Yesterday’s piece by Ursula Lindsey, entitled “Art in Egypt’s Revolutionary Square.” is a very astute and measured account of the art that has emerged in Egypt, in the wake of, and inspired by, the momentous events in Tahrir over the last year. It is a very mixed picture, but one of the projects that Lindsey cites with approval is the collective Mosireen. Here’s what she has to say about them:
Another dynamic body of work is that of the Mosireen collective, a band of young videographers and filmmakers who take to Cairo’s streets whenever protests or clashes with police break out. (The group’s name means “determined”; in Arabic it is also spelled almost the same way as “Egyptians.”) Mosireen makes its films available on its website, as well as in free, open-air venues like Tahrir Cinema, on Facebook and even as mobile phone downloads.
Lindsey goes on to describe a recent video produced by Mosireen, called Four Days in December.
As if on cue, today Mosireen released another video, “The People Want the Fall of the Regime” — the slogan of the Egyptian revolt. Please watch it here.
I don’t want to say much about this video for now, even though if you are not pretty familiar with the events and the personalities of the revolt as it has evolved over the past year, some of what screens here will not capture you as much as someone who is quite familiar with them. (The video is made, after all, primarily for an Egyptian audience.) But even so, it should impress you, in some way, not the least for its aesthetic qualities.
More importantly, I think, in the run-up to the anniversary of the onset of the Egyptian uprising (January 25), the vid reminds us of how important the events in Egypt were, in 2011, how remarkable and inspiring, and how incredibly courageous have been the Egyptian people who have struggled for democracy and for an end to authoritarianism. It reminds us of the great losses the Egyptians have suffered in this struggle. And it reminds us, that, despite all the setbacks and bumps in the road, it is not over. And it reminds us too that, as Lindsey observes, there are some brilliant and creative artists in Egypt, whose work engages with the revolt, represents it to a wider audience and tries to help move it forward. Thanks, Mosireen. Alf shukr.