Remembering a Revolution: Graffiti Art in Egypt
Walls of Freedom, a book about the graffiti of the Egyptian revolution, has effectively been banned in Egypt, following the seizure of 400 copies by Egyptian customs earlier this week. The reason? Apparently the book “instigates revolt”. Read the foreword of the book Egyptians aren’t allowed to see, by AHDAF SOUEIF.
The streets mattered. They were where we lived, met and talked; where we renewed our commitment to our ideas and to each other. In the streets we were at our strongest and our most vulnerable; it was in the streets that many of us were wounded, kidnapped, beaten – that some of us died. But in the streets we were together; each one of us was out there doing everything we could to push the revolution forward, and to reaffirm also – to re-experience – the certainty we carried in our hearts: I am not alone. I am one small part of something amazing, of a massive movement of humanity with a common will towards the good.
And when the street art of the revolution appeared it reconfirmed that certainty a million-fold. For it did what only art can do: art shows you your own feelings, your own thoughts and impulses, articulated, transmuted, given form. And it shows you, in that act of mutual recognition, that you and the collective are one.