by Marwan M. Kraidy - £15.95 Harvard University Press (2017)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780674980051 | ISBN 10: 0674980050
Uprisings spread like wildfire across the Arab world from 2010 to 2012, fueled by a desire for popular sovereignty. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria, protesters flooded the streets and the media, voicing dissent through slogans, graffiti, puppetry, videos, and satire that called for the overthrow of dictatorial regimes. Investigating what drives people to risk everything to express themselves in rebellious art, The Naked Blogger of Cairo uncovers the creative insurgency at the heart of the Arab uprisings.
While commentators have stressed the role of texting and Twitter, Marwan M. Kraidy shows that the essential medium of expression was the human body. Brutal governments that coerced citizens through torture and rape found themselves confronted with the bodies of protesters, who challenged authority in brazen acts of self-immolation, nude activism, and hunger strikes. The bodies of dictators became a focus of ridicule. Syria's Bashar al-Assad was rendered as a pathetic finger puppet, while Egypt's Hosni Mubarak became a regurgitating cow. Technology publicizes defiance, but the body remains the nexus of physical struggle and digital communication, destabilizing distinctions between "the real world" and virtual reality, spurring revolutionary debates about the role of art, and anchoring Islamic State's attempted hijacking of creative insurgency.
(Price & availability last checked: September 2017)
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In booklists: Arabs and the Arab World, The Arab Spring, Political Art, Photography and Crafts, Activism & Resistance, In categories: World - Asia, World - Middle East, World - Africa, Changing the World, Politics & Philosophy, Arts & Creativity, Anti-Capitalism & Global Inequality,