Let Lebanon Live

… Before I Die

Back in late October and early November 2019, one of the walls surrounding the Beiruti ESCWA (a United Nations building, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) building was transformed with graffiti and street art into a “Revolution Wall”.  It coincided with protests against bad governance, corruption and social injustice in Lebanon.  The  Art of Change movement was involved in painting the wall…  along with many Lebanese artist.  This is only one of such walls.

below: Caricatures of Lebanese officials along with two posters.  The one on the far left is by sumerziady 

light brown temporary wall outside, made of panels, now home to a revolution wall of art and graffiti, white faces, a poster by sumerziady and the words let Lebanon live before I die

below: A mouse wearing a hard hat and brandishing a sword.

a grey mouse in a hard hat holding a sword, graffiti on a wall

below: A wonderful black and rust coloured bird, by RenoZ,  It doesn’t seem fazed by the mouse with the sword.

realistic painting of a red and black bird on a branch, on a wall in Beirut

below: A monkey-faced man by Zein, a clenched fist rising out of the ground, and two green fighters in a no entry zone (or is it the Lebanese flag?).

graffiti, a man with a monkey face, a red and white do not enter sign with two green figures fighting,

below: Freedom, loud and clear.

looking along a wall full of protest street art including a large word freedom

below: Another Renoz painting, a skull on a chair from which a red rose is rising.

a skull sits on a red upholstered chair with wood arms and legs, on a blue background, also hand with lebanese flag, and the word resist

below: The man in the megaphone is signed Dewdle, the mark of Ali Kadado, a Lebanese artist.  Resist.

a black hand with a Lebanese flag over the palm beside a man's face, shouting with eyes closed, coming out of a megaphone, street art protest piece

below:  I am now feeling that my lack of Arabic means that I am missing a lot of what these mean.  For instance, the purple guy by Weesdom is saying something but I don’t know what.  I also suspect that the words written on the tap over the young man’s mouth are important, perhaps “Revolution even if you try to silence us”? (artwork by Roula Abdo).  The last one is in English but now some knowledge of Lebanese politics would be helpful –   a phone screenshot by phat2tg (ot the tg posse)

street art on the escwa wall in Beirut

wall of revolution, text in red paint on a wall in Beirut, along with other graffiti

below: Stencil by markghsoub aka Markus – a larger than life man standing in a shallow boat.

stencil of a man in arab dress walking and other graffiti

below: Title section, “Revolution Wall” featuring a clown with dollar signs flashing in his eyes by Ivan Debs.

revolution wall, title of all the street art collection, on escwa wall, protest art, Beirut, clown face, green tree, closed fist,

below: Caricature mugshots.  Lebanese government officials as Jokers as they go off to jail.

graffiti on a Beirut wall, caricature mug shos of 4 Lebanese men, green hair and clown mouths, wearing black and white striped tops

below: Another markghsoub stencil

black stencil of two people looking into the distance, on top of a green circle along with a red and white dove

can you smell the madness is written in red across some other graffiti

below: Dancing while the bombs fall by Zein.

white ballet dancer with skirt twirling as she spins, black bombs dropping around her. graffiti on a wall

below: Giving the peace sign, a man in a red and white shirt by fasewho aka Oliver Matar (He also painted the large word ‘Freedom’ a few pictures back). The head with all the people as hair is another painting by Roula Abdo.

a head with stick figure people with arms upward as hair, and a strip of cloth in form of Lebanese flag across bridge of nose and cheeks, by Roula Abdo alongside a man in a red and white shirt on a green background, both graffiti on a wall

below: A bunch of balloons, most in the colours of the Lebanese flag by ilatk aka Ilat Knayzeh  on one side, and on the right is a woman stenciled on top of a circular pattern by  ZaFeelz aka Zayna Ayyad

Beirut Revolution Art wall, two pieces, circlar art with woman's face stenciled in black, a painting of balloons and lebanese flag

below: Among the profanity, two calligraphy pieces by Ghaleb Hawila

two calligraphy graffiti pieces on a wall in Beirut

below: An intricate and detailed black and white drawing by @rasharahal

protest graffiti in Beirut, a black and white line drawing by rasharahal

below: A closer look at the top part

close up of the top half of the poster - protest graffiti in Beirut, a black and white line drawing by rasharahal

