|Anti Formula 1 Graffiti in Bahrain|
|Wheatpaste by Leon D|
Other notable initiatives include a Street Art contest aimed at Bahrain’s youth, and Alwan 338, a month long art festival organised by Al Riwaq Space celebrating local and public art. This year, artists were invited to paint murals around the bohemian Adliya district. The results included some impressive pieces by artists Mercedes de Garay, Mohammed Sharkawi, Ali Hussein, and Ali Hakim.
In February 14th 2011, the regional Arab Spring hit Bahrain, and people turned to urban spaces to express their demands and views on the current events. Politically charged graffiti took over the streets and there was a clear territorial divide. The authorities monitored and censored political graffiti within the city, where further outside the city in smaller village communities, the art was left untouched.
The annual Formula 1 race also fell victim to the anti-government protests causing a surge of anti Formula 1 graffiti to appear around town. This forced Bahraini authorities to cancel the event. Although the political turmoil has since calmed down, Bahrain’s street art scene is going strong.
The people are using the walls to spread their message now more than ever, and they see its potential as a catalyst for change. This can only indicate a promising future for street art in Bahrain.
Check back soon for more extensive reviews on the street art scene in the Middle East.
|Leon D for the “Paste It” project|
|Tamadher Ali for the “Paste It” project|
|Mytham and Batool for the “Paste It” project|
|Mohammed Sharkawy for Alwan 338 at Al Riwaq Space|
|Mercedes Gonzalez de Garay for Alwan 338 at Al Riwaq Space|
|Ali Hussein for Alwan 338 at Al Riwaq Space|
|Ali Hakim for Alwan 338 at Al Riwaq Space|
|Bahrain Spring graffiti, Arabic translation: Unarmed people (Matador), The violence of the ruling family (Bull)|