Interview mit Keizer: Politische StreetArt aus Ägypten

Drone-Games, große Ameisen und nachdenkliche Zitate. Das Stencil-Repertoire von Keizer hat viel zu bieten. Derzeit gastiert der „Banksy Ägyptens“ bei uns in Halle – der Liebe wegen. Grund genug für uns, ein kleines Interview mit ihm zu führen.

Who are you?

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My name is Keizer I am an Egyptian anonymous street artist.
My day consists of visualizing and drawing the art and cutting it out, in preparation for the application late in the evening.

When did you start making StreetArt and where? Why?

I started creating street art in the streets,underpasses,slums and alleyways of Egypt during the 2011 Revolution. The intention behind the art is to reclaim our public space and make people think for themselves by questioning the environment they live in, pushing them hopefully to question reality and authority.

Why did you chose Stencils as your weapon of choice?

They are fast, effective and durable. It’s a “hit and run”-mindset.

Was it dangerous to create StreetArt in Cairo?

During the past years Egypt has been oppressed by a number of different regimes, with each the security situation worsened: The first phase of the revolution was the easiest as Mubarak was loosing control. The Muslim Brotherhood took over after the military let go of power, and since then the situation became got increasingly threatening with numerous random arrests, leading to the present military hijacking of the country which is most risky and dangerous phase of all.

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Kurze, konkrete Botschaften sind typisch für Keizer.

Tell us a little about your different quotes – how do you get them?

Well, with street art in general I have chosen the philosophy of Leonardo da Vinci when he says: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. I apply that concept to all of my art whether text or visual. The main idea is to keep the text as concise and as impactful as possible, playing with subliminal and double meanings to create a heightened awareness through emotional, sarcastic shock appeals, with the least amount of words. In many ways I believe that’s the beauty of language.

 

Why did you move to Halle?

Love can make you visit the most interesting places.

What’s the biggest difference in Germany?

It’s much safer here – less police activity, less curiosity from people when they catch you work. Even if caught, there is a dialougue and a procedure, which to me is more than great.

How long will you stay here?

Until next October, then I head back to Cairo.

 

Have you made any connections to our local street artists?

No, not really. I usually work alone and don’t usually collaborate with other artists. Although I think collaboration is very healthy. I just have so many ideas I have to apply and they never seem to end. Maybe when all of that is out of my system, I will start collaborating.

How would you characterize Halle in StreetArt terms?

It’s very diverse and creative. Although it seems there is much more tagging than street art. I especially appereciate the small adorable installations on building walls, witty messages and stickers. The scene here is vibrant and blooming. At the same time it would be nice to see more critical street art that addresses social and political issues.

What’s the main purpose of your art?

Empowering people by making them see through their fears, bringing about awareness of the power structures we live in and hopefully motivate people to be less passive observers and take action instead.

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