War on Walls is a collection of extraordinary street art, created in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square during Egypt's Arab Spring revolution. The intense social and political unrest prompted street artists to voice their points of view through art on walls near Tahrir Square and across Egypt. Whereas the Mubarak Regime had cracked down on any form of artistic expression critical of the Regime, especially street art, the country’s temporary military government often was not so quick to remove displays of street art or arrest artists. And so the street art movement grew and flourished. Wall art increased in scope and content as Egypt’s Arab Spring progressed.
Street art was a defining feature of the Egyptian revolution: raising awareness of political and economic issues, pressuring the regime and governing bodies for change, injecting dark humor into turbulent times, and providing a visual memory of important events and individuals. The street artists' work featured revolutionary slogans, criticisms of the government, portraits of government figures, tributes to martyrs, comments on social issues, and depictions of key revolutionary events. The emerging street art movement was a creative expression of the Egyptian people's frustration and desire for freedom, as well as a way to physically reclaim space in Cairo as belonging to the people rather than the government.
War on Walls preserves important examples of this extraordinary art movement. The book aims to convey not only the craft of these artists, but also the messages that inspired the street artists to express the soul and dreams of the Egyptian peoples’ revolution. These murals tell the story of Egypt’s Arab Spring through some of the most beautiful, expressive and iconic wall images ever created.