Under the bridge between Downtown Beirut and Achrafieh you will find the image of a worker in a Sukleen outfit sweeping bullets with a broom.

The image, realistic, yet with an ironic twist, bears all the trademarks of Banksy, including the eye for location. Spanish photographer Fernando believed it could be the real Banksy. Christine Tohme,director of Ashkal al Alwan, the Lebanese association of Plastic Arts and a fan of Banksy, agreed it could be. Yet as far as she knows, Banksy has never been to Lebanon. If that is true, the image of the worker with a broom is a true Banksy-like work.246600801_2c760a4591

 

A second piece of Banksy-esque graffiti work may well have been inspired by the 2006 war in Lebanon. It shows a child with a teddy bear standing amidst the rubble, as a reporter holds back aid workers to get a better picture. While the image may have been inspired by the mayhem of postwar Lebanon, it is unlikely that it was produced in Lebanon.

 

Graffiti is most prolific on Rue Hamra, an area that belongs neither to Sunni or Shiite, Christian or Druze, and you will find the most interesting street art there; from the gift-wrapped bomb with a tag that reads “For Gaza”, to a silhouette of Mickey Mouse with the words “Ni7na ma3ak” (We’re With You) supposedly referring to Lebanon’s over-dependence on Western popular culture, to the famous profile of Arabic singer Umm Kulthoum singing Haifa Wehbe’s stupid song “Bous el-wawa” (Kiss my boo-boo).

The latest political graffiti is a series on gay tolerance on Rue Bliss by students from the American University of Beirut, among them graphic design student Hamed Sinno.

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