Art and the Arab Spring


Everyone’s eyes are focused on the Middle East. The Arab Spring has somehow been distorted into the “Arab Scrutiny” and at a time of such change, Arabs are eager for verification of a new age of enlightenment and global respect. Arab ARTISTS are eager for verification of a new age, a new season.

Due to the upheavals resulting in extra sentiment and intensified emotions, this translates itself onto the canvas with an over abundance of guilt, joy, conflict and hope. And maybe it is necessary for the world to see such strong sensations in order to relate, and truly understand the flux of change taking over the world we live in.

Take Faten Rouissi—a Tunisian artist, and activist who took note of all the burnt and damaged cars scattered around a vacant lot near her home. Choosing to make a statement, she reached out to fellow artists and turned what was once a ruin of old automobiles into artistic and hopeful testimonials of the Tunisian Revolution.

Another example would be Egyptian artist/photographer Nermine Hammam, who created this piece of work hoping to depict her view of the Tahrir Square “adjustments”. This piece is satirically named “The Frailty of Force”


Last but not least, we take a look at this powerful expression of art in the form of stones thrown by the police at pro-democracy campaigners in Tahrir Square, by artist Ashraf Foda.


Revisiting the above paragraph where the stated emotions artistically portrayed were: guilt, joy, conflict and hope.
There seems to be a common factor regardless of the notion and that is a sense of freedom. A sense of freedom no one but an “Arab Springee” has the honor of experiencing because breaking through the political chaos and resistance to give the world creativity and art is surely the true meaning of freedom.