Graffiti Expression Rebellion in Kabul


“Many walls in Kabul are already covered in advertising slogans or fly-posting. There are also rare political slogans.” Free expression and Afghanistan are not two things one normally might consider compatible. And as a continuation of that line of thinking, it is therefore not easy to envision Afghan youth sneaking around the streets and alleys of Kabul spray-painting slogans and anti-American-military phrases on the walls of homes and shops. But it is happening. It seems that teenagers and young adults in their 20s have taken inspiration and encouragement from British artist Banksy and anonymous western art group Combat Communications. As a result, in Kabul in the last 18 months an underground art scene has formed and grown, based largely on the desires of some Afghan youth to express their frustrations and concerns by painting graffiti and “editing” public advertisements and government signage. Pretty neat, and something to be encouraged in an historically oppressed and war-torn country like Afghanistan. Because maybe the way to true freedom and democracy in that country isn’t a gun, but a can of spray paint. (The Guardian UK – Afghan Graffiti Rebels)


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