Graffiti and street art can be controversial. But it can also be a medium for voices of social change, protest, or expressions of community desire. What, how, and where are examples of graffiti as a positive force in communities?
There is no surprise that during hardship, graffiti becomes popular. Known for being edgy or gritty, New artists are transforming this medium to include nuances like calligraphy.
So, we spotlight a very young artist, half way around the world in Lebanon trying to change negative attitudes.
Mohamad Abrash, an artist from Bab Al Tabbanah, is a calm and peaceful person who loves his town. How was he able to make it more beautiful? In 2004, Mohammad learned how to execute graffiti haphazardly, not linking it to art, and not caring what he is presenting, till he realized that this form of art he is fond of is just like all other forms of art, meaningful and should carry a message. There are people who think that graffiti artists are street boys, and there are others who love their work. Mohamad then knew that enhancing the quality of his drawings needed patience and persistence. To change this negative image in people’s minds, Mohamad executed graffiti with an environmental message on walls of a school to remind its students of the importance of Mother Nature.
This self-taught artist is also one of the firsts in Lebanon to use Calligraphy in his graffitis, the art known as Calligraffiti. He also teaches young Lebanese men and women his talent, in hopes to get the message of the Lebanese youth on a bigger and broader range.
This category of artists, which is the same category of Lebanese people that have started, and are still going with, the revolution, just want a beautiful and safe Lebanon just like Mohammed.
They are using their young energy and their love for their country, friends, and family to create an environment in which they can live and prosper with dignity.
And as for Tripoli, this Lebanese city that people always frowned upon for being full of conflicts, it is proving day after day what a great place it is and what amazing people it breeds.