Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


Professor Jessica Winegar on Creativity and Revolution: Egypt at a Crossroads
  • Professor Jessica Winegar on Creativity and Revolution: Egypt at a Crossroads
  • Lecture
  • 4/4/2012
  • 17:30-19:30
  • Spencer Museum of Art
  • Host: University Honors Program, Dole Institute of Politics, Center for Global and International Studies, Spencer Museum of Art, Hall Center for the H
Event Description
On January 25, 2011 thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to start an uprising against decades of authoritarian oppression. Eighteen days later, on February 11, millions descended on Tahrir to celebrate their victory in a revolution that shook the world. In these early days of the revolution, Egyptians composed thousands of signs, poems, songs, music videos, jokes, graffiti, and murals, and engaged in countless other acts of civic creativity. As the revolution continues, the creativity of Egyptians in expressing their demands, frustrations, and hopes is stunning.

Winegar presents a look at the range of creative expressions and commemorations of revolution in Egypt today. Drawing on her anthropological experience in Egypt during the early days of the uprising, she explores the major themes of exasperation, dignity, and victory in a range of creative works. She then analyzes some of the tensions in these works which raise important questions about the potential outcomes of this world famous uprising. The lecture will feature multiple visual and audio examples of revolutionary creativity.

Winegar is the author of numerous articles on arts and culture in the Middle East, and the book Creative Reckonings: The Politics of Art and Culture in Contemporary Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2006), which won the Albert Hourani Book Award for best book in Middle East studies and the Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award from the African Studies Association. She is also a founding member of the Task Force on Middle East Anthropology, dedicated to increasing the relevance, visibility, and application of anthropological perspectives on the region. This talk is part of the University Honors Program’s series on the Arab Spring and is sponsored by the Spencer, the University Honors Program, and the Department of Anthropology.