Alone, Together… In Media Res (Latin ‘in the midst of things’), is a three-channel video installation, a ‘visual commentary’, which attempts to find and define, within historical processes, the innate quality that impels human beings to pursue freedom.
In January 2011, just as the YouTube video “Tiananmen-Cairo Courage in Cairo” went viral, a friend posted on Facebook a speech Jean Paul Sartre had delivered to an audience of striking French autoworkers 40 years earlier. As the political tension grew, more images and videos of a packed Tahrir Square were uploaded to the Internet. They echoed footage from other uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the sights and sounds of a vast array of past social movements. It was as though Sartre was protesting with us in Tahrir.
I started an on-going archival project called “Vox Populi.” I gathered videos, articles and photographs related to the events unfolding on the ground while also collecting material on major events taking place around the world since #Jan25. I researched and amassed footage that resonated with Tahrir Square and everything that followed, from historical footage to philosophical speeches, to banned cartoons, and more.
Alone, Together… In Media Res is the first artwork derived from this archive – a narrative that weaves video excerpts together to reflect on many of the questions raised during the Arab uprisings. These revolutions signal the beginning of the unraveling of a major historical period, in the middle of which I, like Alice in Wonderland, fell into a hole: YouTube.
Born in 1969, Beirut, Lebanon.
Lives and works in Egypt and the United States