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  • In the name of Egypt

    Before January 25th 2011, political street art in Cairo was all but completely absent, and artists were under constant threat from agents of the Mubarak regime. The art that emerged during the uprising took many forms, from cursory spray paint to ornate Egyptian calligraphy. While the revolution happened all over Egypt, some locations saw greater conflict - such as Sharia Nubar on either side of the Interior Ministry. The first killings to come out of the revolution in Cairo happened in these blocks, as revolutionaries were targeted by snipers. This painting, which says, 'In the name of Egypt' is less than five minutes from the Ministry.

  • Nationalism

    Nationalism, revolution, patriotism, anti-nationalism, playfulness, anger and sadness are all represented in Cairo's emerging street art and expose the wide range of the politics behind the artists themselves. At times street art in Cairo takes on an almost Soviet communal nationalism, other pieces demand the fall of the state altogether.

  • 27 May

    As the revolution has aged, Egyptians have become increasingly frustrated at the pace of change, skeptical of Field Marshall Tantawi - the de facto ruler of Egypt - and concerned about co-option of the revolution itself. In order to maintain the pressure on Tantawi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, youth groups have called for a number of subsequent mass protests in Tahrir and across the country. These have been announced through social media and street art. The Flames of this Molotov Cocktail spell '27 May', a massive return to Tahrir.

  • Martyrs of the Revolution

    Larger than life memorial murals of revolutionary martyrs have been painted all across Cairo. Each shows a likeness of the person killed, accompanied by name, profession, and age. Some have quickly been painted over by public workers, while others like this one on the island of Zemalek, have remained.

  • Ghosts

    Stenciled faces of those who died during the uprising in Egypt have begun to appear all over the city.

  • Ghosts

    Stenciled faces of those who died during the uprising in Egypt have begun to appear all over the city.

  • Screamer

    Despite a total internet blackout beginning on January 26th, text messaging and Facebook coordinated much of the revolutionary action, and twitter archived its progression. T-Shirts in Tahrir proclaim Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube to be 'Methods of Freedom', and they figure prominantly in this Mural on Zamalek, an Island in the middle of the Nile.

  • Think

    Stenciled light bulbs have appeared all over Cairo, alternately interpreted to suggest that people think, or that light is finally shining on the city.

  • The ghost of Khaled Said

    Khaled Said, a young man in his twenties, was dragged from a cybercafe and beaten to death by police in June 2010. The police autopsy report stated that he had suffocated while trying to swallow a bag of hashish, but photos of his gruesomely disfigured body, as well as testimony from witnesses at the cybercafe, quickly went viral and made Khaled Said the face of the Egyptian revolution. Human Rights Watch reported that the photos of his "battered and deformed face...show a fractured skull, dislocated jaw, broken nose, and numerous other signs of trauma" and suggested "strong evidence that plainclothes security officers beat him in a vicious and public manner." Subsequently, a google executive name Wael Ghoneim started the 'We are all Khaled Said' facebook page, which became wildly followed and is broadly credited as a fundamental part of the beginning of the revolution. On the first anniversary of Khaled Said's killing, protesters stormed the military line defending the Interior Ministry and spray-painted his face across the walls. By morning, all signs of this event had been painted over.

  • Egypt Youth

    'Shebab Masr' means 'Egypt youth' and is painted on the wall of a side-street leading to an area of Tahrir which saw very heavy battling between revolutionaries and thugs on camel and horseback. The youth of Egypt are widely credited with driving the revolution and see themselves as the generation of the new Egypt. Their creativity, internet savvy, and optimism are complimented by many - but the removal of Mubarak himself could not have happened iif it haden't been for the massive economic pressure of national strikes by middle-aged laborers across the country.

