somalia guerrilla artists dare to paint reality - red necklace set
The guerrilla artists walked out in the dark of the night in Mogadishu.
Three of them are hands-on with brushes, but when sensible people stay indoors, they never go out on such crazy tasks.
They gathered to work in a converted garage, covered with covered floors, and dripping colorful paint cans.
The 62-year-old misidin Sharif Ibrahim used an old car seat as a chair, sharpened the pencil with a razor reflection, and then ground the pencil into a stone floor by scraping the pencil
He used his long, thin fingers to subtly outline his next work on a piece of cardboard.
The artists draw in the daylight, then load the canvas onto a large truck and plant them around the city with the help of the students under their wings.
No one here has ever seen such a thing.
Political paintings that appear every few days are like brave flags, cheeky and revolutionary.
They shot at the most dangerous people, like blood in Somalia.
The soaked clan warlords and their constant
There are still Islamic militants who remain mysterious here.
These people live in a country without artistic freedom or democratic traditions.
In recent months, when a small window of freedom opens in Mogadishu, it seems to be the last chance to be the person they really want to be.
Ibrahim, once one of Somalia's most famous artists, claimed to have painted the first official portrait of the country's first president.
The 50-year-old Dan Farah AFEI was originally a young artist in the propaganda department of the ruling party, but resigned because he was not allowed to describe the truth.
As for the 57-year-old Mohammed Ali Tuwe, his real passion is the portrait, but he loves his daily work and draws billboards until the day when the Islamist threatened to kill him.
Huge oil paintings hung on the walls of their garage studio, ready to hang on the streets of the capital.
A picture depicting a crowded city street where men ride bikes or push carts, women in traditional Somali costumes, buildings without bullet holes and destruction, and huge yellow like a beach ball
Its message is peace.
Another painting depicts a rural woman wearing a basket of generous fruits and a beautiful red necklace with a strand of hair floating leisurely under her scarf.
In its idyllic vision of rural women and agricultural bounty, there is a dark stream of socialist realism.
But if an artist is shown in an area controlled by al-Shabab, al-Qaida, the woman's lush beauty is enough to get him killed
Until recently, the coalition militia, which carried out terrorist rule in Mogadishu, still controls most of the southern part of the country.
Shabbat believes that women must be allowed to wear rolling clothes.
Mogadishu slowly hobbled up, and a non-governmental organization-the Center for Research and Dialogue-developed a plan to entrust artists to draw posters for peace and support their work.
Ahmed ad, 45, was given the task of tracking the well.
Famous artists of the old age.
Artist ad himself did not know whether they were alive, dead or running away.
They tried to reject him when he got in touch with them.
"The old man is scared," said ad, referring to Ibrahim.
"We are all scared.
We are reluctant.
"I have seen their troubles, how they harass people and kill people," Ibrahim said . " He refers to al-Shabab, which continues to carry out regular suicide bombings in Mogadishu, although it has fled the city.
Still, Ibrahim said he was optimistic.
"I want to go back to my career," he said . "
Smile like a gift.
"I want to show people how bad these troubles are, how bad the war is, and how bad the situation is when everything is destroyed.
This is the message we want to convey to people.
Ibrahim has never graduated from high school, but as a talented artist, he has been selected from unknown positions, served in the Ministry of Government information and promoted by his ability.
He was 19 when he was a major. Gen.
It is well known that comrade Mohamed Siad Barre or Siad seized power.
The dictator's worship of personality means that artists have a lot of work, and they will paint him in Stalinist poses, looking serious and solemn, or laughing, or holding a child and looking like a father.
But freedom of art is a mirage.
"I have painted a few hundred times.
Every office must have a portrait of him.
"People keep saying, 'I want a portrait of the president,' Ibrahim said. '".
"You must be careful.
You have to make him as handsome as possible.
You have to make him look elegant.
You don't have any signs of age.
"You will try it many times.
You have to check it again and again before you show it to people.
"After the ouster of Barre in 1991, the appearance of all governance disappeared, the tribal warlords took control of the situation, and the only way to make a living was to paint the store --
Logo and advertisement in front.
There are very few territories controlled by the transitional government.
