Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Creative Collaboration

One of the wonderful things that is happening in Libya is that Libyans are finally free to express themselves. This is showing up in many ways, but I'm truly amazed by the graffiti and murals being painted all over the city. Many people are even hiring artists to decorate the outside walls of their homes. Designs range from very simple spray-painted graffiti to elaborate murals that are worthy of museums and galleries. 

I cannot help but to slow down as drive by to admire these works inspired by the revolution and the Libyans' newfound freedom. My husband, children and I often stop to take pictures and we see other people taking pictures too.

Many of the messages are written in English as well as Arabic and sometimes in the Berber language, Tamazight. Red, green, and black, the colours of the new flag are used in abundance. And many pictures feature Kadafy and his son Saif Al-Islam. The range of work and ideas expressed by the people of Libya after 42 years of creative suppression is simply awesome.

I'd like to start a blog or website to post images of these interesting works of art. Is anyone interested in collaborating on this with me?


  1. I'm interested in seeing the pics, not coming back to Tripoli anytime soon so can't participate, sorry!

  2. Saif Gadhafi is an interesting and true fine artist,respect his work.Not all the paintings are political. Paper Tiger(2001)shows Saif's beloved late cat Fredo against a white background.
    Pro-Gadhafist's murals under Sharia's strict laws
    are immediately destroyed!

  3. Anonymous...I'm so glad that Saif Kadafy has a hobby. Once he's in prison he'll have plenty of time to hone his artistic skills - that is if his captors decide to let him have paint and a brush.

  4. KhadijaTeri Oh...was he captured again?? lol
    Happy with your pathetic Sharia Fweeeedom?
    Enjoy!Green and Always Green Libya!

  5. The Challenge (2000) is a painting of an eagle, representing his father, defiantly doing battle with what he calls "neo-crusaders". Glued to the painting is part of a bomb, dropped by US aircraft on the Gaddafi family home in Tripoli in 1986. Intifada (2001) is a painting of a fist clutching a blood-spattered stone, with news clippings of an Israeli raid glued around it. And War (2001) was shaped by events in the Balkans in the late 1990s.

  6. as i cant draw well , i Love them soooooooooo much

  7. Anonymous, I wonder where the non Gaddafi murals were before February 19th. Nowhere, since the artists would have been shot. Pro-Gaddafi murals simply do not exist today; nobody has to spend the time painting over non-existent murals.

  8. Emmmm ... is it telepathy? because I was going to ask you to write about those murals, something positive about my country..(*_^)
    If you think my 5 megapixel camera is good enough then I would participate.

  9. It is a great idea to photogaph and post such works. This phenominon want happen frequently and the gaffiti will be deteriorate after sometime. This idea will archive this collection and will be available for the public. It will be part of our history and will get value by time. I urge you to start this project and will do my best to help you. Good luck

  10. These are some very good ones . Moe and I have seen many ,and I , like you ,have thought of doing this something. Unfortunately the camera choose the revolution as a time to die.Can't wait to see what you post. The best one I ever saw ,because it touched my heart was, hidden in an out of the way place at the height of Gadaffy's house to house searches here in Tagura . It said simply .. "We are FREE " in the boldest colors 2 meters tall . There it was for all to see as one came around a bend in the road. This was before it was fashionable to do graffiti .

  11. Hi Khadija,
    Here after a long time. Very happy to know you are safe. In India we are celebrating the festival which signifies the triumph of good over evil. Hope this happens every where in world. Take Care

  12. Thanks Khadijateri for sharing this is lovely I'm thinking of having the kids paint a mural at our house as well :)

  13. I spent ages going through the whole site a few days ago, so I really want to thank you for recording this art/history as many will soon be painted over. I love how often the fortress and iconic ship show up in Tripoli graffiti, and how Qais al-Hilali's gaddafi caricature style has spread.

  14. to show anti gaddafi grafitti is no sign of freedom. only when anti tnc grafitti can be openly displayed as well, can you say there is true freedom. an islamic state with sharia law and no rights for women. does not seem to indicate liberty? again violence and anarchy also do not indicate freedom. i think dark days lay ahead. there is nothing to gloat over

  15. your criteria for having comments published seems unreasonably oppressive? are you sure you know what freedom actually means?

  16. an american flag? a tribute to the people who have destroyed their country and are about to rip them off while installing an islamic dictatorship. how very touching. lol

  17. I would love to see the murals springing up all over the city and hope that you can organize others to document these wonderful works. I so wish that I was in Triopli to see everyone embracing their new freedoms. I thank you so much for sharing your life experiences. Libya is in my thoughts and prayers every day.

  18. Hi there,

    The murals are amazing. Some of the comments - not so much. I'm going to write the post with the links this week - thought I'd better check what to call you Teri or Khadija Teri? Let me know what you'd prefer.


  19. Just use KhadijaTeri. :) Let them comment.... it's all they have left.


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