Victoria and Albert Museum opens Street Art exhibition in Libya
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, in collaboration with the British Council in Libya, opened an exhibition presenting graffiti and paintings by both international and Libyan artists
Ati Metwaly, Monday 9 Apr 2012
Graffiti works by Libyan artists are featured in the exhibition that will run until 12 April in Tripoli's Dar Al-Fagi for Arts Gallery.
With support from the British Council in Tripoli, and the Ministry of Culture and Civil Society, the exhibition is organised by the UK's renowned museum: Victoria and Albert Museum, in their Street Art series, which includes many international works.
The Tripoli exhibition included a large number of paintings and graffiti from young Libyan artists who comment on the Libyan political situation through their art.
This is the first of its kind exhibition to be held in post-Gaddafi Libya and it brought a significant response from its audiences.
Pictures from the exhibition have been widely shared by many young Libyan Facebook users, all adding comments expressing their appreciation and enthusiasm towards the V&A Museum's initiative. "Thanks for this documentary photos of our revolution," or "V&A: Inspiration in Everything" are among many comments posted by the exhibition viewers, whether they saw it in person or only viewed it online.
On Tuesday 10 April, the British Council in Libya, alongside the V&A Museum Team will host a discussion about street art, organised in the same gallery that holds the exhibition.
Libyan street art is among many examples that testify to a wave of artistic expression new to the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly found in countries swept by the Arab Spring. Graffiti and other forms of street art dominate the attention of young creatives and their audiences, specifically in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, with works that range from simple stencils to more elaborately sprayed or painted graffiti.
Since the Arab Spring began, young artists used their talents to comment on every politically and socially-impacting event as their uprisings unravelled. Whether they dramatically depicted the many events of the revolutions, directly criticised the people in power or romanticised longing for change, all of those works became an important commentary on the Arab Spring.
In Egypt, a graffiti exhibition was organised in September 2011 at Cairo's Townhouse Gallery. Titled "This Is Not Graffiti," the exhibition featured works by some of the most renowned graffiti artists actively involved in the field, among them: Keizer, Sad Panda, El-Teneen, etc.
Victoria and Albert Museum's involvement in the exhibition in Libya is an unprecedented initiative extended by the world's acclaimed international cultural organisation to street artists actively involved in the Arab Spring.