Then there is al-Shabab, which won control of much of the country in 2009 and banned the description of this alive form as the United NationsIslamic.
Ibrahim hid, but he has been secretly painting his favorite themed camel, which has always represented the country in the tradition of oral poetry in Somalia: strong, independent and capricious.
He worked in a small room at home, hiding the artwork he secretly sent to his overseas friends. "I have to do that.
I have a desire and passion to draw.
"This is something from the heart," he said . ".
Affie practiced painting when he was a child.
Only when people began to praise his work did he realize that he was an artist.
He found a job as a political cartoonist at the propaganda department of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party in Barre, but it didn't take long.
He was ordered to stop when he tried to satirize the issue of cranism and nepotism.
He resigned and tried farming for a while.
After the collapse of the country in 1991, he barely drew vivid political cartoons for magazines and said his marriage had failed because he had never had money.
Since then, the artists have worked on the knife.
"We are free to do posters and draw cartoons, but you have to be very careful not to insult someone," said his colleague Tohow . ".
"I have to think about what I'm doing.
"After years of war, famine, and looting by warlords, about 2000 radical Islamists began to emerge, including organizations that later evolved into al-Shabab.
In some cases, Islamic leaders have stepped up security.
But after a while, their severe punishment and rigid social control made them unpopular.
"When al-Shabab came, I had to close the door and work secretly because they were killing people," Affrey said . ".
"I was so scared.
At that time, living was the most important thing.
Al-Shabab opposes artists and intellectuals.
The barricades around the city are all controlled by the trigger.
Happy militia, mostly teenagers.
Under warlords and later al-Shabab, youth are linked to sudden, unpredictable violence.
"If you see a young man, you will feel scared," Affie said . ".
"A young man who you will never believe will kill you can come and assassinate you.
"On the 1997 th of the central city of Galca, an artist who painted a billboard was dragged down and beheaded for his work offending a religious chief.
That man is the teacher of Tohow.
Tohow escaped the same fate in 2000.
He and others painted a woman on a billboard wearing a traditional Somali village style, with her shoulders and neck exposed.
A group of religious men ordered him to take it down.
"They came to me and said, 'We will arrest you if we see this hanging again, 'so we decided to turn over the billboard.
I am very scared because I know these people are against artists and poetry.
It shows me how easy they are to kill me.
"A year ago, when al-Shabab gave up Mogadishu, artists showed up carefully looking for work to paint advertising murals on small shops and businesses.
Ibrahim said: "I came out of hiding . . . . . . But people don't know me anymore . ".
"They forgot me.
"Despite their risk in guerrilla art, these three people have more freedom than ever before. "We can paint. We can draw.
"If you walk down the street, you can see what we did," Tohow said . ".
"Of course, there are some things that can easily happen to us.
We have heard of some assassination incidents.
But it's better than before.
"It's like you're dead and you're back to life," said Affey . ".
Artists know they will never exist.
So they are training a new generation of apprentices and they also offer a lot of muscle strength to post oil paintings in the evening.
Older men find themselves sharing paint cans with young people who used to scare them, such as 20-year-old Suleiman Yousuf, who has never attended school but is one of their best students
During the period from 2009 to 2011, as a member of the Mogadishu militia, Yousuf received $2 per day and worked at a checkpoint.
"Everyone is afraid of the people at the checkpoint because we have guns and we can shoot them at any time.
It makes you feel powerful.
At that time, I believed I was the most powerful person in the city.
It feels good to have this power.
"Now that Mogadishu is more peaceful, Yousef hopes to become a commercial artist after training with Ibrahim, AFEI and Tohow.
"I felt great when I was with them and they showed me what to do.
We understand how they mix paint and how the human face is formed.
We are improving and we will be able to do what they do in the future.
AFEI believes that by teaching Yousef, he can help change Yousef and others like him.
"You have to focus on art.
Art teaches you to live.
You're painting life, so you can't kill people.
If you want to be an artist, you must learn to be gentle and wise.
Yousufu said the teachers taught him respect.
"I wouldn't show up if I didn't admire them.
This is the only person I really admire. "robyn. dixon@latimes.