A meeting underground with the Banksy egyptian: "I Am the last graffiti of the revolution"

In a country gagged, the artist Keizer has resorted to the 'spray' and the language of the street to challenge the most powerful from the walls of Cairo Kei

A meeting underground with the Banksy egyptian:

In a country gagged, the artist Keizer has resorted to the 'spray' and the language of the street to challenge the most powerful from the walls of Cairo

Keizer has nostalgia for the future that uniformed and islamists snatched him and his compatriots. A melancholy that is twisted to move into anger when assailed by the walls of Cairo, as if yours was the last revolutionary act of a country that has been transformed in prison.

"art is revolution. Supposed to question everything, be skeptical, to challenge all", shoots appear soon after on the scene. Us appointment to the first hour of the afternoon in the gardens of the Cairo Opera house. Go to the interview with a hat fabrics and parapetado behind a pair of sunglasses, the same camouflage with the one from eight years ago keeps the flashes and curses fame. "At the beginning I decided to be anonymous for security. Now I welcome that resolution. My face has nothing to do with my art. It was never part of my work," sitting on the porches.

His work, irreverent and viral, and his own biography, in the zone of shadows motu proprio, have earned him the nickname of Banksy egyptian. A comparison with the enigmatic graffiti of Bristol that Keizer accepts with pride of the disciple. "It is an honor to associate my work with that of Banksy because I so admire. Was the first person to open this space and I've learned from him," he recounts. "My goal is to also use contradictory elements that make a real impact. One of my most recent pieces shows a man in white and wearing a suit bent over cleaning the shoes of a cobbler very humble."

your identity gives only two strokes: studied Mass Communication "long before the riots" in 2011 kicked out of the palace to Hosni Mubarak and proceeds "of the upper middle class". The rest is banned. Premiered signature shortly before geminara the arab Spring and since then his art has been spread by some 300 corners of Cairo. A few outbursts of art, which is so uncomfortable as fleeting. "Just stay between five and ten pieces. I am not concerned. When I just, I don't feel that the work I belongs. I harbor no feeling of ownership. It is public and I know that your life expectancy is short. For very fast the erase, it always stays in the memory".

My enemy is every one that is institutional, from military to art teachers. Are opponents of universal that one finds in any country

Your darts -in which, as Banksy, also used stencils with stencil - lack of red lines. "There aren't any and that is the best part. I have done graffiti attacking the president Abdelfatah al-Sisi, in a very direct way. There is No regulation or censorship or commissions or institutions that can impose it. It is an exercise that jumps over the taboos".

In a country with tens of thousands of dissidents imprisoned and the press gagged, Keizer uses the language of the street-traditional proverbs and metaphors, popular, learned from movies or works of theater for decades - to challenge the powerful. "My enemy is every one that is institutional, from military to art teachers. Are opponents of universal that one finds in any country", slide who used to walk the city when its streets are filled with shadows.

"Work for the night, very late or very early at dawn. I paint fast and I don't avoid the most sensitive". His is a solitary labour, away from those who make their fears the crowd. "Never was a part of the community of graffiti artists in Cairo, who was born with the revolution. Some consider me arrogant for that. They did pineapple feel more secure. I've never had that fear and, for me, the message was more important. I'd rather go to my air because I still have a lot to say."

With the political turmoil emerged a generation that made the walls their territory, the target in which to shake off decades of corruption and injustice. The coup in 2013 frustrated the move, democratic turned to silence the walls. "I am the last graffiti of the times of the revolution. It is a fact. Many of those who made street art signed for the last time in 2014 and have returned to their chores. Others have left the country," says the repeat offender who makes his living and pays their outputs selling, reluctantly, his art in galleries. "I need money to create. So does this game. Win through the commercial art and mass then return to my alternative world", confesses the one who has made "capitalism, consumerism, war or dictatorships" the material of his major works, rogue.

"I feel more satisfied with those graffiti that does not galvanize so much attention because the public does not feel comfortable or is not able to decrypt it," admits Keizer. In his repertoire there are agents of the police transformed into pigs with a uniform and armed with batons; a succession of ants that they represent "the marginalized, those who have died over the centuries in wars, genocides or ethnic cleansings, the ordinary people, the working class"; and riot turned into corpses with scythes and shields that they are praying "we love You"; the president's supporters transformed in robots are sick of nationalism and empty; or an egyptian flag where the eagle has moved in ostrich with the testa buried. "One of my favorites is titled Accessories for the regime and shows all the tools of torture to the egyptian regime, detailed in an Amnesty International report," she murmurs.

The art of revolution. Supposed to question everything, be skeptical, to challenge all

A challenge to the military that rules with a fist of iron the land of the pharaohs to that Keizer is not willing to give up in spite of threats and persecution. "The Police carried out a raid during the opening ceremony of my last exhibition but I don't usually attend art galleries", he says with a smile dibujándose on his face. "I receive threats in emails and mobile messages. Now I know what it is to pass by a police station and I do not worry", says the one who censored the "lost opportunity" of 2011, when Tahrir was a cauldron of yearning for change and the revolutionaries were left to deceive. "Today we are left with only frustration and a society in conflict. Each egyptian lives in their own time. Some are still installed in the 50's of the last century, others in the 60's and there are some who are still in the 40. There is also a people who inhabit a time that you don't even have a specific figure. Everyone wants to create your own Egypt. That is the reason why you have muslims judging other muslims about whether they think the right way, and are better or people caught up in classism," says the Banksy Arabic.

His last work sums up the desolation of a people deprived of horizon: "You see a baby in the womb. Is an astronaut who moves in the orbit of his mother and exclaims: 'If it is Egypt, let me inside'".

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Date Of Update: 15 November 2018, 08:00

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