Jonathan

Posts by jguyer:

  • Not another Western intervention
    Can writers transcend archetypes, stereotypes and other misguided expectations? When I met an editor from an American newspaper five years ago, I sought guidance for crafting the perfect pitch. Having just begun working as a journalist in Cairo, I was developing an expertise in Arab political comics. The editor’s response was blunt: The rag was...

    Read More...

  • Report from Egypt past, present and future
    The following is an adaptation of remarks I delivered at ICWA’s semi-annual gala on June 2 at the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC. On March 6, a colossal head of an ancient pharaoh was uncovered in a 10-meter deep pit in the city of Matariya, an hour north of Cairo. The excavators wrapped it for protection...

    Read More...

  • Speech Bubbles: Comics and Political Cartoons in Sisi’s Egypt
      The Century Foundation invited me to contribute a chapter on Egyptian cartoons and comics for Arab Politics beyond the Uprisings: Experiments in an Era of Resurgent Authoritarianism. This chapter builds on extensive fieldwork conducted during my two-year ICWA fellowship, offering the most comprehensive study to date of the challenges facing cartoonists in Egypt. I...

    Read More...

  • Nationalism for Kids: How Egyptian Comics Teach Conflict
    I presented a version of this paper in February at “Framing War and Conflict in Comics,” the second annual Symposium on Arab Comics at the American University of Beirut.   When General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ran for the Egyptian presidency in the spring of 2014, the children’s magazine Samir published a stoic caricature of him its...

    Read More...

  • Remembering Alexandria’s Visionary
    In my first piece for the New York Times, I write an homage to the great Alexandrian scholar Mostafa el-Abbadi, who passed away in February. Several obituaries of el-Abbadi appeared in Egyptian newspapers, but most merely consisted of his curriculum vitae. No remembrance captured his colorful disposition and feisty erudition, let alone his ambivalent relationship...

    Read More...

  • 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 of culture, law...

    Read More...

  • 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...

    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 Lada, that...

    Read More...

  • 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 essay elaborates on...

    Read More...

  • 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 today. Abla has...

    Read More...