Final Blog Post

Over the past semester, my diigo and blog postings have been focused around graffiti art in Egypt. After watching the square in class, I was inspired to do research on these amazing works of art. Graffiti art has always been present in Egypt. However with the eruption of the revolution and frustration of corrupt political regimes, graffiti art was a way of expressing their anger in a peaceful way. For this final blog post, I will discuss my artifacts throughout my research, the different perspectives of globalization relating to this topic, and my overall understand of the topic.

At the beginning of my research, I decided to introduce graffiti art and give perception of the stigma. Of course, government official believe that the art was considered to be inappropriate and vandalism. The Egyptian government viewed the constant tagging as a nuisance. However, the Egyptian people believe the art pieces represented their struggle and reflection on the revolution. One of the most famous artists is a man named Ganzer. He is extremely famous for creating multiple medias of graffiti art. One of most famous murals includes a tank with a sad panda holding a red balloon. This graphic is below in previous blog post. As more murals starting taking over the city, the public began to call the “Freedom Painters.” These “Freedom Painters” are the ones who are responsible for creating the different express of graffiti art in Egypt and Tunisa. Many of their painting include political figures, their view on the revolution, and a push for people to go vote in order for their voices to be heard. Additionally, their works of arts are called the “Walls of Freedom.”

The second portion of my research deals with the reaction of the government. At first, the government didn’t think so much into the paintings. However, once portraits and stencils of president started emerging, the government considered it a form of vandalism and a threat to the president. Because of this, the government decided to take matters into their own hand. Thus, they proposed a law to consider graffiti illegal. During my research, there wasn’t any clarification as to whether or not that the law was passed. However, in November 2013, the government banned “abusive graffiti” on buildings in Egypt, and organized government committees in cities to monitor political street art. If there were any violators to this measurement, they would be fined and arrested. Despite this being passed, the policy was extremely shady. In fact, Ganzeer as I have mention above, it considered a terrorist to the country under the muslim brotherhood! Of course, the public began riots stating that the walls mirrored the revolution. Personally, I believe that have this extreme form of censorship. The population is extremely large, and whether the walls are painted white, the artists will more than likely continue to paint them.

Most of my artifacts are new articles that date back to 2011 which was the beginning of the revolution. However, some pieces are analysis of the revolution. I also wanted to focus online galleries. I really wanted my audience to view different works of art. Hence, which why I also used a video for my presentation.

Looking at the many of the artists and painting themes such as liberty, freedom of expressions, and the use of social media. As I have mentioned before, the main purpose of the murals was to represent Egypt’s ongoing battle with limited freedom. Many of the artworks have hidden message behind their paintings. For example, one of Ganzeer’s famous painting includes a huge white tank in front a man riding a bicycle with a basket of goods above his head. The white tank represent the regime and the military. Placing the tank in front of what seems to be a normal civilian, represent that the regime is willing to go against their own people. Additionally, I feel that man on the bicycle represents every Egyptians dream. Their dream is the ability to move forward with their live and to be happy. While I was looking at many of the art pieces, I felt like you could connect with the injustice of the people, and they were able to represent that through their art. I think when the government was trying to censor the walls; they raised havoc because they wouldn’t be to express them anymore especially since they don’t even have the freedom of speech. One of the last themes that I did notice in my research is that the artist would use social media to gain attention to their artwork. I actually stumbled upon a facebook page that was specifically dedicated to street art. On the facebook page, there are different forms of art ranging from contemporary piece to contemporary art mixed with traditional Egypt symbols. By creating this facebook page, it could allow the spread of these painting to the entire world, giving attention to the realities of the Egyptian revolution.

From the different perspectives of globalization, I believe that many of the artists would consider themselves, radicals or market liberalism. Many of the protesters would often challenge the government and even other affiliations like the muslim brotherhood supporters. According to the book, Controversies in Globalization, “Radicals advocate a constant campaign of challenging globalization through public demonstrations and public education. They support viable alternative to globalization such as national self-reliance, more radical forms of democratic participation at all levels of governance, and greater cooperation among countries and groups in the global South.” Like we saw in The Square, many of the protesters would challenge the government for the opportunity to build a democracy in the Egypt. They would conduct peaceful demonstrations, educate the rest of the population, and release their emotions on their walls. Additionally, these protesters stay pure to their culture. Although times are changing, radicals believe that the culture of Egypt should be respected. In my research, I mostly focused on radicals, however, there could be some form of market liberalism in their protest. To prove my point, market liberals would advocate the use of force against groups that violently challenge globalization, such as political regimes or non state actors. Since the political regime was the main cause of the revolution, market liberals would argue that these could interfere with the flow of supplies into the country.

Conducting these blog posts throughout the semester, helped me understand the true meaning behind graffiti art and greater understanding of the perspective of globalizations. Graffiti art to the Egyptian people is considered a monument and their own personal diary of the revolution. Additionally, it represents their struggle and the realities of the protesting. In all honesty, I would often get the different perspective of globalization confused. However, focusing on just radicalism and market liberalism gave me an in-depth perspective. Now, if I were to compare to other global perspectives, I could automatically ruled with ones do not belong to radicals or market liberalism. Lastly, the people of Egypt demonstrate that they will to go through great lengths in order to get their voice and that is something I highly respect.

