Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia
The University of Tokyo, Japan
Mar 6, 2014
Dr Gehan Selim was the guest speaker at the Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia at the university of Tokyo. She delivered a seminar on ‘Spatial Practices of Revolt: Square-state relations during the Arab Spring protests’. Dr Selim shared her insights on how people gathering in public squares conceptualized their spatial actions of revolt, the manner and tactics that allowed them to occupy the space. She drew on the ways that spatial practices of protests constituted not only rational attempts and practices to bring about societal changes, such as the realization of democracy, but also processes constructing specific social spaces for political contentions, through which actors’ worldviews were both formed, expressed and spatialised during the first 18 days of the Egyptian uprising in 2011. The debate raised several discussions by the audience about the future formation of public spaces and private public relations, gender interaction and the current situation and management of public squares by the state.