  • Khaled Said

    Khaled Said, a young man in his twenties, was dragged from a cybercafe and beaten to death by police in June 2010. The police autopsy report stated that he had suffocated while trying to swallow a bag of hashish, but photos of his gruesomely disfigured body, as well as testimony from witnesses at the cybercafe, quickly went viral and made Khaled Said the face of the Egyptian revolution. Human Rights Watch reported that the photos of his "battered and deformed face...show a fractured skull, dislocated jaw, broken nose, and numerous other signs of trauma" and suggested "strong evidence that plainclothes security officers beat him in a vicious and public manner." Subsequently, a google executive name Wael Ghoneim started the 'We are all Khaled Said' facebook page, which became wildly followed and is broadly credited as a fundamental part of the beginning of the revolution. On the first anniversary of Khaled Said's killing, protesters stormed the military line defending the Interior Ministry and spray-painted his face across the walls. By morning, all signs of this event had been painted over. This stencil reads: Is there blood in the water of your eyes? Do you forget my clothes, stained with blood?

  • Occupation: 8 July

    By the 8th of July - nearly four months after the removal of Mubarak - disenfranchisement with the Supreme Council of The Armed Forces (SCAF), who had promised quick change, was growing significantly. Only one policemen charged with killing protesters during the revolution had been found guilty (in absentia) and others had been acquitted. Protesters themselves were being tried in closed military tribunals, and many in Mubarak's inner circles remained free. The Emergency Law, in place for nearly 30 years and a tool for police impunity and arbitrary arrest, remained in place despite SCAF promises that it would be repealed if demonstrators returned to their daily lives. A coalition of youth groups announced a re-occupation of Tahrir and spread the message through street art. The occupation is still ongoing.

  • The streets of Tahrir

    Painters have added to the revolutionary debate in Tahrir, painting directly on to the streets.

  • Tantawi's Underwear

    Field Marshall Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and de facto head of the Egyptian State, was Defense Minister under Mubarak for nearly two decades. He is criticized for his anti-reform policies and is widely seen as unwilling to ultimately fulfill the populist demands of the revolution. This piece, titled, 'Tantawi's Underwear' was painted in Falaki Square, just a few minutes from Tahrir.

  • Martyrs Square

    At the northern entrance to Tahrir Square, in gorgeous calligraphy, a median has been painted with the words 'Martyrs Square'. While it has been defaced more than once by counter-revolutionaries, it remains constantly tended to and is repainted regularly.

  • Talaat Harb

    An electrical box in Talaat Harb square, just up fro Tahrir, has gone through a number of variations. Initially painted with the face of Field Marshall Tantawi as a Salafi, it was painted over and repainted with a set of handcuffs wearing an Egyptian Military beret. Now this beret has been augmented by an announcement for the July 8 Tahrir reoccupation. Out of frame in the foreground is a protest in solidarity with uprisings in Suez and Alexandria.

  • I will be back soon

    The wall of a public toilet in Falaki Square has, since the fall of Mubarak, been a battleground between graffiti artists and clean up crews. This wall, twice painted with massive murals of a martyr killed in the revolution, and twice painted over, now announced the July 8th Tahrir Square occupation and a handwritten note from the artist.

  • Tantawi

    A demonstrator holds a stenciled image of Field Marshall Tantawi - increasingly criticized - behind bars. Minutes later the demonstrator was acosted by men and physically restrained while they destroyed his sign. Undaunted, he regained his poise and held the pieces together, one segment in each hand.

  • Anger

    Thus for only one police officer has been convicted of killing protesters during the revolution. He was tried in absentia. More recently anger has flared over the acquittal and release of a number of others, and while the Prime Minister has called for the re-arrest of 300 charged with killing demonstrators, the Interior Ministry has refused this demand, further angering protesters in the square. The photograph in this picture is of a child killed during the revolution, left against a wall leading to Tahrir Square.

  • Fist

    The clenched fist of resistance has appeared all over Cairo.

  • Unions in Tahrir

    On Mayday in Tahrir, artists set up a makeshift gallery in Tahrir celebrating union membership.

  • Zemalek Art

    A good amount of street art has emerged across Zemalek, the affluent island in the middle of the Nile that hosts a major art school.

