Imaginary School Program

February Session

In February, the Imaginary School Program builds on previous discussions about the neoliberal age by specifically addressing the contested space of “the political”. We grapple with actions, organisations and groups that are considered “political” and ponder over when they are regarded as such, why and by whom.

We meet with representatives of political parties such as the Bread and Freedom Party and Masr al Qawiya and ask them to share their experiences. We carefully listen to Waleed AlMusharaf while he examines what is considered the political by both liberals and those seen as their polar ideological opposites, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Through a panel discussion with Yahia Shawkat, Ahmad El Droubi and Hussein el Shafei we enter the world of those who work on specific policy issues without necessarily being officially regarded as political actors. We also spend a morning at Mada Masr in the hope of gaining some insights into the realm of journalism in the current political context. Ahmad Ghabeia from ADEF takes us on a tour of Wikipedia discussing the structures, methods and power dimensions of this particular tool.

In parallel, we look at the aesthetic moment of the political and we investigate how an artistic intervention can contribute something contestable with the help of Moustafa Youssef who guides us through a process of self-discovery and representation.

Amr Abdelrahman's insights help us frame these encounters within a broader theoretical framework; Jasmina Metwaly weaves in her thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

Contributors to this session include:

The Mada Masr team, Ahmad Gharbeia from Arab Digital Expression Foundation, Waleed AlMusharaf, Farida Makar and her class "The History of Education in Egypt" at CILAS (the Cairo Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Mostafa Youssef, Akram Ismail from the Bread and Freedom Party, Mohamed Othman from Strong Egypt Party, Yahia Shawkat from the Shadow Ministry of Housing, Ahmad El Droubi from Egyptians against Coal and Hussein ElShafei from Harassmap, Jasmina Metwaly, Amr Abdelrahman and Beirut.