Street Art Murals Make Blockade Walls Disappear in Tahrir Square

As an impediment to further protest, the Egyptian army has been building blocky stone walls sectioning off parts of downtown Cairo, making the city center inaccessible. The walls are behemoths made of cubes of rock, and look extremely intimidating. A crew of local artists, however, have taken it upon themselves to break down these barriers by covering the walls in illusionistic murals.

The trompe l’oeil paintings transform the walls into perfectly in-perspective streetscapes and landscape vistas that are a literal and symbolic sally against political censorship. Check out a collection of 360-degree views of the murals here. The beautification isn’t about prettifying the blockades, though. Artist Mohamed Gad told Foreign Policy that “We’re not embellishing the walls… We’re simply stating that the streets are open.”

Activist Loai Nagati said, “We’re building, not destroying, and this is what the walls are about. They show that the revolution is creative.” One can only hope that as Egypt continues to rebuild its government, that spirit can remain strong in the face of adversity. [Foreign Policy]