Libyan Street Art: The Anti-Gaddafi Caricatures

 @MarkJohansonIBT
on June 08 2011 12:24 PM
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Walk down the streets of Tripoli and official portraits of Muammar Gaddafi's face are plastered everywhere as pro-government propaganda.  The Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution has appeared godlike or in military uniforms with rays of light shining behind him in the fashion of Chairman Mao.  Throughout his campaign, his meticulous control over how and where these images appear has been straight out of the dictator's textbook.

Now, in cities taken over by Libyan rebels, artists are turning these same images against the man in works of street art.  In Benghazi and elsewhere across the country, artists are using Gaddafi's image as a weapon against him, forming caricatures that ridicule the flamboyant man and target his eccentricities.

Here's a look this rising movement from the streets of Libya:

 

Libyan Street Art (2 of 10)

A Libyan couple sit in front of a caricature near a courthouse in Benghazi May 18, 2011. REUTERS

Libyan Street Art (3 of 10)

People stand next to caricatures of Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi May 8, 2011. REUTERS

Libyan Street Art (4 of 10)

A rebel fighter looks for explosives before Friday prayers near the courthouse in Benghazi May 6, 2011. REUTERS

Libyan Street Art (5 of 10)

A painter paints a caricature of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi May 1, 2011. REUTERS

Libyan Street Art (6 of 10)

A Libyan stands in front of a caricature of Muammar Gaddafi with the word: "Liar", after Friday prayers near the court house in Benghazi April 22, 2011. REUTERS

Libyan Street Art (7 of 10)

A fuel pump is defaced with a graffiti caricature of Muammar Gaddafi in the rebel-held town of Ajdabiyah March 31, 2011. REUTERS

Libyan Street Art (1 of 10)

A man paints a caricature of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan town of Ar Rujban, some 165 km (103 miles) southwest of the capital Tripoli June 7, 2011. REUTERS