Say it with - Spray Cans
An aesthetic disaster is to be expected whenever spray cans fall into the hands of Assad’s followers and, in effect, there is no point in making the effort to read their productions.
Their repertoire consists of few but tenaciously repeated scrawly slogans: “Assad or no one”, “Assad forever or we will burn down the country” – or the signature the Syrian army was accustomed to leave behind beside gunned down livestock and bombed granaries in places they had devastated: “Liwa al Maut” – “Brigade of Death”.
Facing this we find the brilliant banners of the small locality Kafranbel in northern Syria. Legendary are the “Saraqeb Walls” on which poetry and prosaicism blend. One piece of calligraphy admonishes: “Say to those who collect the waste: thank you!”, another reads “Sing for those who went missing” or “Besieged by death”.
The most recent graffiti one-liner of artist Alaa Ghazal shows a character indicated by a beard and a soldier’s helmet, beside which it reads “Down with the regime”. Neither, it further reads, does one want to be reigned by the military ruling on Assad’s side, nor by Islamists who hold sway in liberated areas.
First published on August 1 on Heinrich von Arabien.
Translated from the German by Christine F.G. Kollmar