Tag Archives: Cairo street art

The Art of Movement: Another Chapter of Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti

Wipe it off, and I’ll Paint Again

Keep Wiping off [Graffiti], You Cowardly Regime
Painting over graffiti in the dead of night while soldiers guard you is stupid. Painting over then denying you knew anything about it shows that you’re a regime not in control of your own police; which begs the question, who controls the country?

Continue reading The Art of Movement: Another Chapter of Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti

The Presidential Elections – Revolutionary Graffiti Continues

Eighteen months on, their names are forgotten. They’ve become numbers, over a thousand people who died bravely and innocently, shot dead, electrocuted, beaten and tortured by police and soldiers who – 18 months later – are either found innocent or were never there in the first place, due to lack of evidence. Because photographs, videos, testimonies and countless reports by human rights groups don’t count. It must have been Hammas.

Continue reading The Presidential Elections – Revolutionary Graffiti Continues

January 25 – The Anniversary: Graffiti

Have You been Vindicated? added next to mural of Tarek Abdel Latif

Continue reading January 25 – The Anniversary: Graffiti

Conversation with Ganzeer: the Tank, Buddha and Mad Graffiti Week

If you Google search Cairo Street Art, Ganzeer’s name is your top result. Countless interviews and features on the artist follow. As arguably the most recognized name on Cairo’s art scene today, it’s no surprise that Ganzeer is the most sought-after interview subject and reference on graffiti in Cairo.

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The Revolution Continues… And So Does Graffiti

This amazing mural of the injured protesters of November 19 is on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, on the wall of the AUC Main Campus, which saw the heaviest battle between protesters and police soldiers ten days ago

Once again, graffiti has returned to the streets of Tahrir and the Mogama’ building as Egyptian demonstrators flooded back to the Square on November 19th. The street art covers layers of previous graffiti on the walls of Mohamed Mahmoud Street, only this time the tone is more sombre, calling for the freedom of jailed activists, commemorating those who lost their eyes or died during the November 19 protests, and denouncing the regime for the atrocities and injustice it is responsible for.

Continue reading The Revolution Continues… And So Does Graffiti

This Is Not Graffiti -Opens at Townhouse Factory Space, Cairo

After two months of seriously hard work, the exhibition ‘This Is Not Graffiti’ opened last night at Townhouse Gallery’s Factory Space in Downtown Cairo.

Continue reading This Is Not Graffiti -Opens at Townhouse Factory Space, Cairo

Graffiti in Cairo: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cow?

Having stalked them, befriended them and followed them around like an overenthusiastic puppy for the past six months, I think I’ve sort of figured out the mentality of certain graffiti artists in Cairo.

Continue reading Graffiti in Cairo: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cow?

Cool Cairo Art Idea: One Year Project

Image by Moe courtesy of oneyearpro.tumblr.com

This really cool tumblr was sent to me by Hashem Kelesh via twitter. One Year Project is an experimental project by three very talented Egyptian artists, Moe Al Hussainy, Islam Shabana, and Hashem Kelesh, where they photograph themselves each day and send the photos to each other.

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Pop Goes Graffiti – The Faces of Cairo Street Art

Artist Shank signs his name with a figure that somehow reminds me of Gorillaz pop art.

Lately, the graffiti I’ve stumbled upon around Cairo seems to be predominantly faces of  pop icons, political figures and cartoon characters, mostly Western references but with several Egyptian icons as well. It’s an exciting and eclectic mix of Ghandi and Batman, Baradei and astronauts.

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Graffiti War – The Street Versus Pepsi

So a little revolution happened. The streets filled up, people yelled, a tyrant was dethroned and the world media fixated on Egypt’s younger generation, saying nice (though patronizing) things about us for once.

Continue reading Graffiti War – The Street Versus Pepsi

Protest Graffiti: Solidarity with Syria Spreads from Cairo

Bashar Stencil by El Teneen. Next to it, reads ‘The People Want the Downfall of the Regime’ words made famous in Tahrir. Sighted on July 25th, 2011. The graffiti has since been painted over.

One of the things that we Egyptians have in common with Syrians is our democratically elected rulers’ penchant for killing their own people – only Syria’s Bashar El Assad has thrown caution (and chummy relations with the morally conscious Western governments) to the wind by attempting to wipe out all of the people who don’t like him.

Continue reading Protest Graffiti: Solidarity with Syria Spreads from Cairo

Protest Graffiti in Tahrir – The Mogamaa

‘Helw Ya Balady’ (My beautiful Country), a popular song by Dalida. Graffiti by HK

The walls of the Mogamaa are filled with protest graffiti. There’s rarely an empty space left between the large and colourful murals by HK, the witty caricature-like pieces by Hosny and the stencils by El Teneen, Sad Panda and many anonymous artists.  Continue reading Protest Graffiti in Tahrir – The Mogamaa

An Evening on The Streets With Keizer

His car stinks of spray cans. The back seat is filled with enough aerosol cans to make a pyromaniac weep with joy. If he were ever stopped and searched by the police, he’d have a field day explaining the bottles, posters, surgical gloves and tape. Continue reading An Evening on The Streets With Keizer

Cairo Street Art – Downtown Graffiti

Mickey, Bush & the Bomb by Keizer
Mickey, Bush & the Bomb by Keizer

‘Excuse me,’ he walks up to me as I hesitantly put my camera down, ‘What does this picture mean?’

