CAMPAIGNING CAIRO/Perspectives on visuality in (post) revolutionary Egypt

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02
September 2012
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Call for artistic and academic contributions for a publication

We are looking for research projects, artworks and essays for a publication on the topic of
visual representation in the Egyptian electionary process 2011/2012.

This project is dedicated to the democratization-process currently taking place in Egypt.
Our field of thought concerns social, political and economic issues but is bound together by
the question of how these factors utter themselves in the realm of aesthetics.
Although we take the situation in contemporary Egypt as a point of departure, we will
embrace projects that look beyond this regional setting in a comparative sense and attempt
to formulate broader perspectives.

The work process will include exchange among invited artists, scholars and students and
conclude in a publication and a presentation at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo.
We encourage collaboration by professionals in creating a publication and a platform for a
continual dialogue regarding the progression of political visualities in Egypt.

We are looking for out-of-the-box perspectives on:

Semiotics of propaganda; questions of fe/male representation; secular vs. religious aesthe-
tics; image manipulation/photoshopping; the fluctuation of symbols through varying media,
digital spheres and urban contexts.

We are inspired by questions about:

Which rules of representation do parties and movements of the transitional period of
2011/12 follow; which do they dismiss?

How is the election process itself depicted in inter/national media; how is the „transition to
democracy“ visualised?

How are voters mobilised to take part in the elections, by whom and by which (visual) lan-
guage?

What do feminist perspectives offer on the staging of fe/male candidates; un/veiled or
textually/graphically/pictorially objectified?

Election banners are sometimes modified according to their placement in low- or high-
income neighborhoods respectively. Can we do a social-level research based on the distri-
bution of certain election material? Can we define a “wealthy reading”, an “underprivileged
eye”?

How do messages and aesthetics transform when moved from a worldly to a virtual con-
text and vice versa? How do communications and images flow between the parties and
their „facebook-friends“?

How does the semiotics of a symbol shift when it is depicted photographically, graphically
or hand painted, respectively?

How can we as researchers develop new ways of archiving and making our findings acces-
sible to others?

Assessment criteria

For your submission to the book please include a short description of the project you are/
will be working on, the media applied and how you imagine the final outcome might be pre-
sented . Please also include a couple of relevant work samples and your CV.

Generally we are open to include a variety of formats in this discourse:
Projects can take the form of photography, prints and essays or documentations of video
and installation works; critical analysis highlighting social, political or aesthetic aspects;
artistic researches combining academics with artistic intervention.

This project is building up on the exhibition “Politics of Representation” (Townhouse Gallery
2011) and on research conducted by students and lecturers from the Faculty of Applied
Sciences and Arts at the German University in Cairo (2011/2012).

CAMPAIGNING CAIRO is a project by Prof. Fred Meier-Menzel, Mikala Hyldig Dal and Dina Kafafi in collaboration with lecturers Sabine Schwarz and Mina Youssef at the German University in Cairo.

Deadline for submissions:
September 28, 2012

Send your contributions to: mikala.dal(at)guc.edu.eg

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