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Pixilated Photo Credit: Sfeir-Semler Gallery
Articles, Essays, Volume 5

Chasing the Gaze of the Killer: Rabih Mroué’s The Pixelated Revolution

Chasing the Gaze of the Killer: Rabih Mroué’s The Pixelated Revolution
An Essay by Mara Valderrama
Arab Stages, Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall 2016)
©2016 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publication

 

When a wave of popular uprisings known as Arab Spring erupted throughout the Middle East in early 2011, the world witnessed not only the drama of political revolution but also the struggle for cultural expression. As nonviolent protestors gathered together, public spaces like Tahrir Square in Cairo became stages upon which the Arab people demonstrated their power and performed their resistance. Revolutions can be read as performance and analyzed in theatrical terms, with a focus on the passive, subjugated bodies rebelling against the power structures that constrain them. Each revolting body renounces both its safety and its individuality in order to yield a larger, collective entity: “The People.” In Arabic, the word for “people” is singular, thus capturing the dynamic process by which multiple actors converge into a unitary force that demands drastic political change.

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