On January 17 and 18, artists, scholars, critics, editors, and assorted others came together for a symposium structured around the production, consumption, and conservation of popular (variously defined) Egyptian (variously defined) culture (also variously defined):
Discussions moved between books, architecture, photos, music, pop art, and film; papers produced around the discussions will appear at Maydan. Highlights of the discussion included Mohamed Elshahed on the use and misuse of museum culture in Egypt; N.A. Mansour on the book-as-object; Lucie Ryzova on how Egyptians performed different identities in the magic of the early photo studios, and Heba Farid on the prevalence and continuity of exoticized, stylized, and Orientalized photos of Cairo; and Rosaline Elbay on how films and TV series become popular, and how others are prevented from reaching the audiences they otherwise might.
The first of the papers, Egypt’s Podcasts and Booktubes: A Literary Criticism of the Future? is up at Maydan, with suggestions for your literary podcast and booktube pleasure.