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In 2016: How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the ‘Arab Spring’

Much has been written about democracy (or the lack of it), political Islam and violence in the Middle East after the ‘Arab Spring’. But how do these aspects relate to the realities of everyday life in the post-revolutionary Arab world? And aren’t there many other matters that are much more important to ‘ordinary’ Arabs than these three catchwords of western media coverage?

Revolution and post-revolutionary life ► Seamstresses watching on • Noah’s Ark (a novel about emigration) • Housing problems1shabâb in the streets • “You're not a good player!” – Social justice (cartoon)2hijâb fashion • Side by side: adab sâkhir (satire) and a translation of Orwell’s 1984 • Crowd in the Cairo tube3 • A performance of the Hilâliyya epic — Foto: Stephan Guth (unmarked, collage), 1affordablehousinginstitute.org, 2cairodar.com, 3dailynewsegypt.com (Moh. Omar)

About the Project

In 2016 will provide an ‘encyclopedia of 2016’ that enables users, in a snapshot portrait of one year, to ‘jump right into’ and move around (via cross-references) in post-revolutionary Arab realities; a tool that allows readers to approximate the experience of ‘how it feels’ to live in the Arab World in this period of transition and historic change.

“Bread”, “freedom”, “social justice”, and “human dignity” were the lead slogans of the uprisings. But these are only the chief rallying cries for a myriad of human concerns and daily life experiences that make up the worlds in which Arabs live today: youth unemployment, unaffordable housing, health, education; traffic jams, overcrowded public transport, almost unbearable pollution, electricity and water cuts; news and rumours and politicking; falling in love, getting married, having children; the question of leaving the country; sexual harassment and rape; but also aesthetic surgery, soap operas, movie and music stars, football, Facebook, film festivals, folklore revival, poetry recitals, the emergence of comic books and graphic novels, or a boom of satire. And there is also an almost incredible continuity in the life of what is often called ‘the silent majority’—as if the revolutions had been the fancy idea of a spoiled elite of bourgeois youth.

Methodology and objectives

In 2016 takes its methodological inspiration from H.U. Gumbrecht’s seminal study In 1926: Living at the Edge of Time, applying the latter’s one-year snapshot approach to Arab lifeworlds of 2016. The project focuses on two key fields of cultural production where topical issues and ‘the meaning of life’ are regularly discussed and from where reflections of bodily experiences, emotions and affects can be collected: fiction and social media. The main objective is to identify the dispositifs that characterized Egyptians’ and/or Tunisians’ way of experiencing and categorizing their realities and the alternative choices that would inform decisions in life and the ways of looking at things. An online researchers’ notebook accompanies and supplements the analysis and interpretation of literary texts and online postings.

Outcome

  • The ‘encyclopedia of 2016’ (prepared for the main part by a postdoctoral researcher in literature/film studies),
  • a doctoral dissertation on Arabic social media,
  • several articles by the main participants,
  • two workshops (2016, 2018) and a larger conference (2017) that will gather international expertise to discuss post-revolutionary Arab realities,
  • and an online researchers’ notebook

will help to identify key concepts and structures Arabs use to make sense of life in a post-revolutionary world.

Financing

The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR/NRC) and the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS).

 

Read the whole project description

Publications

Arrays of Egyptian and Tunisian Everyday Worlds: An Update on the project In 2016How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the "Arab Spring", ed. by S. Guth, E. Chiti, and A. Hofheinz. Special issue JAIS 17.8 (2017): 455-508. 

Living 2016: Cultural Codes and Arrays in Arab Everyday Worlds Five Years After the “Arab Spring” [= Proceedings of a workshop, held at the Department for Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo, Norway, May 29-30, 2016], ed. Stephan Guth & Elena Chiti. Special issue JAIS 16.9 (2016): 221-388.

