Traces of a Revolution: Some Snapshots from Cairo

It’s 8:28am in Cairo right now. One of the upsides of changing time zones is that it’s remarkably easy break from the less healthy aspects in your routine (say, staying up past 3am and sleeping till after 10 most days). Mornings, I’ve found, can be pleasant things, at least pleasanter than I remember them being in the States.

I’m here as part of a delegation from the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. Yesterday, we discussed social pedagogy, horizontal & multimedia learning, and the educational ramifications of the Occupy Movement with a mixed audience of Egyptian and Palestinian educators at a conference hosted by the American University in Cairo. (Part I of our presentation is streaming here and Part II is here. I present a case study of a multimedia collaborative project on celebrity within OWS at the beginning of Part II and participate in the panel at the begins at around the 55 minute mark of the same video. Both Part I and Part II are worth watching in their entirety, though!)

I’ll save most of my reflections on the trip until I’m back in New York, but I wanted to share a few snapshots I’ve taken around Cairo. The Revolution of 2011 is still visible here. Visual traces of the Arab Spring are inescapable, be it in the form of graffiti, burned out buildings, or souvenir t-shirts. A few shots below:

Left: Graffiti shows a soldier in women’s stockings firing at a student. Right: A crescent, a cross, and a clenched fist. Zamalek

Left: A mummy howls “I’m free.” Right: Occupy icon Guy Fawkes is a surprisingly common graffito here. Zamalek.

The remains of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party headquarters.  The building was torched on January 28th of last year, a day known as “The Friday of Anger.” Near Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum. 

Left: A massive photo mosaic of a young revolutionary. Right: A closeup of the mosaic. American University campus, New Cairo.

Souvenir t-shirt commemorating the Revolution. AUC campus, New Cairo.

AUC campus newspaper. Cover story is about the protests at the German University in Cairo regarding the crackdown on students’ political speech.

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