This exhibit explores the visual arts and other expressive media of the recent Arab World Uprisings.
Images are often used as communicative devices to present politicized messages. During the recent Arab World uprisings, demonstrators created images to express opposition to incumbent governments and members of the ruling elite. Over and again, activists, protesters, artists, and other individuals adopted the expressive media—including videos, photographs, painted and digital images, as well as slogans, music, and even puppets—to create visualized and performed modes of dissent within public space, both in the streets and online.
The Arab World uprisings were documented by films and photographs that were captured and disseminated through government sponsored media and opposition channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and other digital platforms.
Protesters, activists, and artists often take their talents and opinions to the streets, the very locus of resistance. There, cement walls are most useful for the creation of images.
During the recent uprisings, artists have used witty forms of commentary, including satire and subversion. More lighthearted forms of comic relief offer visual riffs for a good laugh, while more aggressive forms of humor serve to symbolically attack a perceived opponent.
Alongside visual imagery, chants, songs, and theatrical performances have addressed political and social issues during the recent Arab World uprisings.
The uprisings that began in the Middle East in 2011 remain unfinished business today. In many countries that have witnessed the “Arab Spring,” the uprisings have yet to bear their fruits. Instead, battles have been re-launched, and they appear fiercer than ever.