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Centre for Media Studies, School of Arts

Rounwah A. R. Bseiso

BA (McGill), MA (AUC), MA (SOAS, University of London)


Rounwah Bseiso
Rounwah A. R. Bseiso
Email address:
Thesis title:
Working Title: Revolutionizing Art on Cairo's Street
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My research explores artistic discourses by informal and formal actors who produce art on the streets of Cairo during and after the 2011 Egyptian uprising. Specifically, it focuses on the discourses and lived experiences of these artistic producers and argues that while the art works produced on the street are significant as products of the revolutionary imaginary, the dynamics of producing art on the streets in Cairo after the 2011 Egyptian uprising is more than just about creating ‘revolutionary art’ (a much contested label), it is about revolutionizing art – that is, the way art is thought of as a cultural form, why it is being created (the motivations behind its production) and why this is relevant in comparison to the cultural field prior to the 2011 uprising, and about how it is performed in the street by the artist, not solely as a producer, but as a mediator.

The goal of this research seeks to address and to contribute to the knowledge of cultural production and politics from the bottom-up in the contested cultural domain which remains an intense, and understudied site of struggle where ordinary Egyptians from diverse backgrounds attempt not only to re-define understandings of art but also change the dynamics of its creation and make it more accessible and relevant to the everyday realities of ordinary Egyptians, the majority of which are marginalized by the state dominated cultural scene. In this way, this thesis aims to shed light on the unique experiences, passions, and struggles of artistic producers on the streets of Cairo to creatively constitute “new” meanings of art and how it relates to “doing politics” in novel and unconventional ways in the cultural field.

PhD Publications

  • Journal article (forthcoming), entitled: Revolutionizing Art and Locating its Potential for Liberation on Cairo’s Streets

PhD Conferences

  • Techniques of Art and Protest, King’s College London, Sept. 2015

    Presenter on the Art, Activism, & Institutions Panel

    This event was organised by the Politically Led Art & Networked Knowledge (PLANK) research group, and supported by the Graduate School at Goldsmiths College, and the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, King’s College London.


  • Cultural Studies
  • International Development
  • Media Studies
  • Contentious Politics
  • Political Communication
  • Politics
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Refugees
  • Palestine
  • Middle East Studies
  • Middle East Politics
  • Visual Culture