Bordering Israel and with its own multi fragmented political scene, it should come as no surprise that the most politicised street art I have noticed was found in Beirut.
I don’t go around looking for such things but I have had a soft spot for stencilled street art ever since I lived in south London. The Tooting Bec chapter of a Peruvian political group was particularly active in painting small clenched fists on blank white walls in the streets around my home.
I had no idea then of the complexities of Peruvian politics and won’t pretend to understand all the messages behind the art in Beirut but some clearly invoke the Israeli/Palestinian issue while others are more concerned with social issues such as drinking and drugs.
Most of the following art is found on the walls and pavements around the American University of Beirut.
This piece was first published in an older version of our blog which included the following comments:
said: “So many of these look like stencils, which is interesting. They are all powerful – the last one especially caught my eye.”
– we replied: “Most are stencils. The last one is taken from Snow White 2: The Revenge (tag line: Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the most dangerous of them all?).”
said: “Wow, that one of Snow White with the Machine Gun is quite the statement. All photos are quite powerful. It reminds me how lucky we are not to have to live in such unrest. Thanks for sharing these.”
– we replied: “The Snow White one is certainly the most eye catching. The only other place I’ve seen such politicised graffiti is in Belfast. Deirdre grew up near and studied in the city. She and the Lebanese would sometimes lightly joke with each other that their home cities were twinned.”