Graffiti City

There aren’t many places you can go in Tripoli without the walls being covered in paint. Since the end of the revolution there has been no shortage of creative expression, which is significant in a country where political expression could be met with brutal backlash for over forty years. This is an album of all the samples I’ve managed to gather from Tripoli. At times taking the pictures could feel rather perilous. Much of the street art is well…off the street, so if the angles aren’t the best it was because I was trying not to be hit by cars as I took them. One of my cousins was kind enough to drive me around (again) at a time when there would be minimal traffic and he drove alongside me sometimes to block other cars from hitting me, sometimes backwards, so many thanks go to him.

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The following section isn’t true graffiti really, but rather a series of commissioned images by professional artists along the wall of the former Gaddaffi compound, the Babliazia. I don’t know much about the artists, or if they are even Libyan, but the art is pretty cool. The biggest themes are war and revolution, no surprise.

The first post of the open gallery. An introduction.

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I’m pretty sure the Shell sticker was applied later

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Beyond here is the true blue graffiti, done by Libyan youth wherever they could find an open wall. The first few are from the front of the hospital.

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This is a popular stencil around the city. It depicts the young man from Misurata that killed Moammer Gaddaffi. According to my cousin, loyalists made claims that he was a CIA agent, but most Libyans dismiss this notion, proud to have “The Leader” killed by one of their own. He was kidnapped and killed himself shortly after.

Sending Moammer to hell is a popular theme

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Libya is in my heart

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A common phrase among the loyalists was “we will be back.” This image calls them out for it. If it’s true, it’s taking an awful long time for them to do it.

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Some of the following are the first few instances of street art in the city, apparently completed while the fighting was still going on elsewhere in Tripoli.

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Sorry if these are a bit more difficult to see. They were drawn along the highway and i thought they were all cool enough to be worth a picture.

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the Revolution and Amazigh flags

the Revolution and Amazigh flags

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A large mural beneath a bridge done by my cousin's cousin

A large mural beneath a bridge done by my cousin’s cousin, Anwar Mana

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Video game and Movie depictions are pretty popular

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In Yefran, the old government post has been converted into its own museum of sorts. The broken, but still standing building is not only full of spent ammunition and war helmets, but the walls are covered in more victory slogans and images, almost from top to bottom.

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