Brandon LaBelle's revolutionary diary during the Arab Spring.
The ongoing protest movements spanning the globe seek to challenge, revitalize and rethink political processes as well as demand economic justice. Forming into a dispersed and poignant network of struggles, the current situation reveals a global culture of hope, angst and imagination.
Author and artist Brandon LaBelle has sought to engage these events by way of a diary of affiliation and reciprocation in which personal memories and cultural reflections search for remote connection, in particular, with the Arab Spring. His Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian is marked by an urgency to unsettle divides, both imaginary and physical, between west and east, Anglo and Arab, and to put into question narratives of the political. Written between February and June of 2011, the Diary functioned as a daily consideration of the intensity of events erupting around the world structurally linked to personal thoughts and memories. This five-month period acts as a platform from which questions around US imperialism, art and revolution, the task of writing, and the possibility of new political subjectivity are raised. LaBelle asks for an "agency of the intimate", outlining a tender map of the transnational.
Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian is the second issue of the new book series Doormats published by Errant Bodies Press.
Doormats seeks to unfold creative perspectives on what the political can be today: from critical appraisals of economic injustices to experimental research and projects on public life, the series aims for new political subjectivity. Doormats supports experimental writing, rants and poetics, reflections and commentary by international voices: to support the need for a contemporary discourse always already mobile and connective, diffuse but no less concrete.
Brandon LaBelle is a musician, artist, writer, theorist, curator and editor (founder of Errant Bodies). His work is based on performance, sound installation, recording and use of found sounds. LaBelle reflects fluently on his artistic practice, drawing attention to the social dimensions of listening and manner in which sounds, in multiple variations, play upon public spaces, and drawing connections across media and incorporate video, as well as architectural and sculptural vocabularies into an expanded field that embraces rhetorical and spatial challenges.