Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti
||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (December 2012)|
Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti is a collection of graffiti that was painted on several walls in the area surrounding Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Following the outbreak of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, several protests took place in Egypt later that year, all centered around Tahrir Square. During 19 to 24 November 2011, protests took place surrounding Mohamed Mahmoud street in reaction to the Egyptian police and Central Security Forces's brutal attack on peaceful protesters near the area on November 19.
Areas bearing the graffiti included the walls of The American University in Cairo and some buildings and schools surrounding it, and the concrete wall that was installed later in Mohamed Mahmoud street to stop protesters from advancing to the Ministry of Interior building.
Types of graffiti
Early in the revolution, graffiti commonly consisted of slogans of the Egyptian revolution; images of prominent revolutionary figures, including Sambo, Mina Daniel, Ahmed Harara and Sheikh Imad Effat; and the likenesses of authority figures like Field Marshal Tantawi and Lieutenant Mahmoud Shinawi.
"The No Wall" initiative was launched in mid March 2011. The initiative called on artists to paint graffiti on concrete blocks that authorities installed in the main streets leading to the Interior Ministry and the headquarters of the Egyptian Parliament. Blocks were painted with the "No Wall" slogan and scenes of security forces attacking protesters.
Later on, images of martyrs of the revolution were added, including some the faces of members of the Ultras Ahlawy, which formed the majority of the victims of the Port Said Stadium massacre. Graffiti also included slogans demanding the handover of power to civilians and end of the military rule. Some graffiti represented clashes with Copts in front of the TV building in Maspero in October 2011, the so-called Maspero Massacre.
Graffiti painted on the wall of the American University depicting the rise of revolution martyrs to paradise was inspired by the painting styles of the ancient Egyptians recorded on the walls of Pharaonic funerary temples. The pharaonic past is a theme frequently represented in contemporary Egyptian graffiti, perhaps as a self justification for artists seeing that in the times of the Pharaohs local traditions of mural paintings existed and thus this modern form of mural art gets validated by a glorious past.
Removal of graffiti
The provincial department of Cairo has removed the murals several times, as it did on May 21 and September 18, 2012. It is also reported that the Central Security Forces and the management of the American University participated in such efforts. An initiative was made earlier by the American University to preserve the murals. Some of this graffiti remain documented and even published by admirers who collected photographs taken by visitors during the given time.
- 2011 Egyptian Revolution
- Central Security Forces
- Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
- Arab Spring
- Egyptian Arts post 2011 Revolution
- Egypt Independent, Mohamed Mahmoud clashes enter fourth day, November 22, 2011
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