Graffiti, otherwise known as street art, has been around since the times of the ancient Greeks. Today, this form of public art is being used for social emancipation, achieving political goals, or simply as a form of self expression. For some authorities, graffiti is considered to be a “colorful crime”. However, in some places, the youth have taken to graffiti to go hand in hand with the local government, as a way to help aid the struggle with local issues.
In Morocco, graffiti has transformed from something unacceptable by the government into a tool used to decorate the walls of its capital, Rabat, with highlighted national issues. Rabat witnessed its first Jidar Festival in May 2015, which reflected the growing interest in contemporary art, especially street art. This festival brought together 12 international artists to decorate the walls of Rabat with depictions of their choosing.
One of the participants in this festival, famous French artist, Zepha/Vincent Abadie Hafez, covered a mural with circles filled in with the country’s three languages; Arabic calligraphy, French and the Berber script of Tifanagh (African). This exquisite mural reflected the country’s struggle with the need to unite the three languages of the country together. This festival was not the only one of its kind.
Support for graffiti in Morroco was also evident when, in June 2013, the Municipal Council of Al-Dusheira and organizations like Al-Dusheirah Associations Forum collaborated together to celebrate World Environment Day. They encouraged the youth of the city to use their artistic talents to help raise awareness for environmental issues plaguing the city, all the while helping them gain experience and acknowledgement for their artistic depictions.
For the majority of young Moroccan artists, graffiti has become a form of release to them. Pent up talent bursts forth onto murals and streets as if to tell the world that they are here, art exists within them. To many observers and to the artists themselves, graffiti is considered to be a beautiful rendering of street art.
For more information and images of beautiful Moroccan street art, go ahead and visit StreetArt & Graffiti in Morocco. Don’t forget to leave a smile and let us know what you think of Graffiti!