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Reading: Paint and Politics: Analyzing the 2011 Egyptian Revolution through Graffiti


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Paint and Politics: Analyzing the 2011 Egyptian Revolution through Graffiti


Nala Chehade

Virginia Tech, US
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This paper will analyze the works of street artists Ganzeer, Zeft, and Ammar Abo Bakr during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. It will argue that alternative media affected social change more efficiently than traditional digital and print media. Each section will analyze graffiti pieces as belonging to one of three categories: social movements aimed at mobilizing citizens towards a common goal, visions of alternate futures aimed at remedying present problems, or memorials aimed at honoring victims and documenting administrative crimes. Additionally, each section will examine the production and preservation of specific pieces, including audience interaction and distribution, as a factor in the changing perception of national identity during the Arab Spring. The multitude of graffiti pieces complicate the construction of a single narrative by suggesting diversity in political leaders and historical narratives. The graffiti pieces reflect the diversity of citizens and present an acceptance of the multiplicity of national narratives as a solution to the causes of the Egyptian Revolution and wider Arab Spring.
How to Cite: Chehade, Nala. 2018. “Paint and Politics: Analyzing the 2011 Egyptian Revolution Through Graffiti”. The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Historical Review 7. DOI:
Published on 24 Apr 2018.


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