He points at the Keizer stencil of Mickey Mouse on the grey wall. Mahmoud Bassiouny Street on a Saturday afternoon is crowded, and people seem still wary of any snap-happy camera-toting thug like me. Who knows, I could be another Facebook-loving Zionist spy.

‘I think that’s Mickey Mouse,’ I say helpfully.

‘Yes but what does it mean? And who is that man next to him?’

He’s bald with a graying walrus moustache, probably in his mid-forties, his full cheeks sweating as he fans at his pin-striped pink shirt.

‘I’m not quite sure,’ I say politely, wishing I could go back to my camera, but he appears adamant for an answer. ‘Maybe it’s a president? It could be George Bush.’

‘Yes but what is George Bush doing with Mickey Mouse? I like this picture, I walk past it every day, but I wish there’d be some writing explaining it so that I could understand.’

How do I explain dichotomy or irony in Arabic? My mind goes blank.

‘Err… maybe the guy who made this wants you to think about it and come up with your own idea?’ I offer weakly.

He seems even more baffled. ‘Well I don’t want to figure it out myself, it’s much easier if he just tells me what it means so I know what to think.’

I ponder on whether I should bring up the whole we-lived-under-a-dictatorship-that-told-us-what-to-think-for-thirty-years-arent-you-happy-to-think-for-yourself-for-once theory, but I don’t. I’d rather move on, plus something about his walrus moustache makes him look like an NDP fan. Yes, I’m racist like that. I judge your political affiliation by your facial hair.

‘I mean it’s nice and everything,’ he continues eagerly, ‘But not as nice as the beautiful flags they paint everywhere, so pretty. You know, I was in Tahrir every day, I was one of the shabab of the revolution…’

Ah yes. The most overused line that launches every conversation since January 25th. Somehow I get stuck between a man and the wall I want to photograph as he talks for a full twenty minutes without interruption about Tahrir, Alaa Aswany, what he thinks of Baradei, the elections, the Muslim Brotherhood, yadayada, while I check my phone, make coughing noises, fiddle with my camera lense, shift from one foot to another, check my phone again. Eventually, he offers me his phone number and I politely say goodbye.

The camera never leaves my protective hands, held up against my chest like ammunition, pointing directly at him.

Snow White with a Gun by Keizer on Mahmoud Bassiouny Street
Snow White with a Gun by Keizer on Mahmoud Bassiouny Street
Atom by Keizer on Mahmoud Bassiony Street
Atom by Keizer on Mahmoud Bassiony Street
Kill Your Television by Keizer
Kill Your Television by Keizer
You Are Beautiful by Keizer on Mahmoud Bassiony Street
You Are Beautiful by Keizer on Mahmoud Bassiony Street
Graffiti by Charles Akl and Amr Gamal
Graffiti by Charles Akl and Amr Gamal
Graffiti of Amr Beheiry, imprisoned protester, on electricity box off Mahmoud Bassiony Street.
Graffiti of Amr Beheiry, imprisoned protester, on electricity box off Mahmoud Bassiony Street.
Veiled & unveiled women with halos and mouth masks. I'd love to know who made this.
Veiled & unveiled women with halos and mouth masks. I’d love to know who made this.
Tantawi by El Teneen
Tantawi by El Teneen
May 27th Molotov Cocktail by El Teneen on Kasr El Nil
May 27th Molotov Cocktail by El Teneen on Kasr El Nil
Uprising against the Army by El Teneen, note the crescent and the cross on the hand.
Uprising against the Army by El Teneen, note the crescent and the cross on the hand.
Sad Panda with an AK47 on wall of El Horreya
Sad Panda with an AK47 on wall of El Horreya

On the wall of a public bathroom on Abdel Salam Aref across from El Horreya, Sad Panda sits next to a graffiti stencil by Xist of Amr Beheiry, imprisoned Tahrir protester

    Martyr Mural by Ganzeer of Islam Raafat, 18 yrs old, run over by microbus during protest on Jan 28.

    Tantawi Underwear with helicopters by Adham Bakry, appropriately above trash
Tantawi Underwear with helicopters by Adham Bakry, appropriately above trash

Mr. X  (note the scribbles Mortada Mansour the Crazy) on AUC wall, Yousef El Guindy Street.

Chess Mate by El Teneen
Chess Mate by El Teneen
Mural by Hany Khaled with a poster by Mohamed Alaa
Mural by Hany Khaled with a poster by Mohamed Alaa

In the name of Egypt

For exact locations of graffiti in Cairo, check out the Cairo Street Art Map.