Tahrir Tales: Play from the Egyptian Revolution
Book: Tahrir Tales
Edited by: Mohammed Albakry and Rebekah Maggor
Published by: Seagull Books, 2016
Tahrir Tales is an anthology of Egyptian plays that articulate the evolving socio-political changes that led to the Egyptian revolution of 2011. The collection of plays portrays the revolution as a broad-based movement for collective economic and social justice depicting revolution as a culmination of dissent rising over time and not as a sudden outcome of unrest with government machinery and economic hardships. The texts engage with the structures of inequality in Egyptian society to expose the revolution’s deep seated anti-colonial and labour activist roots. The volume seeks to problematise the spatial confinement of the revolution in popular and western media as an event involving only the Arab world and Middle East and instead draws connections between the uprising in Egypt and events happening outside the Middle East. In their portrayal and documentation of people striving for change, the plays in the volume are significant in capturing the essence of the socio-political milieu of revolutions around the world.
“Whereas the mainstream media portrayed the Egyptian everyman as a sympathetic yet naive victim of corruption, theatre artists cast the average Egyptian as a citizen-turned-activist, a historical actor with agency. At one end, the official media portrayed the military as a liberating force that would usher Egypt into a modern democracy, while at the other, playwrights depicted the same military as a counter-revolutionary force determined to protect the remnants of the former regime. Faced with top-down efforts to hijack the narrative of revolution, theatre artists saw it as their civic duty to disseminate their own grassroots narrative.” (Page 16)Tahrir Tales - Plays from the Egyptian Revolution