  • Stephan Guth (2018). Programs of Renewal: Towards an adab al-būḥ wa’l-ṣidq wa’l-karāma? An analytical and comparative glance at the forewords of some recent (literary?) publications, In Roger Allen; Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla; Tetz Rooke & Francisco Rodríguez Sierra (ed.),  New Geographies: Texts and Contexts in Modern Arabic Literature.  Ediciones Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.  ISBN 9788483446201.  kapittel.
  • Albrecht Hofheinz (2017). Baby Milk. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 466- 469
  • Stephan Guth & Albrecht Hofheinz (2017). Introduction: From "Issues" to "Arrays". Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 457- 462
  • Stephan Guth (2017). Dual identities / Masking. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 484- 491
  • Elena Chiti (2017). Clash. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  2017, s 470- 473
  • Mohab Attia Mahmoud Mohamed (2017). Satire (on YouTube Channels). Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 502- 505
  • Eva Marie Håland (2017). ʿĀmmiyya. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 463- 465
  • Monika Lindbekk (2017). Conversions. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 474- 478
  • Teresa Pepe (2017). Crowdfunding. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 479- 481
  • Mihaila Yordanova (2017). Father Figures. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17
  • Stephan Guth; Elena Chiti & Albrecht Hofheinz (2017). Arrays of Egyptian and Tunisian Everyday-Worlds: An update on the project "In 2016—How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the 'Arab Spring'”. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  17, s 455- 508
  • Stephan Guth (2016). Introduction: "Living 2016" and the "In 2016" Project. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  16, s 224- 233
  • Stephan Guth (2016). Impressions from two festivals of the Arabic film (Oslo and Tübingen, 2016). Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  16, s 298- 326
  • Elena Chiti (2016). “A Dark Comedy”: Perceptions of the Egyptian Present Between Reality and Fiction. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  16, s 273- 289
  • Albrecht Hofheinz (2016). #Sisi_vs_Youth, or: Who Has a Voice in Egypt?. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  16, s 327- 348
  • Ragnhild Johnsrud Zorgati (2016). Impressions from Tunisia, Spring 2016. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  16, s 385- 388
  • Elena Chiti (2015). La fiction à l'épreuve de la réalité, la légitimité à l'épreuve de la révolution. Un regard sur les écrivains de Syrie, In Elena Chiti; Touriya Fili-Tullon & Blandine Valfort (ed.),  Ecrire l`inattendu..  Academia L`Harmattan.  ISBN 978-2-8061-0245-4.  chapter.  s 61 - 75

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  • Blandine Valfort; Touriya Fili-Tullon & Elena Chiti (ed.) (2015). Ecrire l`inattendu.. Academia L`Harmattan.  ISBN 978-2-8061-0245-4.  340 s.

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  • Mohab Attia Mahmoud Mohamed (2017). Living together in a patriarchal context – codes of coexistence.
  • Stephan Guth (2017). Die zum Islam konvertierte Jüdin – Zur Rolle eines Wunschbilds in nahöstlichen Gesellschaften nach dem 'Arabischen Frühling'.
  • Elena Chiti (2017). Rendez-vous de l’Histoire du Monde Arabe.
  • Elena Chiti (2017). Due storie per una città? Dal Museo greco-romano (1892) al Museo Nazionale di Alessandria d’Egitto (2003).
  • Mohab Attia Mahmoud Mohamed (2017). The use of visual techniques in communicating meanings in YouTube activism.
  • Albrecht Hofheinz (2017). Baby Milk.
  •  (2017). Lagar "leksikon" over året 2016: Livet i Egypt og Tunisia fem år etter.
  • Stephan Guth (2016). An Egyptian utopia and "In 2016" : project presentation and a first attempt at an analysis.
  • Stephan Guth (2016). In 2016 - How it feels to live in the Arab world five years after the "Arab Spring": Introduction and presentation of a research project at UiO.
  • Stephan Guth (2016). Arabic Fiction Five Years After the "Arab Spring" - Some general remarks.
  • Mohab Attia Mahmoud Mohamed (2016). The parallel media: Comments on political and social life on YouTube channels.
  • Albrecht Hofheinz (2016). A Look Back on Generation Stuck: of Dreams Repressed, of Seeking a Way Out.
  • Albrecht Hofheinz (2016). Social Media Five Years after the “Arab Spring”—Some General Remarks.
  • Mohab Attia Mahmoud Mohamed (2016). Digital reality as heterotopia: Exploring the relation between daily life discourse and online activity in Egyptian culture.
  • Elena Chiti (2016). "Ink and blood: crime and popular culture in 2016 Egypt".
  • Elena Chiti (2016). "Lack of collective resources = individual resourcefulness (ibtikar): an Egyptian broken code?".
  • Elena Chiti (2016). The Crisis as an Institutional Tool? Challenging Anti-Institutional Challenges in the Egyptian Cultural Field.
  • Stephan Guth & Elena Chiti (2016). Living 2016: Cultural Codes and Arrays in Arab Everyday Worlds Five Years After the “Arab Spring” = Proceedings of a workshop, held at the Department for Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo, Norway, May 29-30, 2016.. Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies.  ISSN 0806-198X.  16, s 221- 388
  • Stephan Guth (2015). "In 2016 - How it feels to live in the Arab World five years after the 'Arab Spring'" -- Presentation of the NFR-funded research project.
  • Stephan Guth (2015). A close reading of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht's "In 1926".
  • Mohab Attia Mahmoud Mohamed (2015). presentation of PhD project.
  • Albrecht Hofheinz (2015). Withdrawal from Taḥrīr? Voices from the social media on the fate of the revolution, the wall of fear, and the role of individual actors in post-coup Egypt.

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Published Feb. 2, 2015 11:33 AM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2018 11:03 AM

Participants

Detailed list of participants