Libya's rebel street artists take aim at Gadhafi

AP News
Posted: Jul 07, 2011 10:06 AM
Libya's rebel street artists take aim at Gadhafi

Moammar Gadhafi is loved in Libya's rebel capital _ as a subject for street artists to mock.

Caricatures of the Libyan leader dot walls and buildings across Benghazi in renderings that range from crude sketches to elaborate satire such as Gadhafi being knocked around by a rebel-flagged boot or depicted with a Nazi swastika.

Before Libya's uprising, even a hint of dissent risked a crushing response from Gadhafi's security forces. Now, it's open season on Gadhafi in rebel-held territory.

For some aspiring cartoonists _ and others wanting to make their mark _ this means getting out their spray paints and markers to display their opposition.

Rida, a 35-year-old barber and interior designer before the rebellion, makes dozens of Gadhafi sketches each day. Some have showed him in a trash can or with his clothes blown off by a U.S. jet fighter.

Gadhafi's curly hair or his flowing robes are prime fodder for Benghazi's rebel walls.

"I cannot fight with arms, but I can kill him with my pencil," said Rida, who declined to give his full name in fear of reprisals from pro-regime authorities.