From the Editors
The New York Times says Jadaliyya "Brings New Life to Arab Studies." Read about it by clicking here.
The Mohammed Mahmud wall remains alive and kicking through its graffiti, which is getting altered by the hour. The walls continue to be whitened thanks to the efforts of Egyptian authorities. Yet drawings keep on appearing layers after layers to cover the older ones and the white paint. Not only have the walls of Mohammed Mahmud Street become “a memorial space,” as I have noted in a previous contribution, but also a barometer of the Egyptian revolution. The murals seem to be vividly narrating the most recent political turmoil, portraying the state of the arts of the revolution. Sardonic graffiti and abundant insults against counter-revolutionary forces are re-emerging by the hour. Three recent drawings are worthy of attention.
[Half-Mubarak/Half-Tantawi mural before it was erased. Photo by Mona Abaza.]
[Half-Mubarak/Half-Tantawi mural repainted with Amr Mousa and Ahmed Shafiq appearing
in the background. Photo by Mona Abaza]
When professional whiteners erased the portrait of half-Tantawi half- Mubrak (referenced in my previous piece) a group of revolutionary artists immediately replaced it with a new one featuring a triple-portrait of half-Mubarak half-Tantawi, but this time with half-Amr Mousa half-Ahmed Shafiq appearing in the background. These were supplemented by phrases like “I will never give you the trust and you will never rule me one more day”.
[Uniformed joker holding Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, along with four skeletons with threads.
Morsi’s face appears as a black head. Photo by Mona Abaza]
Also erased last week was the painting of the uniformed joker holding marionettes with threads. Artists repainted the same image, yet this time the marionettes are the two presidential candidates who advanced to the second round of the vote, namely the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi (painted as a black head) and Ahmed Shafiq, along with a few skeletons.
[Mural showing the mothers of the martyrs with the phrase: “forget what passed and stay
behind the elections.” Photos by Mona Abaza]
The Mohammed Mahmud wall was painted over by Ammar Abu-Bakr with yet again mothers of the martyrs dressed in black garment and lifting up the pictures of their deceased sons. Ammar Abu-Bakr painted the following phrase over Alaa Awad’s mural that shows the revolution’s martyrs: “Forget what passed and stay behind the elections.” While some may interpret these words as a show of support for the elections, they were meant sarcastically, as if anyone would choose to dismiss the sacrifices of the revolution’s martyrs.
Alaa Awad’s mural was the first to be wiped out by the professional whiteners a few weeks ago, ironically after he had requested from the American University in Cairo (AUC) to fixate the walls. Ammar Abu-Bakr adopted a different stance, stating at an AUC talk that the graffiti has to remain ephemeral and to constantly change and develop. It seems that Abu-Bakr’s wish has been granted: Mohammed Mahmud Street walls are now the site of a lively conversation that informs passers-by about the most recent moods of the street.
1 comment for "The Revolution's Barometer "
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
Yet, the majority of young people I talked to, regardless of class or gender, revealed a sophisticated political perspective and a keen interest in participation. They talked the language of human rights, responsibilities, good governance and bad governance.click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- 'I must save my life and not risk my family’s safety!': Untold Stories of Syrian Women Surviving War (Part 2)
- Will the Greferendum Bring A Rupture?: Answers from the European Left
- Against Terror, No Way Forward Without Respect for Human Rights
- المال ليس كل شيء: إعادة النظر في الاقتصاد العسكري في مصر
- The Land of Fear and Oppression
- مضيق المتعة
- Egypt Two Years after the Coup
- Mahienour Al-Masry: An Icon of the Revolution in Prison
- Egypt under the New July Republic
- In Response to Mubarak
- More than Money on their Minds: The Generals and the Economy in Egypt Revisited
- The Saudi Leaks and Egypt: A Recap
- New Texts Out Now: Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters, “Mass Mobilization and the Democracy Bias”
- New Texts Out Now: Reem Abou-El-Fadl, Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles
- Photography Media Roundup (July 2)
- Meydan Politics: Taksim in Flux after Gezi
- DARS Media Roundup (June 2015)
- New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami, Literary Subterfuge and Contemporary Persian Fiction: Who Writes Iran?
- Alif: Aynama-Rtama
- Turkey Media Roundup (June 30)