Artraker Biennial Awards 2017
CONFLICT AREA / COUNTRY OF REFERENCE: EGYPT
A Dictionary of the Revolution is a project that documents the rapid amplification of public political speech following the uprising of 25 January 2011 in Egypt. To engage a large and diverse group of people in the documentation, I created a vocabulary box containing 160 words in Egyptian colloquial that were frequently used from 2011 to 2013 in public political conversation.
The words are in four categories: concepts, characters, objects, and places/events.
In 2014, the box was used in around 200 conversations with individuals across six governorates of Egypt: Alexandria, Aswan, Cairo, Mansoura, Sinai and Suez. Choosing cards from the box, people talked about what the words meant to them, who they heard using them, and how their meanings had changed since the uprising. Using transcription of this speech, I've woven imagined 'national dialogues' around 125 of the terms in the lexicon.
The project also includes an audio and text archive of the collected material.
Chaos, A Dictionary of the Revolution
© Artraker CIC 2017
Amira Hanafi lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. She works with language as a material, developing poetic strategies to document multivocal histories that encompass the personal, the particular, and the political. She prefers to work in long-term projects, allowing her to situate herself in relation to the place and subject she is working on. Writing and publishing are an important part of her practice. She is the author of Forgery and Minced English, as well as several limited edition artists’ books. Together with her work as a writer and artist, Amira works as a curator, cultural manager, and teacher, and was a 2015 Clore Fellow. She earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has had her work supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and Rhizome.