We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Counterrevolution in an Egyptian Comedy

Click here to access a review of a recent Egyptian film by Meir Walters from Mufta.

The detailed description of this film and the author's review of it provides some insights on the views of ordinary Egyptians in the midst of the turmoil that they are now experiencing.
...Haz Saeed [the film] represents the divisions and ambiguities of revolutionary movements themselves.

The film not only depicts latent tensions between various factions temporarily united in the revolutionary moment, but also the potentially ambiguous relationship between revolution and counterrevolution, and the authoritarian undertones of much revolutionary discourse.

In the wake of June 30, these tensions are coming dramatically to the surface as violence becomes more widespread. As I write, the military is using mass protests to justify violent crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood. While Haz Saeed does not predict the outcome of ongoing mass mobilization in Egypt, its satire is significant in expressing tensions that were always just beneath the surface.