Data + Design Project

Protesting Graffiti Artist Killed in Libya

Monday 04.11.2011 , Posted by

Kais al-Hilali was an artist who lived to fight with his brushes and paints, eschewing Libya’s weapons and bloodshed in favor of the satirical anti-Gaddafi graffiti and caricatures that he daubed across Benghazi’s walls. Here we recount the tragic loss of this brave artist:

Having left his artistic mark at a roundabout on the western side of the city, reputedly a bastion of pro-Gaddafi support, Kais was driven by two friends through the Tabalina suburbs. They stopped at an improvised checkpoint near the Tripoli Bridge, presuming the gunmen manning it were rebels. The driver, Ayman Hadar, recalls. “A burst of gunfire hit us and Kais fell dead in the back seat.” A gunman opened the car door, looked at him and asked, “What’s up with you?” They didn’t shoot again and disappeared. “We sped to the hospital, but it was too late.” Rebel commanders have denied having a checkpoint at that location.

A snap shot of Kais al-Hilali:


Paul Caridad

Written by Paul Caridad

Bicycled the perimeter of USA, hitch hiked across the States dressed as monk. Nomadic for the next few years. Would love to connect, so check out my links below! email:

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  1. graffiti is so powerful. it has the ability to change people’s lives for the better. how unfortunate it is to know that it also has the power to take a person’s life. the world is in a frenzied state.

  2. His voice must have been heard through those paintings.

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