Artists and the Arab Uprisings by Lowell H. Schwartz, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Jeffrey Martini

By Lowell H. Schwartz, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Jeffrey Martini

Regional artists can play a good function in shaping public debate and aiding democratic transition within the center East. This record explores the demanding situations artists have confronted because the Arab uprisings, U.S. executive courses to aid arts within the zone, and the big variety of nongovernmental actions to have interaction Arab artists, providing strategies to enhance help for those artists.

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S. S. policy has clearly shifted from the default position of supporting Arab autocrats in the name of stability toward a more nuanced position of generally supporting reform and democratic change where unrest is occurring. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made this point in a November 7, 2011, speech at the National Democracy Institute: We begin by rejecting the false choice between progress and stability. For years, dictators told their people they had to accept autocrats they knew to avoid the extremists they feared.

34 Egypt is considered the hub of filmmaking in the Arab world, producing roughly 35 feature films per year,35 suggesting that this community could also number in the thousands. Rounding out the artist community in Egypt are smaller constellations of musicians, playwrights, visual artists, and others. The artists interviewed for this project were energized by the January 25 revolution but also mindful of the challenges ahead. Many had used their talents to document the uprising—for example, shooting film of street protests or sketching scenes of police brutality.

27 In the early months of the transition, the Brotherhood made a concerted effort to dispel the Islamist bogeyman, reaching out to constituencies traditionally skeptical of the organization, including Egypt’s artistic community. The group’s most visible effort was a January 2012 meeting between the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, General Guide Muhammad Badi', and the head of Egypt’s Filmmakers Syndicate. The Brotherhood attempted to use this outreach—along with an 27 This can be observed in Morsi’s retiring of the two highest-ranking members of the SCAF, Field Marshal Tantawi and Chief of Staff 'Anan, and cancelling of the SCAF-issued constitutional supplemental that granted the military wide-ranging national security authority.

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