Arthur Quesnay
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The café in Jadu
A place for ‘revolutionary’ emancipation in Libya
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Among the first to rise up in rebellion in 2011, the residents of the town of Jadu, a small rural community in the Djebel Nafusa region of north-western Libya, discovered new forms of sociability and leisure early on. Those had only become possible after Muammar Gaddafi’s regime’s forces had been expelled in February 2011. For many, the desire to reconquer a public space, closed down by forty-two years of dictatorship, was a driving force of the mobilisation. Far from the turmoil of battle and political struggles, the Jadu Café in the middle of town had become a central space of sociability for the shabab (young people) – a place of leisure that retained, frozen in time, the atmosphere of what had been a moment of revolution. It wa an ideal spot to slip into the world of the young Libyan revolutionaries in the midst of questioning their future and a political process which they had sometimes based on armed struggle and which now seemed to elude them.

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