Shubbak: Culture in Defiance

Thu 4 July - Sat 13 July 10am til late
Free / Lower Café Gallery

Street art from Syria’s uprising

The wave of uprisings during the Arab Spring was led, unexpectedly, by ordinary people searching for employment, dignity, and political rights. In Syria, a group of children and teenagers spray painted graffiti calling for the downfall of the regime and their subsequent arrest and torture by the authorities triggered mass protests in cities across the country. What began on walls soon developed into an explosion of expression – from graffiti, political posters, and cartoons to cell-phone cinema, innovative protest chants and a carnival-like atmosphere at mass demonstrations.

Syria is a country with a long tradition of both dictatorship and satire, yet artistic criticism inside the country, pre-2011, was highly metaphorical. Once people like the cartoonist Ali Ferzat as well as illustrators and graphic designers, some from the smallest Syrian villages, broke what they called ‘the barrier of fear’, street art became one of the main frontiers in the fight for Syria’s future.

Part of Shubbak Festival - Shubbak, Window on Contemporary Arab Culture

Website -

Professor Charles Tripp (Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS) on Art and the Arab Uprisings:


Supported by:

Shubbak Logo


Choose day

28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8