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Bullets and BulletinsMedia and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings$
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Mohamed Zayani and Suzi Mirgani

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491550

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491550.001.0001

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Public Space, Street Art, and Communication in the Arab Uprisings

Public Space, Street Art, and Communication in the Arab Uprisings

(p.107) 6 Public Space, Street Art, and Communication in the Arab Uprisings
Bullets and Bulletins

Marwan M. Kraidy

Oxford University Press

Public spaces played a significant, and so far understudied, role in the Arab rebellions. This chapter offers considerations regarding the connections between public space and communication during the Arab uprisings. Public space is understood to mean physical space that can be used, contested, and controlled by humans, and has therefore a narrower scope than ‘public sphere’. This chapter focuses on selected cases that are representative of broader trends in public space and communication in the Arab uprisings. The first section discusses communication and political action in public space. The second section compares and contrasts the different kinds of revolutionary graffiti that emerged in Tunisia, Egypt, and in Syria. The third section compares and contrasts bodies in public space and cyberspace, paying particular attention to the cases of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia and Aliaa al-Mahdy in Egypt. The concluding section focuses on Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain as an illustrative case-study of how public spaces can themselves become potent symbols.

Keywords:   Public space, Public sphere, Contestation, Pearl Roundabout, Graffiti, Cyberspace, Political expression, Ennahda, Aliaa al-Mahdy

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