Imaginary School Program

January Session

In January, the Imaginary School Program begins to investigate the world of media, popular culture and the written word and to look at how these have tangible effects on our perception and experience of the present.In an attempt to reach out to a wider audience, the program begins to open up many of its activities to the public. How very fitting it is, that this month’s topic of investigation revolves around the very mediums through which audiences are reached and how they are affected.

Amr Abdelrahman guides the students through theoretical examinations of popular culture in a neo-liberal age. Mohamed Gad from Aswat Masriya tells as about his own experience as an economic journalist. The students grapple with the challenges of specialization and limited readership. Ahmad Ragab from al Masry al Youm and Mohamed Shoeir from Akhbar al Adab shed light on Egypt’s contemporary media and literary landscape and its political and economic affiliations.

In parallel, Jasmina Metwally curates a series of talks with personalities whose work is an invitation for self-reflection: Dina Makram Ebeid takes us on a journey through her own experiences as a researcher trying to relate the intricacies of her work to a wider public. Mona Baker introduces the ISP to the principles of prefiguration and weaves this beautifully within her own investigation of the practice of film subtitling.

Such reflexive exercises are valuable, which is why tISP invites Sarah Rifky to conduct a writing workshop and reading group on language in order to engage the students on matters related to their own mediums of expression.

Ideas for the final project begin to emerge through a series of collective brainstorming sessions. Things begin to fall into place.

Contributors to this session include:

Dina Makram Ebeid, Mona Baker, Sarah Rifky, Mohamed Gad, Ahmad Ragab, Mohamed Shoeir, Jasmina Metwaly, Amr Abdelrahman and Beirut.