Conference Begins Saturday: Narrating the ‘Arab Spring’

No, you cannot have a program before you arrive on Saturday morning at 9 a.m., but yes, you can pester the event organizers on their Facebook page, where they say: “The aim of this international conference is to consider and shed light on the new narratives emerging from and about the Arab Spring. It will bring together participants from the Arab world, the UK, and beyond to reflect on the momentous events of 2011 and exchange views and experiences.”

The conference is set to run for  three days, and will consist of panels, round-table discussions, as well as testimonials,films, and performances. Highlights include participation from celebrated novelist and scholar Radwa Ashour, feminist translator and scholar Marilyn Booth, and films & other events organized by blogger/translator/scholar Nariman Youssef (@nariology).

It’s organized by the UK’s Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW),  the Department of English at Cairo University, and the Women & Memory Forum. But, never fear, they do have a male on the panel: Dr. Mustafa Kamel el-Sayad.

No program or abstracts have been made available, but Alia Mossallam, for instance, tells me that she’s “looking at the revolution and how it evolved through the slogans that are chanted, the writings on the walls and the songs…. I look at each of these as struggling to find a unified voice, negotiating with power in confrontations, and a sort of natural leaderless organization/democracy where stances and the priorities and demands are decided based on whichever slogan becomes most popular or whichever is forgotten.”

In terms of finding the conference, Mounira Soliman suggests on the event’s Facebook page: “The conference is held in the building of the English Department of the Faculty of Arts. Please ask at the gates for directions. Once you’re there, there will be a registration desk where you will receive a program with directions to different rooms.”