Empty cans in Egypt

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Chant Révolutionnaire.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what has been going on in Egypt.

Although the country has a rich history I’m going to explain everything that went down in one sentence. As a result of mass protests, due to the country’s desire for reform, military rulers dismantled the autocratic legacy of former President Hosni Mubarak who ruled the country for 30 years. And to think all this happened within the span of about three weeks!

As the people of Egypt struggled to reclaim their country as their own, some turned to mass forms of action, while others took a more subtle approach and used street art.

Egyptians can probably take credit as being some of the first graffiti artists in history with their ancient form of hieroglyphics and carvings. Even today, Egypt is showing signs of the street art bug as more and more artwork accompanying the revolution is being revealed on websites like The Living Principles and Fatcap.

There’s nothing like a bottle of spray paint and posters plastered everywhere to get a point across, right? I think not.

In fact, the whole concept of using street art as a form of political unrest is not so uncommon. It’s hard to associate graffiti with politics because really who can picture George W. Bush tagging a cement wall? Although some of you may have answered “I can,” there is a complete disconnect between the two realms.

Recently, however, there has been more of a political presence in the street art world and it’s cool to see that a country like Egypt is no different.

Remember the whole Egypt and living under a rock statement I started out with? Well you REALLY would have to be living under a rock if you aren’t familiar with this image. This image of President Obama took on a life of its own during his presidential campaign. Obama even thanked artist Shepard Fairey for his contribution to the campaign and his support. How sick is that?!

Well, that could be left open for interpretation since that same image has gotten Fairey into some trouble with the Associated Press. They were mad at him for not asking permission to use their photo and he was mad at them for ignoring the whole Fair Use Doctrine. Ouch. That’s a toughie to get around.

The controversy over the HOPE poster went on for years. It still boggles my mind that the Associated Press was so gung-ho about their photograph being used for Fairey’s image.

As of now, however, I’m happy to say that the two forces have since settled their copyright tiff, Obama is currently the 44th president of the United States, Egypt experienced a revolution and all is great in this wonderful world of ours.

Photo courtesy of Michael Thompson on Creative Commons

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