  • Flags

    The rde, white and black of the Egyptian flag has appeared on nearly every surface in Cairo, from lamp posts to tissue boxes.

  • Salafi Tantawi

    Field Marshall Tantawi has been accused of stunting the revolution through lack of reform and failure to act in opposition to anti-democratic groups, such as the Salafists - fundamentalist Muslims supported heavily by Saudi Arabia. Here Tantawi is depicted wearing the traditional Salafi beard.

  • Ganzeer

    The explosion of street art across Cairo has been significantly advanced by an artist named Ganzeer, and his efforts to organize, through Twitter, the Mad Graffiti Weekend, during which artists took to the streets all over the city, mapping their works on a public google map. Throughout Egypt flat bread is delivered on massive palettes biked through the streets by vendors. In this piece, a vendor, representing the people of Egypt, stands off against a tank.

  • Tank and vendor

    The explosion of street art across Cairo has been significantly advanced by an artist named Ganzeer, and his efforts to organize, through Twitter, the Mad Graffiti Weekend, during which artists took to the streets all over the city, mapping their works on a public google map. Throughout Egypt flat bread is delivered on massive palettes biked through the streets by vendors. In this piece, a vendor, representing the people of Egypt, stands off against a tank.

  • King of Spades

    Mubarak depicted as the King of Spades on the island of Zemalek.

  • Revolution Memorial

    Revolutionaries rise up against the state, depicted by the eagle, in a memorial mural on Zemalek Island.

  • Checkmate

    One of the first pieces of political art to emerge after the revolution was a massive chess board painted along a side street off Tahrir Square. All of the pawns are on one side of the board, and the King has been flipped over.

  • April 6th movement

    The april 6th youth movement is a loose party of revolutionaries who have driven the revolution from its early days. This stencil advertises its website and is present in many locations around Tahrir.

  • Tear gas = 25$

    After pitched battles last week, during which police fired volley after volley of USA made tear gas on Tahrir demonstrators, graffiti has been painted all over the square exposing the money being paid to suppress demonstrations.

  • In the name of Egypt

    Before January 25th 2011, political street art in Cairo was all but completely absent, and artists were under constant threat from agents of the Mubarak regime. The art that emerged during the uprising took many forms, from cursory spray paint to ornate Egyptian calligraphy. While the revolution happened all over Egypt, some locations saw greater conflict - such as Sharia Nubar on either side of the Interior Ministry. The first killings to come out of the revolution in Cairo happened in these blocks, as revolutionaries were targeted by snipers. This painting, which says, 'In the name of Egypt' is less than five minutes from the Ministry.

  • Nationalism

    Nationalism, revolution, patriotism, anti-nationalism, playfulness, anger and sadness are all represented in Cairo's emerging street art and expose the wide range of the politics behind the artists themselves. At times street art in Cairo takes on an almost Soviet communal nationalism, other pieces demand the fall of the state altogether.

  • 27 May

    As the revolution has aged, Egyptians have become increasingly frustrated at the pace of change, skeptical of Field Marshall Tantawi - the de facto ruler of Egypt - and concerned about co-option of the revolution itself. In order to maintain the pressure on Tantawi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, youth groups have called for a number of subsequent mass protests in Tahrir and across the country. These have been announced through social media and street art. The Flames of this Molotov Cocktail spell '27 May', a massive return to Tahrir.

  • Martyrs of the Revolution

    Larger than life memorial murals of revolutionary martyrs have been painted all across Cairo. Each shows a likeness of the person killed, accompanied by name, profession, and age. Some have quickly been painted over by public workers, while others like this one on the island of Zemalek, have remained.

  • Ghosts

    Stenciled faces of those who died during the uprising in Egypt have begun to appear all over the city.

  • Ghosts

    Stenciled faces of those who died during the uprising in Egypt have begun to appear all over the city.

  • Screamer

    Despite a total internet blackout beginning on January 26th, text messaging and Facebook coordinated much of the revolutionary action, and twitter archived its progression. T-Shirts in Tahrir proclaim Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube to be 'Methods of Freedom', and they figure prominantly in this Mural on Zamalek, an Island in the middle of the Nile.

