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'The People Want The Regime Brought Down': Popular Geopolitics and The 2011 Egyptian Revolution

MITCHELL, LAURA,THERESE (2013) 'The People Want The Regime Brought Down': Popular Geopolitics and The 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis uses popular geopolitics in order to examine the eighteen days of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Popular outlets such as novels, films and cartoons have been identified by geopolitical scholars as legitimate sources through which to analyse political issues and define geopolitical identities. (ó’Tuathail & Dalby, 1998; Dodds, 2008; Sharp, 2000; Dittmer, 2007). In the case of Egypt, these sources carry particular importance, as past research indicates the power that Egyptian popular entertainment has on the formation of Egyptian national identity (Fahmy, 2011). Within the 2011 Egyptian revolution, popular culture sources largely contributed to the success of the revolution (El Zein & Ortiz, 2011; Macfarland, 2011).
This work uses examples of popular literature from the 2011 Egyptian revolution to explore not just the expressed emotions, articulated identities, agency and experience of the Egyptian population living it. The texts of Khaled Al Khamissi’s Taxi, Tarek Shanin’s Al-Khan, Nariman Youssef’s diary of her experiences in the square and examples of the protesters’ signs and poetry are examined through a detailed discourse analysis. The thesis begins with an introduction to how the four texts and popular cultural discourses shape and challenge the geographical imagination of Egypt prior to 2011. It shows how the texts construct the geopolitical identity of the Egyptian protester in Tahrir Square, and how the Egyptian protester also utilised the popular literature to construct their own identity. With reference to the different spaces of the revolution acknowledged in the texts, it contributes to the space and geography of the revolution. Reading these texts reveals the extent of the Egyptian protesters’ grievances and their experience throughout the event. It provides a space for their voice and agency. This thesis argues the importance of focusing on popular geopolitics more regularly in analyses of major political events.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Popular Geopolitics; Egypt; Egyptian Revolution; popular culture; geopolitical identities; geographical imagination.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 May 2013 09:48

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