Josh Wood

A journalist's observations on Lebanon and elsewhere

In Cairo, Street Art Matures

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Egyptian street artist Keizer tags a fresh stencil in an underpass in the Cairo neighborhood of Zamalek. Photo by Sam Tarling.

I’m in Cairo for a while at an interesting time for Egypt.  Tahrir Square has been reoccupied by protesters for three weeks now.  The reoccupation stemmed from frustrations with the way the interim leaders of Egypt, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – or SCAF as we say out this way – were leading the country.  Last Saturday, protesters tried to march on the Ministry of Defense and ended up in some pretty nasty street battles with SCAF supporters and local residents of the neighborhood where the ministry is located.  Sam Tarling has some pretty intense photos of the fighting here.

Beyond Tahrir, some of the most visible criticism of SCAF on the streets is the graffiti that has exploded all across the city.  I wrote about Cairo’s emerging street art scene for The International Herald Tribune.

The Maturing of Street Art in Cairo

CAIRO — Not too long ago, large concentrations of good street art in the Arab world were hard to come by: The typical, universal proclamations of love declared in spray paint and the very rare stencil or more developed piece were about as good as it got.

But in the six months since the Egyptian revolution began on Jan. 25, Cairo has suddenly emerged as the street art capital of the region, and its graffiti scene — one that primarily started with hastily scrawled slogans calling for the overthrow of the Mubarak regime — has evolved into one characterized by well-crafted motifs, both aesthetic and politically provocative.

Read the rest here:


Written by woodenbeirut

July 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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