  • Think

    Stenciled light bulbs have appeared all over Cairo, alternately interpreted to suggest that people think, or that light is finally shining on the city.

  • The ghost of Khaled Said

    Khaled Said, a young man in his twenties, was dragged from a cybercafe and beaten to death by police in June 2010. The police autopsy report stated that he had suffocated while trying to swallow a bag of hashish, but photos of his gruesomely disfigured body, as well as testimony from witnesses at the cybercafe, quickly went viral and made Khaled Said the face of the Egyptian revolution. Human Rights Watch reported that the photos of his "battered and deformed face...show a fractured skull, dislocated jaw, broken nose, and numerous other signs of trauma" and suggested "strong evidence that plainclothes security officers beat him in a vicious and public manner." Subsequently, a google executive name Wael Ghoneim started the 'We are all Khaled Said' facebook page, which became wildly followed and is broadly credited as a fundamental part of the beginning of the revolution. On the first anniversary of Khaled Said's killing, protesters stormed the military line defending the Interior Ministry and spray-painted his face across the walls. By morning, all signs of this event had been painted over.

  • Egypt Youth

    'Shebab Masr' means 'Egypt youth' and is painted on the wall of a side-street leading to an area of Tahrir which saw very heavy battling between revolutionaries and thugs on camel and horseback. The youth of Egypt are widely credited with driving the revolution and see themselves as the generation of the new Egypt. Their creativity, internet savvy, and optimism are complimented by many - but the removal of Mubarak himself could not have happened iif it haden't been for the massive economic pressure of national strikes by middle-aged laborers across the country.

  • Khaled Said

    Khaled Said, a young man in his twenties, was dragged from a cybercafe and beaten to death by police in June 2010. The police autopsy report stated that he had suffocated while trying to swallow a bag of hashish, but photos of his gruesomely disfigured body, as well as testimony from witnesses at the cybercafe, quickly went viral and made Khaled Said the face of the Egyptian revolution. Human Rights Watch reported that the photos of his "battered and deformed face...show a fractured skull, dislocated jaw, broken nose, and numerous other signs of trauma" and suggested "strong evidence that plainclothes security officers beat him in a vicious and public manner." Subsequently, a google executive name Wael Ghoneim started the 'We are all Khaled Said' facebook page, which became wildly followed and is broadly credited as a fundamental part of the beginning of the revolution. On the first anniversary of Khaled Said's killing, protesters stormed the military line defending the Interior Ministry and spray-painted his face across the walls. By morning, all signs of this event had been painted over. This stencil reads: Is there blood in the water of your eyes? Do you forget my clothes, stained with blood?

  • Occupation: 8 July

    By the 8th of July - nearly four months after the removal of Mubarak - disenfranchisement with the Supreme Council of The Armed Forces (SCAF), who had promised quick change, was growing significantly. Only one policemen charged with killing protesters during the revolution had been found guilty (in absentia) and others had been acquitted. Protesters themselves were being tried in closed military tribunals, and many in Mubarak's inner circles remained free. The Emergency Law, in place for nearly 30 years and a tool for police impunity and arbitrary arrest, remained in place despite SCAF promises that it would be repealed if demonstrators returned to their daily lives. A coalition of youth groups announced a re-occupation of Tahrir and spread the message through street art. The occupation is still ongoing.

  • The streets of Tahrir

    Painters have added to the revolutionary debate in Tahrir, painting directly on to the streets.

  • Tantawi's Underwear

    Field Marshall Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and de facto head of the Egyptian State, was Defense Minister under Mubarak for nearly two decades. He is criticized for his anti-reform policies and is widely seen as unwilling to ultimately fulfill the populist demands of the revolution. This piece, titled, 'Tantawi's Underwear' was painted in Falaki Square, just a few minutes from Tahrir.

