By Lowell H. Schwartz, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Jeffrey Martini
Regional artists can play a favorable function in shaping public debate and assisting democratic transition within the center East. This document explores the demanding situations artists have confronted because the Arab uprisings, U.S. executive courses to aid arts within the zone, and the big variety of nongovernmental actions to interact Arab artists, supplying ideas to enhance help for those artists.
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Extra resources for Artists and the Arab Uprisings
Egypt’s influence is derived from the fact that it is the most populous state in the region—comprising roughly one-quarter of the Arab world’s total population—and it inevitably shapes cultural trends by dint of its demographic weight. A review of the new environment in Egypt after the January 25 revolution illustrates the countervailing dynamics that have erased red lines on a number of topics previously considered off limits while also introducing a new set of restrictions and constraints. Just as they were prior to the January 25 revolution, Egyptian artists are squeezed between government authorities and conservative religious forces that seek to limit the bounds of artistic freedom.
However, this opening to criticize those who lost power in the uprising should not be confused with genuine freedom of expression. ” The opening is better understood as a mechanism by which Egypt’s new authorities allow the public to blow off steam, all the while insulating themselves from dissent by deflecting criticism toward symbols of the Mubarak era. In addition to the military, the other dominant actor in postMubarak Egypt is the Freedom and Justice Party that was established shortly after the uprising as the official political party of the Muslim Brotherhood.
33 34 Artists and the Arab Uprisings Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, have some activities that fall into the category of cultural diplomacy. These programs focus on democracy promotion and civil society development. -Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) might be categorized as promoting artistic expression. MEPI offers assistance, training, and support to groups and individuals seeking to bring change to the Middle East. It also supports youth and women activists who are promoting reform; occasionally, these activists are engaged in cultural activities.