At the start of the month, several walls in Barbar were decorated with either anti-F1 artwork, or graffiti highlighting leading human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience. Today, the walls have all been defaced, reportedly by police:
Graffiti showing Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, a founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and his daughter Zainab AlKhawaja. Both are currently behind bars and recognised internationally as prisoners of conscience;
To see more opposition graffiti in Bahrain, visit the Rebellious Walls website.
The work of cartoonist Carlos Latuff is incredibly popular amongst Bahraini activists. His images routinely appear on protests signs and have even been reproduced as graffiti. Earlier this week, an actual photograph of a police beating echoed one of his anti-F1 cartoons from last year.
Latuff has just released a new cartoon for the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix:
Latuff’s cartoons on Bahrain can be found on his website.
Since the beginning of the pro-democracy uprising in February 2011, creativity has been a key means of protest and resistance. A range of examples of creative resistance can be seen in blog posts by Marc Owen Jones and @chanadbh. See also the collection of Bahrain graffiti at the site Rebellious Walls, along with the examples cited in Amal Khalaf’s great article on Pearl Roundabout. Anti-F1 examples from last year can be found in posts by Justin Gengler and EA WorldView. See also these posts on recent anti-F1 graffiti and an anti-F1 campaign video by Bahraini activists. Some new examples were shared on social media today:
An F1 car made from tear gas cannisters, shared by Ahmed Alghasra (@A7mdG):
Protesters in Nuwaidrat village held a “Flame Race” earlier today. Dressed as members of an F1 pit crew, they raced a model car carrying tires around a track, before setting it on fire (pictures via Nuwaidrat News Facebook page):
Update: 18th April 2013
Russia Today have uploaded footage from the “Flame Race” to their YouTube channel. Watch it at this link. (h/t @marcowenjones)
Bahraini activists opposed to the Formula 1 released a video, saying to the world: “Don’t race on our blood.” The video opens with a masked activist sat contemplating the race whilst holding a Bahrain flag. Shots from previous races are interspersed with footage of mass demonstrations and violence by security forces. He stands, points to the spectator and declares (in English): “You are racing over Bahraini’s blood!” He is followed by a series of activists who express a similar message, including human rights defender Jihan Kazerooni and Sayed Fadhel Shams, brother of Ahmad Shams, who was shot dead by police in 2011 aged just 15.
Anti F1 graffiti seen in Barbar village (via Rebellious Walls):