Arab revolutions: Legible, illegible bodies

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After the euphoria of the first waves of the Arab uprisings that toppled two heads of state in Tunisia and Egypt, the woman’s body became the frontline of the protest scene. The unitary mass-revolutionary body that marked the visual memories of the first weeks of the uprisings ceded the ground to the “micro-rebellious body” of the naked, tortured, and sexually harassed female protestor. Nevertheless, this article discusses, the individual assertive body reproduced through these images is usually defined through the paradigm of gender oppression versus sexual liberation and self-realization. Other bodies remain marginal to this historiography of a revolution crystallized around the middle-class urban cosmopolitan bodies. In what language did “other” bodies of “ordinary” women speak in the context of the uprisings? Through what kind of representational regimes are these “other” bodies allowed to speak or be made silent?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-538
Number of pages14
JournalComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Bodies
  • Gender
  • Law
  • Legibility
  • Patriarchy
  • Revolution
  • Suicide

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