[ by Charles Cameron — politics and esthetics of revolutionary graffiti ]
At first, I was looking to see whether Anonymous made an appearance in the graffiti of the Egyptian popular uprising, and yes indeed:
What I found in my searching around included some pretty striking graphics — and a well-wrought English pun-slogan, too!
In fact I stumbled onto a number of interesting visuals — many of them in Gigi Ibrahim‘s photostream of Egyptian street art
One image that struck me featured “Tantawi’s underpants” — a popular motif, apparently, and one that seemed to me to make an interesting response / riposte to the iconic “blue bra girl” so shamelessly exposed by the Egyptian police:
So you can find a modern, maybe even a post-modern Egypt, up on the walls however fleetingly. But there’s also a sense of Egypt ancient and sophisticated — and this, too, I though worthy of your attention:
These two murals are grieving / protesting those who died in the “Port Said massacre” which followed a football game between rival Egyptian teams.
There’s much more to be seen — from “Facebook” and “the revolution will not be tweeted” to “no more guns” and images of a young man throwing a molotov cocktail… to graphics of cross and crescent intertwined.
The point being that this kind of “unofficial” art, like the anasheed of jihad, can give us a glimpse into the substrate of feeling that constitutes the morale of a given movement — which can at times be raw and stark, and at times strikingly beautiful, too.