Signs of the Times: The Popular Literature of TahrirProtest Signs, Graffiti and Street Art
April 27, 2011
8 p.m.- 10 p.m.
The Invisible Dog 51 Bergen St. (Between Smith St. and Boerum Pl.), Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. F& G trains to Bergen Street, A & C trains to Jay Str eet/MetroTech, 2,3,4,5 trains to Borough Hall.
Accompanying the online launch of the April issue of ArteEast's Shahadat, this discussion is ArteEast's first look at the cultural production related to the so-called "Arab Spring." The online piece examines the images and ideas of the Egyptian Revolution created by visual poetry in protest signs, street art, and graffiti in and on Tahrir Square from January 25-Februry 11, 2011. This talk seeks to expand that discussion by considering how these forms of expression fit into changing patterns within contemporary Arabic literature and the centrality of visual production in resistance movements elsewhere in the Arab world. When we examine the Revolution in terms of its cultural production, how else might we assess the influence of the Internet and new media? What is the relationship between "urban culture" (graffiti, street art, etc.) and popular literature? Speakers engage these questions and others related to creative expression and resistance before a gallery of projected photographs collected from journalists and activists on the streets of Cairo.
Tarek El-Ariss (Ph. D., Cornell University) is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on contemporary Arabic literature, film, popular culture, and media. He’s published on new Arabic writing; The Arab Image Foundation; representations of Islam in US media; and gender and sexuality in the Middle East. He is currently editing The Arab Renaissance: Anthology of Nahda Thought, Literature, and Language for the MLA series, Texts and Translations, and completing a book entitled, Trials of Arab Modernity: Literary Affects and the New Political, both forthcoming in 2012.
Hatim El Hibri is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. His work investigates the intersections of contemporary satellite media, the cultural economy of urban space, and the visual culture of the Middle East. He previously worked in advertising.
Rayya El Zein, co-curator of Shahadat, will moderate the panel.
Image by Sarah Carr.
Shahadat is a quarterly online series designed to provide a platform for experimentation and promotion of short form writing on the web. Shahadat features stories, vignettes, reflections, and chronicles written by young or underexposed writers from the Middle East and North Africa on ArteEast Online in translation and the original language of Arabic, Farsi or Turkish.