Al Huffington Post Maghreb
Graffiti has been called many things: an urban scourge, a sign of civilization's breakdown, a petty crime.
But in Rabat, the city's residents are throwing their arms open to welcome a dizzying array of murals, frescoes and paintings by street artists, infusing the streets of Morocco's capital with new life.
The first annual Jidar Festival, held from May 15-24, 2015, is a celebration of public art. Artists from all over the world have converged on the seaside city, transforming Rabat itself into a canvas. This spring, splashes of unruly color peek out everywhere from under palm trees.
Below, take a look at the Jidar Festival's lush collection of urban art.
A graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Vina del Mar, Chilean artist INTI
is inspired by South American pop culture, pre-Columbian art and the contemporary history of his country.
Abdellatif Farhate, of Casablanca, paints under the name Kalamour.
His creative process combines portraits, elements of sacred geometry and fantastic figures.
Based in Turin, Pixel Pancho
is famous for his gigantic murals of robotic creatures. He draws inspiration mainly from surrealist works by Salvador Dali and Impressionist Joaquín Sorolla.
A specialist in calligraphy, Zepha, aka Vincent Abadie Hafez Zepha,
took part in the graffiti movement in France in the 1980s. His lyrical, geometric compositions catch the eye -- and the heart.
A graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Casablanca in 2003, Simo Mouhim's
graffiti is dominated by shades of gray.
Ukrainian-American mural artist Maya Hayuk
creates compositions that commingle geometric abstraction and riotous color.
Photos by Anouar Oubnichou
This article was originally published on HuffPost Morocco and was adapted for an American audience.