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Post-revolutionary Culture

Anti-Gaddafi graffiti / Source: Streetartutopia.com
Anti-Gaddafi graffiti / Source: Streetartutopia.com
In post-revolutionary Libyan film, documentary and short movies have become particularly popular, perhaps because of the role Internet technology and social media played in the revolts. The Third Arab Screen Independent Film Festival (ASIFF), in Benghazi in February 2013 screened about sixty productions from across the Arab world. Co-winner for the best documentary was The Thousand Mile Road (directed by Murad Gargoum), which was filmed and edited in February 2011, before the fall of the Katiba military barracks in Benghazi. It was taken to Egypt by an Egyptian shuttle-bus driver. The prize for best Libyan film went to The Road to Bab Al Azizia (directed by Faraj al-Firjani and Ali Delax), which is about failed attempts to overthrow the Gaddafi regime in the early 1980s.

Among the other Libyan films that won prizes were:

  1. A Woman from Benghazi (directed by Tariq Mahyous), about a woman who took it upon herself to clean the streets around Freedom Square.
  2. The Return of a Flag (directed by Mohamed al-Theeb), about the return of the royalist tricolored flag as the flag of the revolution.

The Tripoli International Poetry Festival in April 2012 had sessions directly relevant to the revolution and wider aspects of the Arab Spring: Poetry in an Era of Great Transformation; Poetry in the World of Digital Globalization; and Place, Exile and Poetic Innovation.

As an indication of the extent of the cultural explosion in the aftermath of the fall of Gaddafi, the activities for one month, April 2013, included:

  1. The Tripoli Book Fair, a huge second-hand book fair, which its organizers claimed to be the largest cultural event in Libya.
  2. The inauguration of Benghazi as the Libyan Capital of Culture, with a carnival.
  3. The first First Zaala Festival for Tebu Heritage and Culture, in Murzuq (‘Zaala’ is Tebu for ‘Fezzan’).
  4. The Libya Movie Awards, which gave awards to the ten best short movies.

Local festivals are held annually in: March Germa, Hun, and Nalut; April Kabaw August Zuwara (the Awussu festival); October Ghadames (the old town); and December Ghat (the Akakus festival).

Anti-Gaddafi graffiti, Benghazi
Anti-Gaddafi graffiti, Benghazi
Street art eutopia Benghazi graffitti
Street art eutopia Benghazi graffitti
Benghazi caricatures of Gaddafi
Benghazi caricatures of Gaddafi

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