Attending the Egyptian Insurgency Short Film Festival, on Sunday, Jan 24 at the Pollock Theater, was extraordinary and I was very impressed to be a part of such a professionally cultural and social experience. Intellectually pioneered from a creative perspective, the emotional events and experiences that liberated the Egyptian people could be felt throughout the film. Collectively, each of the film shorts respectfully depicted and honored both the Egyptian revolution and the Nation of Islam with gracious depictions of real life and lived experiences. The impressive quality and design of the film immediately caught my attention. I found myself responsively involved in the demonstrative events that followed the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the fall of Mubarak. The works of digital media activist and design artist, Vj Um Amel with her innovative and award winning cyborg style of contemporary video distortion, were both vividly expressive and socially powerful. While the short film, Women and Youth of the Arab Revolution (2011), by social media theorist Laila Shereen Sakr was respectfully representative of the youth movements in chaos, the sensitively provocative landscape of explicitly recorded live cinema noticeably gives voice to an oppressed Arab woman, un-marginalizing the female perspective and placing it at the forefront of the digital revolution.
In contrast to the short film festival, the After Tahrir Conference complemented the revolutionary film with a collection in-depth panel discussions. One of the panelists noted that revolution is an ongoing process, in responding to the question of how will Egypt sustain democracy in a chaotic post-revolt Egyptian society both politically and economically. He further stated that thoughts about the past affirm that things will return to the complexity of the present moment through lived experiences. Another panelist saw human agency as an important factor in the current revolution. She stated that outside players will factor more in the future. Finding that the many perspectives of what is considered victory for the revolution will have to be addressed to move beyond the current point. All in all, I was quite pleased with the completeness of the combined experiences and will continue to stay informed on the ground-breaking revolution of the Egyptian people.