Submission Date: April 24, 2019
1. Proposal Title: Claustrophobia
The year 2011 has been a turning point in the Arab World’s history. At the beginning of January, massive protests in Tunisia marked the beginning of a series of uprisings against the regimes in power in several Arab countries: Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, but also Morocco, Algeria and more. These movements have promptly been baptised “Arab Springs”. But, contrary to their merry name, the protests have in the majority of the cases ended up in bloody wars and migration crisis, like in Syria, Libya and Yemen, or in the establishment of new authoritarian regimes, as in Egypt.
While the 2011 uprisings in Cairo eventually led to force longtime president Hosni Mubarak from office, it wasn’t long before the newly elected Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood Party, was accused to be increasingly authoritarian and have a radical Islamist agenda. Anti-government protests exploded in June 2013 and eventually led to the overthrow of Morsi. The following year El-Sisi, former Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian army, was elected through controversial elections. Now Egypt is still squeezed in the grip of a serious economic crisis and of a regime unable to maintain control except through heavy restrictions on democracy and liberties.
Diab’s film depicts the sense of claustrophobia felt by the Egyptian people, divided into many antagonist fractions and forced to coexist in an ever more overpopulated country, tore apart by economic and sociopolitical tensions. The entire movie is set inside a police truck, where various prisoners from different sociopolitical backgrounds are brought together, obliged to share the same tiny space, during the day in which Morsi was overthrown in July 2013.
3. Pre - Tasks:
- Read the intro of the proposal
- Optional but recommended: watch the first 8 minutes of this 2013 report on the Pro-Anti Morsi protests in Cairo
4. The Content:
Clash by Mohammed Diab – Egypt, 2016 – 97 minutes
5. Post - Tasks:
- Discuss the image of the police truck. Why has Diab chosen to set the whole movie in such a space?
- Discuss what we know about the Arab Springs
6. The Drink:
Egyptian black tea