Art, in a State of Revolution: Egypt One Year after Tahrir, Leonardo Electronic Almanac
This issue investigates the relationship between activism, electronic and digital avant-garde, the role of the social media, cultural production and artistic experiments in the pre-Revolutionary and post Mubarak Egypt, one year after the so-called Arab Spring which upset Egyptian (and Arabic at large) politics and society.
The central role of social media in the 2011 Egyptian revolution (and in the uprisings of Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and the Arab world at large) has been strongly emphasized by Western media, highlighting how Twitter, for instance, supported the occupation of Tahrir Square, the cohesion of the movement and the ideological solidarity of the Mediascape.
Additionally, the strategic role of electronic devices has been elevated to agent of the immediate success of Egyptian revolution. According to most social and cultural analysis about the now famous 18 days disseminated by global media, the circulation of digital media sanctioned the success of the demonstrators and the fall of Mubarak regime.
It is not surprising that on June 2012 the work of media artist Ahmed Bassiouny killed by police snipers in Tahrir Square was chosen to represent the country at Venice Biennial with a video installation that mixed the documentation of one of his performance pieces and the footage of the artist shot in Tahrir Square. It is probably the first time that a young artist not affiliated with the official Fine Arts sector has been granted such a prestigious solo presentation.
Senior Editors for this issue of LEA: Lanfranco Aceti and Digicult (with Lucrezia Cippitelli and Tarek Abou el Fetouh).