Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trompe-l'oeil to trump the generals

After police attacks on protestors last November & December in Tahrir Square, which killed over 50 people, the military junta of Egypt (SCAF) had concrete walls built around the boulevards entering Tahrir square to prevent protesters from gathering. People who lived in the area had to go through mazes of barriers just to get home. To fight the barriers, graffiti artists who participated in the revolution organized a series of No Walls protests (in March) turning the several walls into trompe-l’oeil murals depicting the streets hidden behind the barriers complete with trees, lampposts, pavement. This is the mural on Sheikh Rihan Street entering Tahrir. “If they play with walls, we will play with the mind. They put up a wall but we don’t see it,” said Amr Nazeer, a graffiti artist who participated in the No Walls campaign. The artists work fast to show the work before it is removed by authorities. Central Cairo has now become an exhibition of resistance art including a memorial with portraits of protestors who died at the hands of riot cops, scenes depicting street battles, the face of Samira Ibrahim, the woman who took the military to court over forced virginity tests of female detainees, & caricatures of the ruling generals.  (Photo by Mosa’aberising)

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