This essay is neither an attempt to evaluate the immediate political consequences of the Arab Spring (and its ensuing so-called winters) nor a discussion of its recording and representation in cinema. Rather, it is an exploration of certain consequences of that event—specifically, on cinematic expression—while acknowledging broader artistic and cultural resonances. The Arab Spring comprised a spectacular series of political events, heavily mediatized and embattled, that lent themselves to “virality” to an unprecedented extent through social media. Such a virality is fundamental to Rasha Salti’s argument that regardless of whether regimes were successfully overthrown, whether protests took place in this or that country in 2011 or in the years after, the virality of images, stories, and the new media vocabularies that the Arab Spring produced have been circulated throughout the Arab-speaking countries and have had an irrevocable impact on political subjectivities and imaginaries.
The Wiles of Spring
Rasha Salti is a researcher, writer and curator of art and film based in Beirut and Berlin. She has co-curated programs on Arab, Syrian, and Lebanese cinema for Film at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art (NY), and has worked as a programmer for the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (2009-2010) and the Toronto International Film Festival (2011-2015) among others. At present she is the commissioning editor for the experimental documentary program “La Lucarne” for Arte France.
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Rasha Salti; The Wiles of Spring. Film Quarterly 1 December 2021; 75 (2): 49–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2021.75.2.49
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