Street artist builds movement of peace supporters in Yemen
9 May 2016
A new video made by Oscar-nominated Yemeni filmmaker AbduRahman Hussain introduces acclaimed Yemeni street artist Murad Subay, who uses graffiti to communicate messages of peace and social justice. He continues to work despite the ongoing war, which is now into its second year.
Murad Subay is a street artist from Sana’a, Yemen who has been spreading messages of peace and social justice through art since the 2011 uprising. In a short video, he talks about how he uses his art to inspire collective action to build peace.
Since the current conflict in Yemen began in March 2015, it is estimated that more than 8,100 people have been killed or injured. But the war still isn’t given the media attention it deserves, and Murad explains that “people’s suffering never makes it to a real headline on the news.” His art – which he describes as “simple and humble” – is intended to express both the effects of the war on Yemen’s citizens, and their desire for peace. Despite the conflict, Murad continues painting, saying “when art exists during war, then it is our attempt to say ‘we want peace’”.
His idea has extended beyond Sana’a, with people in Ibb, Taiz, Hodeidah and Aden starting their own peace campaigns and painting graffiti in their towns. Murad, who is not making a profit from his work, tells us “what’s special about these campaigns is the social participation – that was the real achievement”, showing his commitment to building a movement of people who want an end to the fighting.