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Social Change Through Social Media and Art

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Mera Boulus

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of Social Change Through Social Media and Art

Mera Boulus Social Change Through Social Media and Art The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 "We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world." A protester
(Howard, 2011) Acts of Violence During the Egyptian Revolution and protests that followed, many women were sexually assaulted, raped, and physically abused by protesters, policemen and soldiers Youth Activism Through Art Following these incidents women, specifically young women, risked their lives for equality Women in Battle References http://www.midanmasr.com/en/Article.aspx?ArticleID=261 Another youth-led campaign took place on January 25, 2011, "Day of Revolt" youth gathered and protested non-violently against President Hosni Mubarak's government Protests started in 2008, Sixth of April Youth Movement, when a group of activists used Facebook to organize and encourage solidarity with striking textile workers in the town of Mahalla. 18 days later, on February 11, 2011 Mubarak was removed from office "Activists in Egypt call for an uprising in their own country, to protest against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for three decades." (Al Jazeera, 2011) Revolutionary Youth Council — a group of 14 tech-savvy Egyptians selected to represent thousands of young protesters in Tahrir Square. RYC is led by Abdel Rahman Faris and Amr Salah. They both headed Facebook protests in 2008 and 2011(Jensen, 2011) On March 9, 2011, during a sit-in at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Samira Ibrahim among dozen other young women were beaten, given electric shocks, strip searched, and videotaped by soldiers. They were also forced to take virginity tests publicly
(Mohsen, 2012) These tests were performed so the soldiers would not be accused of rape During the revolution "Egyptian women (were) side by side with men in the thick of battles, some even at the front lines, braving tear gas and live bullets." (Morayef, 2013) On October 23, 2011, Aliaa Elmahdy, 20 year old college student posted a nude photo of herself on her blogspot as a protest against Egypt's social structures Several female artists protested through wall graffiti that depicted scenes of violence against women While other graffiti questioned women's rights and demanded equality When her actions were criticized she replied: "Put on trial the artists' models who posed nude for art schools until the early 70s, hide the art books and destroy the nude statues of antiquity, then undress and stand before a mirror and burn your bodies that you despise to forever rid yourselves of your sexual hangups before you direct your humiliation and chauvinism and dare to try to deny me my freedom of expression." Aliaa described her actions on Facebook as "screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy". Aliaa inspired many young women to take of their veils and pose nude in support her Aliaa quickly became the subject of death threats, was kidnapped and was almost jailed which forced her to leave Egypt and is now living in Sweden posing nude in support of Aliaa Aliaa's photo Protestors in front of Egyptian Embassy in Sweden On December 15, 2012, Aliaa Started Femen Egypt, which is the Egyptian Branch of Femen (Elmahdy, 2012) Meanwhile 4 young women started The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, a campaign that initiated a "revolution of women" with currently over 80K followers http://www.unwomen.org/2011/06/egypt-womens-charter-released-calling-for-a-democratic-transition/ http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/world/meast/uprising-women-arab-world http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/middle-east-programs/us-lebanon-dialogue/the-lebanon-bulletin/uprising-women-arab-world http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/egypt/110213/social-media-youth-egypt-revolution http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/2012316133129201850.html http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4149840,00.html http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/417268/20121220/aliaa-magda-elmahdy-femen-egypt-constitution-nude.htm http://arebelsdiary.blogspot.com/ (Jensen, 2011) http://www.psmag.com/politics/the-cascading-effects-of-the-arab-spring-28575/ Youth activism is youth engagement in community organizing for social change Youth activism and organizing comes in a variety of shapes, but recently social media and art has been one of the famous forms Youth/community organizing is process where (young) people who live in proximity to each other come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest to overcome conflicts using collective power. (Valocchi) Change for this generation “has everything to do with people and very little to do with political ideology,” according to a new global survey, Millennials: The Challenger Generation, by Havas Worldwide, a future-focused global ideas agency. Some 70% of young people believe that social media is a force for change, says the survey. (Kumor, 2013) http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/tcn/valocchi.htm http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/01/201112515334871490.html Under Islamic law “The woman and the man guilty of unlawful sex (adultery or fornication), flog each of them with a hundred stripes...” (Qur'an:24:2)

Fornication here refers to extramarital sex. Unmarried individuals are expected to remain virgins until marriage. (Elmahdy, 2012) (Elmahdy, 2012)
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