Location:Â Vondelzaal, University Library (Singel 425)
The Cities Seminar is hosting Dr. Mark WestmorelandÂ (Leiden University) who will deliver a lecture titledÂ “Revolutionary Enactment: Pedagogical Interventions on the Streets of Cairo”.
This talk discusses an experimental pedagogical video project, made in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, that draws upon the emerging mobile aesthetics of cellphone filmmaking and public encounters with revolutionary spontaneity. The ubiquitous presence of mobile cameras during the protests in Tahrir Square, among other places, became indicative of a new visual culture, in which the street offered new opportunities for public modes of witnessing and political participation. Given the historic precedent of these events, this project responded to the urgent methodological possibilities afforded by publicly engaging people on the streets with a modest video camera. Inspired by the landmark cinÃ©ma-vÃ©ritÃ© film, Chronique d’un Ã©tÃ© (Rouch & Morin, 1960), in which participants asked people on the streets of Paris if they were happy, several of my students at the American University in Cairo in the fall of 2012 became mobile film units, asking people the same innocuous question, â€œInta mabsoot? / Inti mabsoota?â€ â€“ Are you happy? Are you content? This seemingly benign exercise belies a variety of conceptual and methodological frictions, but it is precisely within the context of these challenges that productive pedagogical possibilities emerged. This project thus intended to arrive at new forms of knowledge by both attuning to the emergent image-making practices of the region and drawing upon the streetâ€™s generative energy. Accordingly, this talk explores the re-enactment of critical video practices and the kinds of affective knowledge produced for those on screen, behind the camera, and viewing from a distance.
The preparatory reading can be found here:
Westmoreland, Mark R. â€œCairo Images of Enactment: A Review Essay of Cairo: Images of Transition.â€Â SCTIW Review,Â April 23, 2015.