There is an Instagram page devoted to collecting the 2019 Lebanese Art of Revolution, or Art of Thawra.  Check it out if you are interested seeing more of this type of art.

little things in Amman

As I walked around Amman, I saw a few small pieces of graffiti and street art.

below: A metal box with half a face on the left and Arabic writing on the right side.

metal box on street painted, dark blue background, left half is half a face while right side is Arabic letters in yellow

below: We claim the sea

stencil on a wall, black letters that say we claim the sea

below: Keeping an eye on the stairs.

realistic painting of an eye on a wall between two windows on a set of stairs

below: A very small fellow walking with his hat

a little black stick figure person painted on a stone wall

below: A beetle climbing a wall

a black beetle graffiti on a yellow wall graffiti on a wall on a wall beside a driveway, a blue and white graffiti

below: She flies by her own wings. she flies by her own wings, written words painted on a wall, graffiti

below: My wishness marshamello (marshmallow?)

my wishness love marshmallow, words wirtten on a wall, graffiti

below: Blue beard and long hair.

a blue graffiti painting on a wall, down low near the ground, of a man with beard and long hair.

four Batmans and an old man’s bird

Close to the intersection of Dhirar Bin Al-Azwar street and Moh’d Al-Shurayqi street are two pieces of street art.  They have nothing in common except their proximity to each other.

First is a bright mural called “Odin” by Suhaib Attar of a bird  on top of an old man’s head.  The feathers on the bird meld into the hair of the man’s beard and moustache.  Is the bird dead or alive?

mural by Suhaib Attar of a bird with grey and black wing feathers, on red circle background

Odin is the bearded one-eyed Norse god of is the god of wisdom, poetry, death, divination, and magic.  He was often accompanied by two wolves and two ravens.

close up of head of bird in mural by Suhaib Attar in grey tones on red background

The other wall features a more modern character, Batman.

on a wall, 4 stencils of Batman, two have him dancing and two have him playing castonettes

Batman stencil, with mustache, upper body

Someone has written “quarter life crisis” on the wall.  I suspect that it has nothing to do with Batman but I rather like the juxtaposition.

Batman stencils on a wall along with words that someone has written, quarterly life crisis

2 green street signs at an intersection in Amman Jordan along with a red and white do not enter sign

Cafe Cinema Courtyard, Berlin

The Cafe Cinema Courtyard starts as a small alley beside the Cafe Cinema off Rosenthaler Strasse close to the Hackescher Market. It is almost completely covered with street art of all kinds – painted murals, stickers, paste ups and more.

painted sign for cafe cinema, bear with a gold hat holding a red flag with a white star on it

Cafe cinema courtyard in Berlin, one wall is covered with stencils, pasteups, stickers, and small street art, people walking past looking at it and taking picture of it

two windows on a wall, cafe tables in front of the wall, graffiti on the walls around the windows

red bird graffiti, green with man's face, brick wall

below: “It’s time to dance”, one of many large paste-ups by SOBR

large black and white paper paste up of a woman

grey paper paste up of a bald man in seated position, drinking from a red and white coke can, lots of other graffiti around him including a large hand holding a cigarette

below: The same hedgehog that I saw in Tallinn….  the work of Edward von Longus

small stencil of a hedgehog with an open laptop

below: Flower Power, straight from the 1960’s, by Joiny

magenta VW microbus with flowers on it as well as words love and peace

below: Lisanne, Dagmar and Donna were here as were Berlyn and Yasmyn.  Russian matryoshka dolls and Fabrege eggs watch the boxing match between facebooks and instagram.   The Russian themed stencil is the work of ost.up.berlin

stencil of Russian babushka doll with two fabrege eggs beside it.

street art, octopus smoking a cigarette

street art, yellow leopard with black spots and blue eyes, mouth open and teeth showing, paw, clown pasteup with red nose

mural of man, large, in grey suit and shirt and tie, from chest up, short dark hair, blue eyes

below: Ann Franke by Jimmy C (aka James Cochrane)

large mural of ann frank, head

large mural of a monkey holding a camera and grinning

below: by Garavato, a Colombian street artist, painted in 2016

yellow, orange and blue mural of a bird and very large claw reaching for that bird

below: A yellow creature by Peng.  In the background is a circle with a silhouette of Charlie Brown and Snoopy sitting on the roof of the dog house, by Osch aka Otto Schade.

