Ronnie Close
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Histories of the street
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Chapter 4 follows the street activism during the 2011 period through online digital platform projects. These vernacular images enabled new understandings of cultural politics to visualize the revolutionary hope of emergent grassroots movements. Two archival projects, 858: Archive of Resistance and Filming Revolution, are innovative online media works which corroborate the historic visual legacy of collectivist thinking in an unconventional archival way. These media projects set out to counter the best efforts of the military regime to detract from the popular memory of political dissent and civil disobedience during this revolutionary time. Cairo video collective Mosireen (Determined) were indicative of this activist spirit within the visceral street atmosphere of 2011. Filming Revolution is a multi-layered, meta-documentary media work developed by filmmaker and academic Alisa Lebow with content drawn from interviews, films, artworks and other digital materials. Both archival projects preserve digital memory to offer a counter-narrative to the governmental propaganda disseminated on the mainstream media. These online works contextualize the recent memory of emancipation during times of revolution and call into question the values, codes and ethics of the digital image in the documentation of struggle. These projects warrant careful consideration because they move beyond chronotropic readings of the digital image alone to embody the activist potential of the photographic document. They represent the marginal in the reproduction of new knowledge in this non-linear treatment of history.

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Decolonizing images

A new history of photographic cultures in Egypt

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