  • Martyrs Square

    At the northern entrance to Tahrir Square, in gorgeous calligraphy, a median has been painted with the words 'Martyrs Square'. While it has been defaced more than once by counter-revolutionaries, it remains constantly tended to and is repainted regularly.

  • Talaat Harb

    An electrical box in Talaat Harb square, just up fro Tahrir, has gone through a number of variations. Initially painted with the face of Field Marshall Tantawi as a Salafi, it was painted over and repainted with a set of handcuffs wearing an Egyptian Military beret. Now this beret has been augmented by an announcement for the July 8 Tahrir reoccupation. Out of frame in the foreground is a protest in solidarity with uprisings in Suez and Alexandria.

  • I will be back soon

    The wall of a public toilet in Falaki Square has, since the fall of Mubarak, been a battleground between graffiti artists and clean up crews. This wall, twice painted with massive murals of a martyr killed in the revolution, and twice painted over, now announced the July 8th Tahrir Square occupation and a handwritten note from the artist.

  • Tantawi

    A demonstrator holds a stenciled image of Field Marshall Tantawi - increasingly criticized - behind bars. Minutes later the demonstrator was acosted by men and physically restrained while they destroyed his sign. Undaunted, he regained his poise and held the pieces together, one segment in each hand.

  • Anger

    Thus for only one police officer has been convicted of killing protesters during the revolution. He was tried in absentia. More recently anger has flared over the acquittal and release of a number of others, and while the Prime Minister has called for the re-arrest of 300 charged with killing demonstrators, the Interior Ministry has refused this demand, further angering protesters in the square. The photograph in this picture is of a child killed during the revolution, left against a wall leading to Tahrir Square.

  • Fist

    The clenched fist of resistance has appeared all over Cairo.

  • Unions in Tahrir

    On Mayday in Tahrir, artists set up a makeshift gallery in Tahrir celebrating union membership.

  • Zemalek Art

    A good amount of street art has emerged across Zemalek, the affluent island in the middle of the Nile that hosts a major art school.

  • Flags

    The rde, white and black of the Egyptian flag has appeared on nearly every surface in Cairo, from lamp posts to tissue boxes.

  • Salafi Tantawi

    Field Marshall Tantawi has been accused of stunting the revolution through lack of reform and failure to act in opposition to anti-democratic groups, such as the Salafists - fundamentalist Muslims supported heavily by Saudi Arabia. Here Tantawi is depicted wearing the traditional Salafi beard.

  • Ganzeer

    The explosion of street art across Cairo has been significantly advanced by an artist named Ganzeer, and his efforts to organize, through Twitter, the Mad Graffiti Weekend, during which artists took to the streets all over the city, mapping their works on a public google map. Throughout Egypt flat bread is delivered on massive palettes biked through the streets by vendors. In this piece, a vendor, representing the people of Egypt, stands off against a tank.

  • Tank and vendor

    The explosion of street art across Cairo has been significantly advanced by an artist named Ganzeer, and his efforts to organize, through Twitter, the Mad Graffiti Weekend, during which artists took to the streets all over the city, mapping their works on a public google map. Throughout Egypt flat bread is delivered on massive palettes biked through the streets by vendors. In this piece, a vendor, representing the people of Egypt, stands off against a tank.

  • King of Spades

    Mubarak depicted as the King of Spades on the island of Zemalek.

  • Revolution Memorial

    Revolutionaries rise up against the state, depicted by the eagle, in a memorial mural on Zemalek Island.

  • Checkmate

    One of the first pieces of political art to emerge after the revolution was a massive chess board painted along a side street off Tahrir Square. All of the pawns are on one side of the board, and the King has been flipped over.

  • April 6th movement

    The april 6th youth movement is a loose party of revolutionaries who have driven the revolution from its early days. This stencil advertises its website and is present in many locations around Tahrir.

  • Tear gas = 25$

    After pitched battles last week, during which police fired volley after volley of USA made tear gas on Tahrir demonstrators, graffiti has been painted all over the square exposing the money being paid to suppress demonstrations.

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