Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thinking Egypt

Two scenes from the Mubarak's fall caught my eye.

In Tahrir Square on Saturday, a group calling itself the Association of the Artists of the Revolution had taken over the boarded-up storefront of a condemned Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. They plastered the facade with dozens of hand-drawn cartoon posters, all of them mocking Mubarak and many depicting him with bundles of ill-gotten loot.


Perhaps the biggest activity in the plaza on Saturday was directed by the revolutionaries' Sanitation Coordination Committee. Small armies of volunteers, armed with brooms and dustpans, fanned out across Tahrir as they attacked refuse with a vengeance and swept away the past.

Not only was I pleased to see artists using their talent to support the protests but I am amused that they found a "condemned Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise" as a locus for their efforts. That is perhaps the best use for a KFC (the new corporate name) building I can think of.

And there is even a Sanitation Coordination Committee. Responsible revolutionaries acting in a cooperative mode, sweeping away the past. It's almost a Woodstock moment. But that moment did not last. This moment in Egypt may be equally ephemeral.

Egyptians forced their government to jettison its leader but the country's military-economic elite will be far less willing to risk its privilege. That will require a real revolution. Making that revolution with out tearing the country apart will be the difficult challenge for Egypt's people in the coming days and weeks.

For the moment, though, I've got to shout for joy. Way to fucking go, y'all! So many have made revolutions and so many have failed. I hope you succeed.

post script

No one can predict how events will transpire in Egypt but understanding the dynamics and possibilities offers clues to the future. Juan Cole presents some of the most informed analysis of Middle East so his observations on events in Egypt are well worth reading.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home