مقال مصور: غرافيتي المقاومة في رأس بيروت
التاريخ: 
07/06/2024

Media by and in support of resistance to the Zionist Occupation and war in Palestine and Lebanon is flowing across television broadcasts, radio waves, and a wide variety of social media platforms. Those are not the only mediums of expression. This photo essay reminds us that public spaces around the world also continue to be canvases for resistance graffiti.

A public form of mediation, graffiti has long been used by Palestinians to celebrate and communicate resistance to the Zionist Occupation of Palestine. Palestinian anthropologist Amahl Bishara observed that graffiti was one of the few means of public media available to Palestinian activists to organize resistance during the First Intifada, when most other forms of communication were censored or silenced by the Zionist Occupation. Today, acclaimed Palestinian artists like Laila Ajjawi continue to use graffiti as a form of resistance in support of the liberation of Palestine.

In this photo essay, the authors document graffiti, stencils, and murals that have appeared in public spaces around the Ras Beirut neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon since Oct. 7, 2023. These images were shot on February 15, 2024, during the fourth month of Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza. 

Several of the photographs in this essay also document clashing views contesting the messages these street murals present. Many have been sprayed over and ruined, such as a stencil that was marked out by a large ‘X,’ and another (sprayed over a wall of fliers) that was ripped into by a passer-by. The authors of this essay find urgency to document resistance graffiti wherever it goes up in public spaces, before it is removed or vandalized. They urge readers: Grab your cameras and shoot resistance graffiti in your area as soon as it goes up!


This week, we enter the ninth month of genocide. Israel has killed nearly 37,000 Palestinians in Gaza including more than 15,000 children. Thousands more are buried under the rubble and more than one million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes.


From left to right, wall with stencil of Gaza spelled out with missiles; Stencil of Abu Obeida (al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson) with “We crossed back” written underneath, referencing the crossing of Gaza refugees back to their original lands in occupied Palestine on October 7, 2023; Stencil of red triangle, often featured in combat videos released by the resistance, over a tank with “Gaza the graveyard of invaders” written underneath; Large Arabic graffiti in black paint underneath  all of the above translates to “Boycott Companies that support Israel.”

 


Closer shot. From top to bottom, stencil of red triangle over a tank with “Gaza the graveyard of invaders” written underneath, quoting a statement made by Hamas on December 13, 2023; Gaza in Arabic with missiles replacing the dots on the letters; and stencil of Abu Obeida (al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson) with “We crossed back” written under it, referencing the crossing of Gaza refugees back to their indigenous lands in occupied Palestine on October 7.

 

 
Close up shots to two stencils. On the left is a stencil of red triangle over a tank with “Gaza the graveyard of invaders” written underneath, quoting a statement made by Hamas on December 13, 2023, on the right is a stencil of Abu Obeida (al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson) with “We crossed back” written under it, referencing the crossing of Gaza refugees back to their indigenous lands in occupied Palestine on October 7.

 


Stencil in Arabic that reads, “Boycott, Resist, America is your enemy … Jerusalem is ours! #ThePeoples_movement." (The People's Movement is a democratic leftist political party in Lebanon)

 


Graffiti at the entrance of Gebran Khalil Gebran Park in downtown Beirut stating “Free Palestine.”

 


Graffiti in red paint near Martyrs' Square that reads, “#Palestine + Lebanon = Revolution.” The Martyrs' Square area is the site of many protests in Beirut, including protests for Palestine.

 


On the left, Arabic graffiti in black paint reads, “Glorious October 17” referencing the 2019 uprising against the Lebanese political apparatus and the deteriorating economy; On the right, Arabic graffiti in red paint reads, “The Great Day, 7th of October.”

 


Graffiti in blue paint reads, “Freedom for George Ibrahim Abdullah” referencing the Lebanese communist who is one of the oldest political prisoners in Europe, held by France for more than 40 years. 

 


Stencil reads, “Death to America” depicting one of the letters stabbing through the Star of David that has been adopted as a Zionist symbol and appears on the Israeli flag. This stencil is a smaller version of a mural that was originally painted in Beirut’s Southern suburb in 2020.

 


Stencil depicting the image of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, martyred leader of the Nablus Lions’ Den resistance group in West Bank, Occupied Palestine. A quote underneath reads, "'No one abandon the gun,' Ibrahim Nabulsi."

 


Several stencils on same wall. First row, from left to right: Stencil of Mahdi Amel, prominent member of the Lebanese Communist Party south; Stencil of Mahdi Amel with the words “Read Mahdi Amel” underneath;Stencil reads, “Death to America” depicting one of the letters stabbing through the Star of David that has been adopted as a Zionist symbol and appears on the Israeli flag. Second row, from left to right: Gaza with missiles replacing the dots on the letters; Stencil depicting the image of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, martyred leader of the Nablus Lions’ Den resistance group in West Bank, Occupied Palestine. A quote underneath reads, "'No one abandon the gun,' Ibrahim Nabulsi"; Stencil of Abu Obeida (al-Qassam Brigades Spokesperson) with “We crossed back” written underneath; Stencil of red triangle over a tank with “Gaza the graveyard of invaders'' written underneath. 

 


Graffiti in white and red paint reads, “Palestine’s children are dying.” 

 


Graffiti in red paint reads, “We will free Palestine with the gun” followed by hammer and sickle. Graffiti in black paint reads, “Salute from Beirut to the Den” referencing the Lions’ Den battalion in Nablus.

 


Mural features red calligraphy that reads, “Today's glory is only for [the] bullet]." To the right, a black stencil spells out the same words in English Arabic. Underneath, the quote is attributed to “Marty Leader Fathi alShaqaqi."

 


A large black X on a stencil depicting the U.S. flag being shredded. The crank handle reads, “resist.”

 


Stencil of a spiderweb filled with blue and white colors, a Star of David at the center — the colors and star reference Israel. Underneath, the text reads, “Weaker than a spider’s web,” a popular quote from a speech in 2000 by Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah celebrating the withdrawal of Israeli Occupation Forces from Lebanon. The second line is a quote from the Quran that reads, “And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spiderif they only knew.” Ayah al-`Ankabut (The Spider) 29:41)

 


Stencil of the iconic Power Fist in the colors of the Palestinian flag.

 


Stencil of an inverted red triangle pointing at the word “Liberation.” 

 


Stencil reads, “Intifada” which is Arabic for uprising.


Stencil sprayed over a wall of torn fliers reads, “To Jerusalem crawling.”