Street art in Egypt comes in many forms and is found everywhere. No one could ever have the time to explore it all. The country’s walls are like a colossal social network that covers just about everything. It has a street art culture that is dynamic and diverse. It ranges from evoking political as well as social sentiments to giving someone the giggles to sometimes being straight-down bizarre! Here’s a look at some of the funny yet thought-provoking street art that Egyptians should appreciate:
1- “Don’t Stop Laughing..You’re Gonna Die Soon”
I’ve never met an Egyptian who feared having an open discussion about death. Maybe it’s the way we were raised with our parents always reminding us that the clock is ticking. “3ayza ashofek 3aroosa abl mamoot”, “Ma7adesh ye3raf wa2to fel denya di ad eh” and the list goes on and on. But, this particular piece of street art is a nice reminder that none of us should take life that seriously. We’re all gonna die, so we might as well just get a kick out of it. Go easy on yourself and on others.
2-“Clean Your Own Mind, So No One Would Wash it For You”
Brainwashing doesn’t align with hypnotism nowadays. People, companies and governments have a whole arsenal of manipulation techniques that work on us like magic. It’s, of course, no surprise that most Egyptians are in serious need of wising up to what is actually happening around them. This is actually a good wake up call!
3-“We Are The Kids Our Parents Warned Us About”
By the revolutionary street and graffiti artist Keizer whose work needs no introduction. When we were young, our parents have always warned us not to do tons of s**t that we do nowadays without thinking twice about it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re awful for not following our parents advice or that what we’re doing is “bad”. It just means that times have changed and that the “right” way our parents raised us to think might just not be “right” for us.
4-“Bous El Wawa”
This one is not on the streets of Egypt but it made it’s way to the list because it has the face of Umm Kulthum who belongs in the category of “national Egyptian pride”. The great Umm Kulthum singing the words Bous El Wawa is a powerful and disturbing visual! While the music scene in Egypt has transcended over the last few years with many artists taking a step forward and giving it meaning, there is no denying that there wasn’t much diversity before. This simple illustration highlights the difference between the commercial and repetitive music industry we were blessed with throughout the early 2000’s and the music our parents and grandparents never stop raving about.
5-“There Is No Difference Between a Girl and a Guy”
The Egyptian media and state have longed denied the existence of stereotypical gender roles and the sexist ideologies that are deeply rooted in the Egyptian culture. However, Cairo has been witnessing a promising collection of feminist street art that expresses the voice of women all around and women of all social stratas. The message of raising boys and girls the same way has finally been making its way through Egypt!
Many of these images have been erased or will be soon enough due to the nature of street art! Nevertheless, let’s always snap pictures of the street art that makes us go like “hmm…” so it would live forever on the internet.