Several weeks ago, an artist named Amado Alfadni began to post stickers and posters around downtown Cairo. His design was simple, with an abstract border framing a short sentence and several dotted lines. The sentence, split into two versions to address both men and women, reads in calligraphy: “If I were president…”
The dotted lines solicit whoever passes by to fill in their own answer. Alfadni had picked the stark design over others with eagles and Egyptian flags, believing that they would distract people from writing on them. He started placing them around downtown Cairo, where most public art has been found since the 2011 uprising, before traveling around the city and handing them off to people to post in Alexandria, Minya, Mansoura and Port Said.
There has been a massive proliferation of public art since the uprising of early 2011, largely due to the retreat of security forces from Cairo’s streets. Arrests for painting graffiti were common under Mubarak. “With the revolution, the ability for artists to create their work in public opened to a scale not seen before,” American artist Jenna Crowder explains, “because the policing fell away to other, more immediate concerns.”
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