When we hear the word ‘graffiti’, images of political slogans or social ideals sprayed on walls and buildings often come to our minds. But what some may not know is that, for thousands of years, graffiti has also been used to express and declare romantic love and to draw the public’s attention to that declaration.
Archaeologists have found this form of romantic expression on the walls of Ancient Rome, and it is something we continue to see around the world today, including in the Arabian Gulf Region. Graffiti is one of the few outlets through which people have the opportunity to openly declare their love in a private region, where making such public declarations is not generally socially acceptable outside the realms of poetry and song.
Bahraini photographer Ishaq Madan captures the universal sentiment of love around various areas in the Kingdom of Bahrain and shares them with us this Valentine’s Day. They invite us to think about the lovers behind these anonymous inscriptions and to imagine their tales.