Brent crude sustained at $70/barrel and above, could require future fuel price reviews    2021 International Women's Day highlights transformative power of equal participation: UN    Bibliotheca Alexandrina presents webinar on Arab-Islamic Heritage    Pope Francis calls for peace in Iraq's post-IS Mosul    Egypt's Al-Sisi orders increasing medical convoys, mobile clinics under ‘Decent Life' initiative    Egypt's Shoukry, UN representative discuss ways to achieve political settlement in Libya    Egypt's stocks start week in green, benchmark EGX 30 climbs 1.98%    National Bank of Egypt chairman named among Forbes Middle East's Top 100 CEOs list    Egypt's net foreign reserves rise to $40.2 billion at February-end:    JICA to continue supporting Egypt's educational reforms to boost women's empowerment, gender equality    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Capital Intelligence confirms Egypt's sovereign ratings with stable outlook    Sisi approves amending law honoring martyrs, victims, missing, injured in terror attacks    Government inaugurates ICT projects in Kafr El-Sheikh    Saudi-led coalition destroys eight Houthi drones: Saudi TV    Train derails killing 1, injuring 40 in southern Pakistan    Egypt condemns latest terror atack in Somalia    Live score: Liverpool v Fulham (English Premier League)    Pope visits Iraq's war-ravaged north on last day of tour    Egypt detects 588 new coronavirus cases, 38 deaths on Saturday    Messi provides 2 assists for Barca ahead of Madrid derby    Nigeria's Iheanacho, Ghana's Amartey give Leicester win over Brighton    US envoy seeking support to shakeup Afghan peace process, warring parties object    Al-Sisi, Al-Burhan to intensify efforts towards reaching legally binding GERD agreement    UK calls on African countries to join UK-Egypt led Adaptation Action Coalition    Egypt's Shoukry, UN Secretary-General discuss Ethiopia's Nile dam developments    World Bank approves $440 million for enhancing Egypt's railways    Al-Sisi visits Sudan for first time after formation of new transitional government    Art House partners with Cultural Development Fund to present theatrical, musical shows    Egypt stresses necessity of launching 'serious' negotiation process to reach deal on GERD before flood season    Messi serves as bright spot in Barcelona's disastrous season    Zamalek ready with striking force against Esperance Tunis    Egypt clubs protest Football Association decision to cover costs of COVID-19 tests    Hassan Allam wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Sudan keen to enhance cooperation with Egypt: Sudanese FM Al-Mahdi    Egypt court upholds 3-year prison sentence for Mubarak-era Minister El-Feky    A Happy Purrfect Rescue Story of 4 Cats in Thailand    Egypt's Zamalek arrive in Tunisia to face Esperance in CAF Champions League    Winston Churchill's Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie sells for $11.5M    Orascom Construction to build Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre    Respect for diversity    Huawei launches HUAWEI FreeLace Pro in Egypt with extra-long battery life and top-grade noise cancellation    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    1st hours of registration for coronavirus vaccine seen 7,000 Egyptians signing up: ministry    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

When walls talk: Documenting Egypt's revolutionary graffiti
Street artists, photographers and activists on Saturday launch first printed collection of Egyptian revolutionary graffiti, visually documenting 18 months of political turmoil
Published in Ahram Online on 23 - 09 - 2012

Just days after iconic graffiti on the walls of Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Street was mysteriously erased by the authorities, hundreds gathered at Shorouk bookstore in downtown Cairo on Saturday to mark the launch of 'Wall Talk,' a book documenting Egyptian revolutionary street art.
Beginning on 1 January of last year, the 680-page photo-rich book outlines all the major historical events to have taken place in Egypt – and the artistic response to those events as painted on the walls of Cairo.
Egypt's graffiti artists, together with photographers and activists involved in the project, attended the event.
Ammar Abu-Bakr, one of the painters behind the famous Mohamed Mahmoud mural, Malek Mostafa, an activist who lost his eye during November's Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes, and Ghada Shahbenderof the Egyptian Organisation of Human Rights all spoke at the event.Egyptian rap artist Ali Talibab finished the night with a street performance in the adjacent Talaat Harb Square.
The idea originated in a blog run by costume designer Maya Gowaily. She noticed that, immediately after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, "people came to clean Tahrir Square and they started cleaning the graffiti off the walls. I felt someone should document it before it was completely wiped out."
This had been a common reaction during the Mubarak era, Gowaily added, recalling how murals would generally last only one day before being obliterated by the state.
Gowaily realised that this was a concerted attempt by the authorities to literally white-wash discontent from the streets and co-opt the inevitable outpouring of national pride in a bid to pretend all was well.
"They weren't wiping out things like 'I love Egypt' or 'Egypt is beautiful' – only the politically contentious slogans, such as 'game over Mubarak' and 'Mubarak go to hell'," she recalled.
Gowaily created an online page on which she published her own photos of the artistic response to Egypt's tumultuous political landscape. "Every piece had a story behind it, it was important to document these changes," she said.
All works of politically-relevant graffiti – from stencilled logos for women's rights to unique pieces by individual artists – were all scrupulously recorded.
Gowaily starting working with Sherif Boraie, the book's editor, to immortalise the iconic artwork in print.
"The book is simply a chronology of the revolution from a different perspective," Boraie explained. "I still feel that graffiti is probably the most honest and sincere expression of what has happened over the course of the last 18 months."
Boraie went on to explain how the street art evolved as a "constant response to what was happening; it was never static. Something would happen and there would be an artistic response on the street right away."
Even the way the walls were ultimately erased was a telling indicator of the times.
On Sunday, the government announced that the Mohamed Mahmoud Street art had been "accidentally" removed by a contractor. Boraie said that "the people who did the erasing – the workers who came in the middle of night – had refused to identify themselves."
He added: "It's a symbol of where Egypt is now; the fact that they would just go ahead and erase it the way they did is an indictment of the massacres of Mohamed Mahmoud Street, which is obviously something they don't want to deal with."
Proceeds from the book will go to media-collective and citizen journalism group Musireen, who have themselves indefatigably documented the revolution from the start of last year's popular uprising.
"We're aiming to give more support to the graffiti community, so we're arranging meetings with all artists and photographers to discuss how best to help," explains Lobna Darwish, a member of the collective.
"Street art means a lot to the revolutionaries," Darwish says, adding that it had been integral in keeping momentum going when the outlook had been most bleak.
"Whether through film screenings in the street, performances like this concert in Talaat Harb Square, or graffiti, one of our main battles has been reclaiming public space – this is what street art does," Darwish says.
Indeed, only hours after authorities unwittingly made Mohamed Mahmoud Street's walls a blank canvas, graffiti artists were already repainting it again, with groups gathering Friday to paint a new mural.
"We're obviously entering a new phrase of protests, and that requires new graffiti and dialogue," Boraie concludes. "The street art in the book represents these particular moments, and we're somewhere else right now."

Clic here to read the story from its source.