openDemocracy in conjunction with the University of East London is organizing a three-part event series on ‘The Tahrir Square Meme’ to be held at UEL's Dockland Campus. All the events are free and the public is encouraged to attend.
The series will explore the ways in which the tactics and symbols of the Arab Spring are spreading from east to west memetically, part of a semi-conscious linking of different struggles. The series will explore ‘links’ borne out of the Arab Spring and seek to understand the Spring’s global incarnations.
Our first event is Rap and the Arab Spring and it will be held on the 29th of February at 6:30pm in Lecture Theatre WBG.02. In the midst of the millions of Arab voices calling for change are the haunting subversive melodies of a group of increasingly vocal young Arab rappers. Their music appeals to the sense of dignity and hope the Arab Spring inspired, but they also continue to voice the demands of the people.
This event will explore the questions: What ways did rap inspire the revolutionaries and how are the revolutions inspiring Arab rappers? With no real Arabic hip hop industry to speak of, how do we account for the genre's popularity and influence? Has Arab rap transcended its regional boundaries and made its impact global?
The second event in our series is entitled - "Translating the revolution" - and it will feature AUC professor Samia Mehrez and Laura Gribbon who are collaborators on a new book due out by Oxford University Press "Translating Egypt's Revolution: The Language of Tahrir".
The book and the event is the culmination of research and translation work conducted by American University in Cairo students of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds who continue to witness Egypt's on-going revolution. The chapters focus on the relationship between translation and semiotics, issues of fidelity and equivalence, creative transformation and rewriting, and the issue of target readership. This mature collective project is in many ways a re-enactment of the new infectious revolutionary spirit in Egypt today."
The event will be held on Thursday, March 15th and more info can be found on our homepage.
In April 2012 we will also be hosting an event on human rights in the Arab Spring. Details will be anounced in due course.