Tuesday, August 09, 2011
The leering visage of Moammar Kadafi, surrounded by rats made of plaster, stares down at visitors to a new art exhibit on the Benghazi waterfront.
The Kadafi caricature stands 12 feet tall. It depicts the Libyan leader as a derelict imprisoned in a 15-foot-high trash bin and deluged with garbage.
Titled “Dustbin of History,” the work is the centerpiece of a new art exhibit sanctioned by the rebel movement fighting to overthrow Kadafi after 41 years of suffocating rule.
“Kadafi is heading to the trash bin soon, God willing,” said the artwork’s creator, a long-haired, woolly-bearded former underground artist named Ali Wakwak.
Part art and part agitprop, the “Crimes of Kadafi” exhibit encapsulates the contempt and dread Libyans in the rebel-controlled east hold for the besieged strongman in Tripoli. Unveiled July 18, the show also reflects the burgeoning spirit of liberation and openness that has engulfed Benghazi since an uprising drove Kadafi’s security forces from eastern Libya in mid-February.