show. Because the hiatuses are so long, it can be difficult for fans to remain interested, because they run out of things to talk about. I Believe In Sherlock feels like a way for fans to continue communicating and building on the elements of the show that they love.
The project spread across the internet, giving international fans a way to connect to each other that would previously have been impossible. Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognizeable characters of all time, so it makes sense that the BBC show has been an international success, reaching audiences it wasn't necessarily intended for. It's amazing that fans are generating content in tangible spaces- now that almost everthing is online this project feels very unique because it's happening IRL. Has anyone else thought of ways to encourage this connection- especially after the return of Moriarty I'm curious about what fans might create.
The project has become a covert conversation among fans, a special language that we have for each other. It captures the spirit of the show and the original stories because the art acts like a secret hidden in plain sight. So the question now is...