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Blog Post 9

In the first article, it begins with Hassan Saber reflecting on how the graffiti art in egypt has become a large part him and his memories with the revolution. As I have mention before, the last portion of my research is dealing with current policy or how the government has dealt with the graffiti. Anyways, in this article, the author describes how the government has completely changed the atosmphere in egypt. For example, “Nowadays I feel even the most optimistic person is deflated,” says Keizer, who is producing street art less frequently than he used to. “The revolution was stolen from beneath our feet,” he said, referring to the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. If you are seen or heard offending the government, you automatically considered a target. Reading this article, reminds me of our current government. Of course, ours is more liberal than egypt, but I feel that if we say something is not “socially acceptable”, we also become targets of harassment or punishment.In the second article, it focuses more on the current President Sisi. Ganzeer was often referenced in this article to show how brave he was for artwork. He knew that if he was to get caught, he would get in incredible amount of trouble. But the people of egypt believed that he was important for documenting the revolution.

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Blog Post 8

For this last blog, I decided to focus on the government push to prohibit the graffiti art. In 2013, the government proposed a draft in which  those found guilty of abusive graffiti on buildings, could face a prison sentence of up to four years or a fine up to 100,000 Egyptian pounds. In my second article, the rights group, Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expressed its concern over a proposed law that would criminalize graffiti. They believed that it wasn’t fair since it was made in secret. In other words, the public had no idea that this proposal was even being constructed. The group then continue to tell the government, “it can go in the footsteps of its predecessor and try to issue laws. It will not succeed in their application and will not succeed in confiscating the gains of the revolution in doing so.” Many of the egyptain united against the bill and even held a protest against it.

After doing extra research, it was never concluded if the law passed.

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Blog Post 7

For this blog post, I decided to focus on one most popular street artist, Ganzeer. Ganzeer, at the age of 32, begins his artwork much before the revolution. He is known for using stencils, paints, and other spray paint in his media. In his artwork, the main focus is usually around political leaders, the government reign, and around the revolution. Because he would “attack” political leaders, his identity and a photograph of his was displayed in the public. The city was told that if he were to be seen painting murals, then he was to be arrested. In a Monitor interview, he states “People forget that the streets belong to the people. They think that they’re some kind of official government-controlled entity. I think it’s important to remind people that they’re not.”

I find it interesting that Ganzeer doesn’t consider himself a street artist but more of an actual artist. To clarify, his painting are more than just graffiti.

Below is one of his most famous paintings.

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Blog Post 6

For this blog post, I decided to showcase some galleries that featured the street art of Egypt. Take a look for yourself!

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/gallery-revolution-graffiti2

http://www.fromheretofame.com/khaled_said.html

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Blog 5

For my first post to Diigo in this section, the main focus on this article is current graffiti and its influence on contemporary politics and ancient artworks. Before the revolution, there was hardly any street art. In fact, there was few pieces that hardly one noticed. Mohamed Mahmoud Street which east of the Tahrir square, is the monument for street art. The walls are filled vibrant colors and murals that represent the revolution. Of course many of the murals began to develop during the 18 days of protesting. Like I have mention before in my other blog post, the murals are a representation of the personal perspectives of the citizens during the protest. Many of these pieces of art are considered to be memorable and has made street murals a “treasure” now. Much like the first article, the second article, reiterates much of main posts that are mentioned above.

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Blog Post 4

In the first article that I post for this blog, it focuses on the current government makes it extremely difficult for artist to freely express themselves. Since President Sisi and Muslim Brotherhood have rises to the power, it has been noted that if a artist is seen grafting then it is seen as a sign of terrorism. This article is relatively short but it provides great information about the current view of street art. The post that I did to Diigo is actually a Facebook page that contains multiple images of the street art. Take a look for yourself and give it a like!

https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionGraffiti.StreetArtEgypt

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Blog Post 3

In my first article, the author introduce one of the most popular street artist, Ganzeer. Ganzeer is egyptian artist who during the revolution, would paint multiple murals that related to the revolution. In an interview with Ganzeer, he mentions the reasons behind his art work. “The power of graffiti art as a means of creating an intervention in public space, capturing a part of the city to signify public ownership.” Ganzeer also notes that “Graffiti art does not ask permission but freely claims spaces on the walls of the city. The explosion of graffiti art in the city can also be understood as part of a general feeling unleashed during the protests against Mubarak. It represents ownership over the political future as well as over the places of the city.” I really like this article because it gets the perceptive of the actual artist and what it means to him to express himself. Since the art was extremely popular, in 2013 a book was published with about 30 different artist including Ganzeer.

 

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Blog Post 2

The first article goes into depth of a certain group called the “Freedom Painters”. These “Freedom Painters” are the ones who are responsible for creating the different express of graffiti art in Egypt and Tunisa. Many of their painting include political figures, their view on the revolution, and a push for people to go vote in order for their voices to be heard. A really unique idea that I read from this article, is that the author of this article describes the painter to be your typical average joe. He states “while many might see graffiti as vandalism, a criminal act carried out by hoodie wearing hooligans, for the Freedom Painters it’s quite the opposite. Onlookers say that the group, and others like them, are artistic activists.” Leading to the second article, these activist called their canvas, “Freedom Walls”. The author of articles notes that the murals are “mystical, angry, hopeful, and irreverent.”

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Blog Post 1

For my digital project, I decided to focus my theme on the graffiti art in egypt. After watching The Square in class, I was really fascinated with art that the egyptians presented on their walls. It was a statement of a new peaceful and rebellious protest against the political reign. The first article that I stumbled up gives a brief introduction how graffiti has a certain stigma in different parts of the world but in Egypt its a political stance. The author notes that this “vandalism” has different prospective. The egyptian government views as a nuisance where as the citizens of egypt view it as a person dairy/reflection on the revolution. The second article captures images of the actual art and presents how different people view it. For example, in the beginning, there is a couple happily taking a picture of the graffiti. On the other hand, there is a photograph of how the government would paint the walls white. Despite the government painting them, the artist would go back to wall and create another design.

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