Comics in Contemporary Arab Culture: Politics, Language and Resistance
Associate Professor Jacob Høigilt has published a new book on I.B.Tauris about comics in the Arab World as a cultural and political form of expression.
"Comic books for adults have become one of the most novel and colourful forms of cultural expression in the Arab world today. During the last ten years, young Arabs have crafted stories explaining issues such as authoritarianism, resistance, war, sex, gender relations and youth culture. These are distributed through informal channels as well as independent bookstores and websites. Events like the annual Cairocomix festival in Egypt and the Mahmoud Kahil Award in Lebanon evidence the importance of this cultural phenomenon.
Comics in Contemporary Arab Culture focuses on the production of these comics in Egypt and Lebanon, countries at the forefront of the development of the genre for adults. Jacob Høigilt guides the reader through the emergence of independent comics, explores their social and political critique, and analyses their visual and verbal rhetoric. Analysing more than 50 illustrations, included here, he shows that Arab comics are revealing of the changing attitudes towards politics, social relations and even language. While political analysts often paint a bleak picture of the Arab world after 2011, this book suggests that art and storytelling continue to nourish a spirit of liberty and freedom despite political setbacks. Comics in Contemporary Arab Culture provides a fresh and original insight into the politics of the Middle East and cultural expression in the Arab World."
Jacob Høigilt is Associate Professor of Middle East studies in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.