One of the many striking things about Egypt’s 25 January Revolution as manifested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was the imagination and creativity of the posters, placards, and signs that the protesters wore, waved, or hung from buildings, fences, and lampposts day by day throughout the demonstrations. These emotive messages displayed a range of visual inventiveness and linguistic dexterity (in Arabic, English, and several other languages) that expressed very powerful feelings yet often entertained at the same time. Egyptian amateur photographer Karima Khalil here gathers images taken by herself and others of these messages, showing their great variety, from the simple and repeated Irhal (“Leave”), written in a hundred different ways, to poems, rhyming slogans, puns, jokes, and tributes to the martyrs killed by security forces in the protests. These messages, captured by more than thirty photographers, form a compelling visual record of a people’s long suppressed hopes and desires.
« Messages from Tahrir », signs of a revolution, edited by Karima Khalil, published bu AUC Press is available at Oum El Dounia Tahrir and Oum El Dounia Maadi.