bike parked in front of a mural of a yellow human like creature with knees tucked up, people in the background looking at the street art

street art with a large bright bluish green man's face, with yellow sunglasses and dark green lips, also a stencil of a red umbrella

pasteup, 3 dancing women from black and white vintage photos, but with red heads and big blue lips, T.B.O.N.S written on each head

below: Pasteup of boy in blue by @tona_one

paste-up of boy in nlue jacket by @tona_one

 

below: A couple of yarn bombs too.

pasteup of black and white skull, yellow jaguar with black spots

below: Soon, Azione!, and Joiny (the girl in the British telephone booth)

below: by MIMI the clowN

below: Love Revolution

below: Sold out.

large paste up of black and white hand, large realistic looking eye, orange, in the middle of the palm

 

To find out where we’ve taken street art photos, check our “Locations” page!

Quito Ecuador

There is a lot of street art in Quito.   It covers a lot of concrete walls that are part of the city’s infrastructure (supports for elevated roads, walls around buildings, etc).   Here is some that I saw in February 2018.

below: Two people, one inside sitting pretty in pink and one outside.

grey and white painted stencil of a man including head, upper body and one arm. on a yellow wall beside a window with a pink window frame. There is a sticker or pasteup of another face in the window looking out. Quito Ecuador

below: A bird in flight.  One wing looks like flames while the other wing resembles water.   Signed by yo-ho-ho.

street art in Quito Ecuador, a bird in flight, one wing looks like flames and the other wing looks like water, painted by yo_ho_ho. mural in Quito Ecuador

 

below: Many, many faces in pink.

on a wall with ivy growing over the top of it, many faces in shades of pink , overlapping each other. mural in Quito Ecuador

 

below: Part dragon and part fish?

on a yellow wall, behind a small tree, a colourful painting of a dragon

 

below: A painting by BEGO

on a house beyond a white fence, a painting on the upper storey of a woman with red hair and red flower

 

The next few paintings were on a wall surrounding an house that was falling down.

on an old stone wall, two animal heads, a dog and a cat maybe.

painted in blue, a pig with sunglasses and crossed arms, words say smoky pig

on a crumbling stone wall is a large green face with many pink eyes, and pink liquid spewing from his mouth

 

below: This is the last of the photos from the ruined building – note the broken bottles across the top of the wall.  That’s very common in Quito… although electric fences seem to be replacing broken glass as a means of keeping trespassers out.

mural of a boy's head in profile, short hair, wearing goggles, all in blue shades

 

below: Crab (lobster?) hands

stylized painting of a man upper body with large crab hands, lack hair and blue writing (illegible) on both sides of his head.

below: Laughing and pointing

large man's face with laughing open mouth, moustache and short hair, pink shirt collar, hand with index finger pointing , mural in Quito Ecuador , Hecho salsa

 

below: Someone stole an orange cone.

graffiti on a wall

 

below: Covering his mouth and I don’t think that it’s because he’s coughing.

mural in Quito Ecuador , large red face with a blue hand covering its mouth

 

below: Me

wall painted part red and part blue. on the blue part is a large ME in white with black border. Quito Ecuador graffiti

 

below: Pasteup over his face, a mouse and a mousetrap

part of a larger mural with soldier, wearing helmet with three gold stars on it, someone has put a red dot in the middle of his forehead, also a pasteup now covers his face, with a rat on it, mural in Quito Ecuador

 

below: Another gorgeous bird.  Signed by Pagach? (Pagache?)

mural in Quito Ecuador , realistic painting of a bird with a black and yellow head.

below: Painted on a rusty metal gate.  Reaching for the skull.  I am not sure of the words but if it’s “ponte y las alas” that translates to ‘stand and the wings’ but there are more letters.  Any ideas anyone?  Painted by Aster in 2017.

on a rusted metal gate that is locked closed, graffiti of a person with outstretched arm, as well as a skull

 

below: Resiste

small paste up of a face and star with green and red parts

below: Graffiti behind the fence

graffiti on a wall beside an outdoor stairwell, behind a chainlink fence in Quito Ecuador

 

below: Supay Corpus in a residential area.

