By Samia Mehrez
This ground-breaking paintings offers unique study on cultural politics and battles in Egypt on the flip of the 21st century. It deconstructs the bounds among ‘high’ and ‘low’ tradition drawing on conceptual instruments in cultural reviews, translation reports and gender stories to research debates within the fields of literature, cinema, mass media and the plastic arts. Anchored within the Egyptian ancient and social contexts and encouraged via the influential paintings of Pierre Bourdieu, it conscientiously areas those debates and battles in the better framework of a collection of questions on the connection among the cultural and political fields in Egypt.
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Extra resources for Egypt's Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (Routledge Advances in Middle East and Islamic Studies)
This threat was understood by the minister as blackmail since the Book Fair has become the icon of the alliance between the political and intellectual fields. A number of prominent Egyptian writers announced their resignation from positions in the Ministry of Culture, in solidarity with Abu Shadi and al-Bisati. Sawt al-Umma, the independent weekly newspaper, published the minister’s abstract paintings, some of which are laden with phallic symbolism. 6 Responding to Husni’s demand that writers who do not abide by society’s values should go elsewhere, the veteran striker Gamal al-Ghitani levelled: “No, minister.
But this is just one side of the coin. In entering this new alliance with state-run institutions, Ibrahim cannot himself escape the lookalike aspect of this new position. As these institutions hope for his values to rub off on them, theirs will inevitably rub off on him. One of the most attractive prospects of Ibrahim’s new alliance with Akhbar alAdab and Dar al-Hilal was their market, their distribution and their readership. The former is reputed to publish an estimated 10,000 copies while the latter publishes 5,000 copies and both distribute on a regional level.
The artist/minister, in the centre field, first withdrew the “blasphemous” novel from the market and appointed a committee of experts to investigate the charges against it. Then, despite the experts’ acquittal of the novel and its author, the artist/minister, under pressure from parliament, forwarded the novel to no less of an authority than the head of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Muhammad Tantawi. Capitalizing on the chance to extend his purview beyond religious matters, Sheikh Tantawi condemned the novel and its author, holding the minister responsible and demanding that Al-Azhar oversee the ministry’s publications in the future.
Egypt's Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (Routledge Advances in Middle East and Islamic Studies) by Samia Mehrez