Rehlatna: Taking Street Art to the Next Level

It’s official, Dubai now holds the world’s longest graffiti scroll for the Guiness Record. The whole graffiti scroll is three times the height of Burj Khalifa which more than 150 local and international graffiti artists participated from around the world.

Before they have broken the record, I had an awesome opportunity of seeing the “Rehlatna” process first hand. It was such a cool experience since I got a chance to see “the journey” of how they did the record breaking scroll.

Tons of spray paint cans everywhere.  At least 7,000 spray paint cans were consumed to achieve this world record. Really, I was vomiting rainbows. From eagles, camels, scorpions, desert, metro, dunes, the burj, and even arabic calligraphy… basically anything that portrays to the UAE, they have painted. It was crazy.

“Rehlatna” which means “Our Journey” was intended to represent the rich culture of the UAE. It was commissioned specially by the Crowne Prince of Dubai in celebration of the 43rd UAE National Day.

It was an interesting sight for me to see events like this since I’ve always seen myself as a frustrated painter/artist. It was really inspiring and I was amazed by the thought that you’d normally see this people doing their “tags” on the streets but for this event, they were joined together with a common purpose.

Storm making storm

I barely even have a clue about the graffiti culture before this but I swear these people amazed me. It was such a cool experience to see them paint live and express themselves on a wall.

Just seeing these passionate artists killin it and doing their own thing makes me feel proud.

(Some artistics hands at work: SloMoe, Porkie and MelanCholy of 411/Pilipinas Street Plan/OFW)

The thought of beating the world record of longest graffiti is already impressive but what really amazed me was the unimaginable effort that I’ve seen from most of the graffiti artists or “writers” that joined this event. Some werent even commissioned to do it plus the task has become really challenging for them because of the venue and time constraints. Just imagine hours of hurting your index fingers joined by the high winds of the Jumeirah Beach. They’re just doing it completely out of passion and I think that’s really phenomenal.

Props to these guys for their talents and hard work.

I really don’t know where they’re getting these mind blowing ideas and talents but I couldn’t even think of a proper adjective that will suffice to describe it.

Breathtaking piece by Odeith. I didnt get a chance to meet him personally but just seeing his work right in front of my eyes gives me the chills. I was just reading an article of him on reddit a couple of months ago because of his talent in perspective art and now who would’ve thought I can see one of his works personally. Coolio.

Look at those Arabic Calligraphy details.

One of my favorite walls on the event (alongside askew’s and odeith’s work :P). “Dubai” arabic text by SloMoe of 411 crew.

Amazeballs piece by Bird of 411 crew

“Emirati” by Bonz

They went crazy with colors :)

Photo ops.. sorry hehe

I was also able to meet a lot of awesome, down-to-earth international artists like Futura, Sofles, Ewok and Askew!

The legendary Futura (formerly Futura 2000)!


with the Askew! This photo gives me goosebumps everytime. :))

Everyone who lives here knows that Graffiti is illegal in the UAE so it’s great to see that they’re making a huge leap into pop culture. Sometimes it’s great to see the world in a different perspective and in different colours – not just black grey and white. It’s also a great sight to see that at least with these kind of events they are trying to venture into the world of street art. Although for me it will still be way cooler if street art will be legalized here since it isnt street art if it’s not on the street right? :)) If I’m not mistaken Saudi Arabia already has legal walls where artists could let loose without fear… so I think UAE is off to a good start, hopefully it will evolve in a fully legal context in the future. Graffiti is an art form worthy of appreciation.

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1 Comment

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    Posted August 29, 2018 12:58 pm 0Likes

    Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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