 

below: Someone likes to paint underwear, men’s brief to be more specific.

large black and white painting of a pair of men's briefs, underpants in Quito

 

below: A very realistic portrait of an old man with one green eye open.

realistic, and large, painting of a wrinkly man's face, one eye open and one closed. The open eye is green.

 

 

faded red concrete steps leading to a black door with a metal grille covering it,also some graffiti tags. Two bottle brush trees are in front with their red flowers

 

circular pattern painted in black and white with a cat's face ferocious in the center circle, painted mural

 

And last, there were some word stencils….

below: #2mayo and “ecuador ama la vida” which is ‘ecuador, love life’ is now someone’s love note to Mina.

two black stencils, the first is a raised fist with the words #2mayo and the other says ecuador

below: “Sigue to corazon & disfruta el viaje” which means “follow your heart and enjoy the trip”.

black stencil on grey concrete, sigue tu corazon a disfruta la viaje, written twice

 

below: Natura Insurrecta?  and “Mineria responsable cuento miserable”.  The direct translation for the latter is “mining responsible, tale miserable”.

green stencil on top and black on the bottom that says mineria responsable cuentu miserable

 

on Tallinn walls

Tallinn is the capital city of the small Baltic country Estonia.  I was only there for a short time but I did find some street art in the old town and in Kalamaja.

below: The young person on the right is the work of @minaJaLydia.  I you look closely, there are two tiny faces to the right of the knees.

street art by MinaJaLydia on a concrete wall, two pieces, a pasteup of an elaborate abstract drawing of a face and hands as well as mushrooms and other plant life. the other is a young person sitting on a chair, with 4 legs hanging from the chair.

below: I am calling this one, The Warrior and his Social Media Hedgehog.  They are the work of Edward von Longus

a large muscular partially clad man with a weapon over his shoulder, on a grey brick wall, a small hedgehog is working on a laptop beside him. graffiti

below: Close up of the hedgehog. It needs time in the limelight too.

graffiti, a small grey and white hedgehog is working on a laptop

below: Whatever he was writing on the wall is long gone. This is another work by Edward von Longus.

painting of a blond boy with a red T shirt and blue jeans is facing a wall and drawing on it.

below: A green and blue planet Earth between two animals (a cat and a ?), by multistab

street art by multistab. A blue and green small plaet earth in between two large black and white creatures. One looks like a grinning cat, the other might be a cat but migh be something else

below: A couple of couples by Linna Sokk but with the theme of domestic violence.

two poster pasteups by #koos Both are of a couple, in one they are kissing

below: Something’s stuck to his forehead… looks like a sheep to me.

a large sticker with a realistic picture of a skull on it, on a small electrical box beside a building

below: Not your average Easter Bunny!

painting of a large agressive stylized rabbit in grey top and white shirts, a carrot in its mouth, running on two legs, one arm upraised.

below: A multi talented, multi handed,  multi tasking elephant!

an elephant with 4 arms and two legs, bare feet, spray paint cans in its hands,

below: This wall is difficult to see because of the fence – it is part of the old fortress/prison that is no longer open to visitors.

street art on a wall that is hard to see because it is behind a fence

below: The next two are by the same artist, Lume, of LDK crew who is from Naples Italy.

stylized flowers and leaves in pastel colours, line drawings, on a pale yellow wall

stylized flowers and leaves in pastel colours, line drawings, on a salmon coloured wall

below: In case you can’t read it, the sign that Darth Vader is holding says: “Help me.  I need $$$ to build a death star.”

a few small piece of graffiti, a yellow face, a black stencil of a man's head and shoulders, a stencil of Darth Vader, and some scribbles,

on a wall beside w window, two line drawings of animal creatures, on dinosaur like and the other a small round thing

a big bee on a yellow wall, street sign that says Salme

two drawings, one is Jerry the cartoon mouse and the other is

three stencils on a wall, an orange womans face, a blue diamond and a purple man with sunglasses on

a paste up of a person's head wrapped in an old fashioned bandage that ties under the chin

doorway shaped and sized line drawing graffiti in purple with turquoise highlights, a man's head and neck