Crowd-funding campaign supports book on Egypt's graffiti

Ahram Online, Thursday 6 Jun 2013

'Walls of Freedom,' a comprehensive book on Egypt's post-revolution street art, is seeking contributions

'Walls of Freedom' book mock up (Photo: Indiegogo Campaign)

A new book on Egypt’s post-revolution graffiti wave is turning to crowd-funding to cover its production costs.

Basma Hamdy and Don Karl, the authors of ‘Walls of Freedom,’ say they have raised $6,870 out of a total of $25,000 for editing, work and printed costs, with just over a month left to go.

The authors say that their book serves as more than a documentation of the graffiti movement.

"We have collected everything from newspaper clippings to hand-drawn sketches. We have sourced photographs from amateur and professional photographers. The essays range from expert commentary to personal accounts,” to provide context and analysis of the burst of graffiti and street art seen in Cairo and other Egyptian cities since the 2011 uprising.

The book, which has been in the works since 2011, aims to give a flavour of Egypt's new graffiti scene by telling the stories of the artists themselves and sharing their visions. The authors have collaborated with 50 photographers, 30 artists, and 20 authors to tell the story of the revolution through street art and graffiti.

As per the crowd-funding convention, donors will get a set of perks depending on their contribution, including desktop wallpaper, posters, t-shirts, one of the first 100 copies of the book, and an art print and original artworks.

The perks are donated by graffiti artists such as Zeft, ElSeed, and Ammar Abu Bakr. Egypt’s graffiti artists have been enthusiastic about ‘Walls of Freedom’ on social media, pushing for people to donate.

"How many books have been published about Egypt's revolutionary Streetart? This is the only one I wanna read! [sic]" wrote Ganzeer, a visual artist who has been very involved with the graffiti movement since the start of the revolution.

"We will not understand the Egyptian revolution unless we delve deep into the graffiti that covers the walls of the country. It is the true chronicle of the revolution. I am certain that ‘Walls of Freedom’ will be an exquisite combination of art and intellect that reflects the true spirit of what is unraveling in our nation. Personally, I cannot wait to get my copy of this book," wrote Magdy El-Shafee, Author of ‘Metro’, a graphic novel in Arabic that was banned under Mubarak's rule.

For a link to the crowd-funding campaign, click here here.

Walls of Freedom from From Here To Fame on Vimeo.

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