Making revolution everyday: quotidian performance and utopian imagination in Egypt's streets and squares

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Abstract

After Egypt's 2011 uprising was quashed, independent dramatists worked to revive utopian revolutionary communities through public performance. This essay analyzes the arts festival Art is an Open Square (2012), and a clown show for refugees by Cairo's Red Tomato troupe (2014), as attempts at everyday utopia. When public activism was banned, these performances in streets and squares adapted quotidian repertoires of festivity and hospitality to stage heterogeneous publics. Analyzing the performances as attempts at activating the utopian within the quotidian, I evaluate the efficacy of such minor scenarios of revolutionary citizenship, devised to sustain hope in oppressive times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalText and Performance Quarterly
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 National Communication Association.

Copyright:
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Egypt
  • Street performance
  • clowning
  • revolution
  • utopia

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