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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

Last updated on: May 28, 2012 11:14 IST

From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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All eyes are on Egypt yet again. There's hope and uncertainty. For the first time ever Egyptians freely cast their vote, in what many have dubbed as the post-pharaoh era.

A deeply engaged population has a lot of expectations from the future. But the journey to the polls hasn't been easy even after February 11, 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. It has been rife with violence, but Egypt's activists never gave up.

They were assaulted and even fired at, but they soon made a comeback. Their anger and hope gave birth to a new breed of graffiti activists. Armed with brushes they painted the walls of Cairo -- faces of several martyrs, anti-military council slogans, reminders of last year's uprising and the iconic polls.

Rediff.com brings you Egypt's graffiti revolution, where clearly the pictures speak louder than words.

An Egyptian man reads a newspaper in front of a mural in Tahrir square in Cairo May 24. Egyptians, choosing their leader freely for the first time in history, voted for a second day on Thursday in an election that is a fruit of last year's popular revolt against Hosni Mubarak.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting the ruling military council and Muslim Brotherhood controlling the presidential elections, in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Egypt resumed its first free presidential election on Thursday after voting passed off mostly calmly on the first day apart from a stone-throwing attack on candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was premier for a few days before Hosni Mubarak fell.

The Arabic writing reads: "We are pleased to offer a Muslim Brotherhood candidate - Alternative".


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian woman walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting the ruling military council controlling the presidential elections, in Tahrir Square in Cairo.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An artist paints a mural depicting presidential candidate Amr Moussa and a combination of the faces of former president Hosni Mubarak and Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in Cairo. This evocative mural directs its criticism of the old regime by morphing the faces of various figures together.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with anti-police graffiti that reads " With a bribe he learn", in Cairo.

The downtown area of Egypt's capital is awash with graffiti over a year after the ousting of Mubarak.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian woman walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting the ruling military council controlling the presidential elections in Cairo.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Egyptian , Egypt , Cairo

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian woman walks past a mural in Cairo. Last week's election is the final stage in a messy transition to democracy, overseen by generals who took control after Hosni Mubarak was driven out and have pledged to hand power to a new president by July 1.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian anti-military protester takes his position on a bridge with stencilled paintings depicting the Egyptian military council members, at Abbasiya Square in Cairo. Egypt's military might hand over to civilian rule earlier than planned in the unlikely event that this month's presidential election produces an outright winner, politicians said after meeting generals on Wednesday. The graffiti reads, "Down with military roles".


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A man walks next a graffiti depicting a man casting his ballot, with the words "donkey's rule" written next to it, at Tahrir square in Cairo.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Egypt , Cairo

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with anti-police graffiti. Cairo's graffiti artists defied the authoritiesand went out to paint over the city's street art using the walls to illustrate how they feel about events in the country.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Egyptian , Egypt , Cairo

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti, depicting the ruling military council controlling the presidential elections as a puppet show, near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.

Egyptians voted in the presidential election on May 23-24 to choose who will succeed Hosni Mubarak, who was swept from office last year.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A wall sprayed with graffiti depicts the ruling military council controlling the presidential elections near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.

The graffiti at left shows in Arabic the date "30/6," and refers to the date when power will be handed over by the military council. The words at the bottom of the wall read: The photo will change but those who rule will not change, down with the military rule.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A protester sleeps in front of the headquarters of the Egyptian cabinet in Cairo. Protesters demanded an end to army rule clashed with police firing tear gas near Egypt's parliament building in November in a flare-up that cast another shadow over a parliamentary election billed as the nation's first free vote in decades. The writing on the wall reads: Search with people (top) and Hamdi Badeen.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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Egyptian men walk in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting images of martyrs and "Sambo," a protester who has been detained since November 2011, at Mohamed Mahmoud street, which leads to the Interior Ministry, where clashes between protesters and security forces took place during the revolution in downtown Cairo April 1.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A wall sprayed with graffiti depicts images of former president Hosni Mubarak and his wife Suzanne at Mohamed Mahmoud street, which leads to the Interior Ministry, where clashes between protesters and security forces took place during the revolution in downtown Cairo in April.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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Youths gesture at the graffiti of police captain Mahmoud Sobhi, who is "wanted" for aiming at protesters eyes, at a barricade placed by the Egyptian military at Mohamed Mahmoud street which leads to the Interior Ministry, where clashes between protesters and security force took place in late November, near Tahrir Square in Cairo December 5, 2011.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with stencilled paintings depicts the Egyptian military council members at Abbasiya Square in Cairo April on 28. Thugs clashed with supporters of former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who have been camping in the Abbasiya area of Cairo, near the Ministry of Defense, local media reported. The graffiti reads, "Down with military roles".


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A man looks at a graffiti showing half the face of ousted President Hosni Mubarak joined to half the face of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling council in Tahrir square, implying they are two sides of the same coin, in Tahrir Square in Cairo.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting a tank, as a protest against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. The words at the bottom of the wall read: Blood of the martyr is lost.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting images of the martyrs of the Egypt revolution at Mohamed Mahmoud street, which leads to the Interior Ministry.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A man walks past a graffiti of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in downtown Cairo. The writing on the wall reads: Who is protecting the tyrant.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting images of martyrs of the Egypt revolution at Mohamed Mahmoud street.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Egypt , Egyptian

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man looks at a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting martyrs and that reads, "Freedom is your title", at Mohamed Mahmoud street, which leads to the Interior Ministry.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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People walk in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and martyrs at Mohamed Mahmoud street.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A man walks past graffiti depicting Emad Effat, a senior official of Egypt's Dar al-Iftah, who died in recent clashes in Cairo.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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The graffiti depicts police captain Mahmoud Sobhi, and the army with the words "Know your enemy" written above it.


Photographs: Reuters

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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A man walks past a wall with graffiti supporting Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in downtown Cairo.


Photographs: Reuters

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People walk in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting images of martyrs and Al Ahli fans, who were killed during clashes at Port Said stadium in February, at Mohamed Mahmoud street.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Al Ahli , Egypt

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From battle to ballot: Egypt's graffiti revolution

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An Egyptian man walks in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti depicting the faces of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and his assistants at Mohamed Mahmoud street.


Photographs: Reuters

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