Archives: Jonathan Guyer

About the Author

From Cairo, Jonathan will focus on examining connections between cultural currents and political change across the region. He has been living and working in Egypt since 2012, where he is senior editor of the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, a policy journal published by the American University in Cairo. Managing the journal’s digital strategy, Jonathan edits the Cairo Review’s blog and books section. From 2012 to 2013, he was a Fulbright fellow researching political cartoons in Egypt. He previously served as a program associate for the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force in Washington, DC, and as assistant editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel. A frequent analyst on Public Radio International, he has contributed to Guernica, The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, New York Magazine, Nieman Reports, The Guardian, Salon, and others. His research on Egyptian satire has been cited by the Associated Press, CNN, The Economist, The Nation, New Statesman, Reuters, and TIME, as well a variety of international news outlets. A cartoonist himself, he blogs about Arabic comics and caricature at oumcartoon.tumblr.com.

Jonathan Guyer Published in Rolling Stone

Drawing on research from his ICWA Fellowship, Fellow Jonathan Guyer’s current feature in Rolling Stone explains how a young Egyptian writer ended up on the wrong side of the law. “Inside the Strange Saga of a Cairo Novelist Imprisoned for Obscenity” investigates the case of Ahmed Naji, a thirty-year-old writer whose struggle reveals the state …

At the Cairo Book Fair

“Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, and Baghdad reads,” goes the adage. At the Cairo International Book Fair, where hundreds of publishers and thousands of readers gather each winter, everybody writes, publishes, and reads.

While the sclerotic institutions of state-funded culture remain conservative forces with an outsized role in Egyptian letters, independent publishers continue to push the limits and introduce new voices from within and without the Arab region. At the fair, you can find the latest catalogues of free presses from across the Arab and Muslim world, periodicals from a century ago, or quirky delights like contemporary children’s books from Syria or Yemen—that is, if you can find your way around the colossal fairgrounds. Since there is no map or guide—at least not one that’s of any use—let me give you a tour.
read more

At Last, Alexandria

One “is either a Cairo person—Arab, Islamic, serious, international, intellectual—or an Alexandria amateur—Levantine, cosmopolitan, devious, and capricious,” the scholar Edward Said once wrote.[1] I must be both. Over the past decade, I have had a love affair with Alexandria. Exit from the train station, and pop into a little toy taxi, a Russian-made …

Jonathan Guyer in the Media

In the January issue of Le Monde Diplomatique, Fellow Jonathan Guyer examines the connections between fine and comic art in Egypt and the wider Middle East. “On the Arab Page” “That comics are often dismissed as childish gives contemporary artists more space to address politically disruptive topics,” he writes. The richly illustrated …

A Bright Spot in an Otherwise Darkened Egypt

In The Art Newspaper, Fellow Jonathan Guyer reviews Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla’s new show “On the Silk Road.” The 60 mixed-media works are inspired by fairy tales and mythology, and exhibited at the ministry of culture’s premier space. In his review, Guyer situates Abla’s practice within the broader politics of art in Egypt …

Cairo Comics, Between High and Low Art

I presented this paper, originally entitled “Alterative Origins of Arab Comics,” at the second annual Cairo Comix Festival on October 4, 2016, hosted at the American University in Cairo. It was part of a seminar day devoted to comics scholarship, including presentations from the British critic Paul Gravett and the French critic Jean-Pierre Mercier. …

Jonathan Guyer on Yale University Radio

Current fellow Jonathan Guyer was recently interviewed by Yale University Radio on the implications of the 2016 election results on US-Egypt relations.  His full interview can be listened to through the link below.   http://museumofnonvisibleart.com/interviews/jonathan-guyer/

Muzzling Musa Kart

ICWA fellow Jonathan Guyer interviewed Musa Kart, a Turkish cartoonist who was detained for his satirical depictions of president Erdogan and the Turkish government.  Musa spoke about his experience with government censorship and the importance of humor as a method of protest.  Jonathan’s piece about his interview with Musa can be read on his …