Benghazi is the second most populous city in Libya and the largest in Cyrenaica. A port on the Mediterranean sea, in the Kingdom of Libya Benghazi had joint-capital status alongside Tripoli, possibly because the King and the Senussi royal family were associated with Cyrenaica rather than Tripolitania. The city was also provisional capital of the National Transitional Council.
February 2011, peaceful protests erupted in Benghazi that were brutally suppressed by Ghadafi’s armed kalb forces and loyalists. The violence urged the people to fight back and start and uprise to withdraw Ghadafi from power The Libyan revolution. At least 500 people were killed in the protests against the government.The former Libyan flag used in the Kingdom of Libya was used by many protesters as an opposition flag. Demonstrators to Colonel Gaddafi were also seen carrying images of King Idris I. Benghazi and the Cyrenaica have been traditional strongholds of the royal Senussi dynasty.
On 19 May 2012, residents of Benghazi voted in historic local elections; this was the first time such elections have been held in the city since the 1960s, and turnout was high.
At end of November 2012 I was assigned to go to Benghazi to meet and record the life of the Lybian artist Ali Wak Wak. Ali’s work shop was located on the sea front in the city museum. Ali Wak Wak turned war materials into objects of peace and freedom. Precisely what he was doing when I showed up in his work shop.
In January 2013 Ali Wak Wak exhibited his work at the Vittoriano in Rome.
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