This is an appeal to help save lives. The Egyptian Military Council has unleashed a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests by the Egyptian people, calling for the resignation of the military council and a cancellation of the sham elections that they’ve been running under their supervision. Soldiers have shown us no mercy, hitting fallen women with their batons, stomping on skulls with their boots, and shooting unarmed civilians dead. I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes and was unable to stop it. It’s a soul-shattering pain like no other.
The lies being disseminated by military-controlled media are as equally painful. Nothing hurts more than such shameless injustice. I fear the military’s strategy will only lead my country to an armed civil war. In an effort to keep our struggle peaceful, I hear by call on artists everywhere to support the Egyptian revolution with their art. As the genius that is Alan Moore once said, “[a satire] destroys you in the eyes of your community, it shows you up as ridiculous, lame, pathetic, worthless, in the eyes of your community, in the eyes of your family, in the eyes of your children, in the eyes of yourself, and if it's a particularly good bard, and he's written a particularly good satire, then three hundred years after you're dead, people are still gonna be laughing."
Our only hope right now is to destroy the military council using the weapon of art. From January 13 to 25, the streets of Egypt will see an explosion of anti-military street-art. If you are a street artist elsewhere in the world, please do what you can in your city to help us. Even if you are not a street-artist. If you’re a comicbook artist, a musician, or filmmaker, whatever artistic talent you have can be of big help. If you can do something before the designated date, please do! We need all the help we can get.
Finding “inspiration” is not at all difficult. A quick visit to scaf-crimes.blogspot.com will do the trick. On behalf of Egypt’s street-art community, allow me to thank anybody in the world willing to help. Your art may very well save lives.
"Anybody in this here world is prone to getting fucked in the ass."
Those are my words of wisdom, taken directly from an interview Karem Said conducted with me over at ArtTerritories.net
Here's an excerpt:
Karem: It is the text in the “Mask of Freedom” image that establishes the graphic as an ad. There is a double meaning in the word “New” at the top, in that the muzzling device is recently crafted for the market and is previously unheard of within ideas of democracy. How does your street art and illustrative work aim to counter what SCAF has been selling?
Ganzeer: I guess I rely on obvious symbolism a lot of the time, using it to shed light on the wrongs of the current situation or perhaps the upside of an alternative situation? Probably a lot less of the latter though.
Harvard University's Center For Middle Eastern Studies has apparently held a two-session webinar on Graffiti and Street-Art in the Middle East for which they have set up this pretty informative resource page.
I don't think its an exaggeration to say that the works of art across the walls of Cairo, combined with the virtual works spreading across the various online social networks, are a driving force to keeping the Egyptian revolution alive and going, much like how it's almost impossible to imagine the continuation of the Polish revolution in the 80's without the intervention of the Orange Alternative.
The debate I participated in at the European Cultural Congress in Wroclaw is finally online. Moderated by Polish journalist Witold Szabolski, the debate took place between French intellectual Guy Sorman, Tunisian philosopher and art curator Rachida Triki, and myself.
On November 26, I participated in a debate with Major Waldemar Fydrych about "Militer à travers l’art," or Activism Through Art, at Forum Liberation in Lyon, France. Waldemar was the driving force of an absurdist protest movement in 80's Poland called the Orange Alternative. Through a series of odd happenings, Poland's revolution stayed alive, and absurdist protests swept the country long enough to eradicate Poland's Leninist version of communism.