Language Gender and the Egyptian Revolution: An interactive workshopPresenter: Shaimaa El Naggar (LAEL) Discussant: Dr Shuruq Naguib (PPR)
Produced in 2012, “Words of women from the Egyptian revolution” is a YouTube series about women’s engagement in the Egyptian uprisings, directed by Leil Zahra Mortada. Each YouTube video interviews women who reflect upon their participation in the Egyptian uprisings that started in 2011. Previously, the YouTube series was able to attract funding on Indiegego, the crowd funding website. The rationale behind the YouTube series is clearly spelt, as follows:
The participation of women in the Egyptian revolution didn’t come as a surprise to us, nor do we view it as an extraordinary phenomenon. Women are part of every society and form a part of the social, political and economical spectrum. It is history that tends in most cases to ostracize the participation of women and keep them in the shadow while highlighting the participation of men and attributing leading roles exclusively to them. This is why we are documenting Herstory
With this strong engagement in the question of power, ideology and gender, the YouTube series surveys a wide spectrum of views that are manifestations of the cultural and political forces that have culminated in the Egyptian uprisings (e.g. the workers’ movement, the rise of (young) readership reminiscent of Habermas’ conception of a public sphere and the increasing influence of new media).
The aim of this workshop is to explore the discursive patterns used by women in the series to recount their participation in the Egyptian uprisings. Using Critical Discourse Analysis as a conceptual and an analytical framework (e.g. Wodak and Meyer 2009), we will identify recurrent themes, argumentation strategies and visual patterns in the YouTube series. One >question we raise is: what might be the features of a revolutionary language and can discourse ”empower” women?
Using transliterated excerpts from the YouTube series, we invite you to engage with the data analysis and the discussion about language, gender and the Egyptian revolution.