Street art is a synchronized global expression that serves as alternative media and the potential to induce social and political change through utilizing public space as a form of questioning reality and the urban environment we live in.
To me street art is a tool of dialogue between the artist and the masses in the most democratic form since the observer has the right to erase it. In reality this is the first step in change. A change which will only happen through visual conversation, friction, provoking ideas, challenging stereotypes and a leap into the grey area.
Due to this philosophy I think I’m an artivist (artist + activist) more than an artist.
The idea of engaging in street art was a very natural process due to the motives and values and frustrations I have long had about oppression and injustice. This notion and direction was planned before the revolution and instantly sparked and fell into place when the revolution started.
We used it to inform the public of current events that were corrupt and manipulative in nature as a means to expose these dirty under the table tricks that the media chose not to cover for obvious reasons. I am thinking here about the involvement of the military and interior ministry in a majority of the crimes that spanned throughout the revolution and of course during Mubarak’s time.
My motive is the common working class and a passion to bring back harmony to a dysfunctional system through stripping and ripping everything that is deemed special or for a certain class of elites that supposedly understand art. My work is a tool to fight fear and bring back the balance in order to get what is rightfully ours; our rights and dignity as a race.
But my fire and passion really stems from the victimized and marginalized by systems of control and especially capitalism and consumerism. The marginalized are the faceless, the nameless, the forgotten by time, those who die and continue to die in a meaningless wasteful sense; those whose graves have numbers instead of letters. The working classes that make the building blocks that support the present elite. The working classes make this elite life styles possible, yet they get nothing for their struggle, sacrifice, and loyalty.
That and a deep sense of being robbed from our public space, a space that has been invaded and visually occupied and raped by advertising companies, at a time when we cannot see the sunrise or the sunset completely because we have littered the skyline with corporate logos. It is aggressive, intrusive and they never took our permission.
Nowadays the lines are harder to define between private property, corporate property and public property. You could be walking in a street thinking this belongs to the people, but somehow the bank around the corner owns everything including that bench or swing your child wants to go on.
It’s a battle and it’s looking good with all the high fines and arrests and illegalization of graffiti as a form of vandalism. It never stops because as long as there is a spirit, there will always be the need to rebel against the establishment.
Keizer is Egyptian street artist