The Representation of the Dictator in the Art and Literature of the Arabic Muslim world
Science And video, n°6
Scientific coordinators: Chaaban El Sayed and Maya Ben Ayed
Submission deadline: August 16, 2017
The experience of dictatorship, with its proposed representations and arrangements, is a universal and extreme situation which has had a major impact on literature and art (painting, sculpture, cinema, cartoons, popular art, etc.). Totalitarian regimes attempt to control all publications through official and permanent censorship: authorities take measures to prevent access to books, movies and works of art, or to a part of their content, labeled as "subversive". In some cases, artists, filmmakers and fiction writers try to avoid censorship by conveying their messages of protest or providing observations about the reality of dictatorship – or the dictator's actions – in an indirect and "encrypted" way.
From the military dictatorships in Algeria (since Algeria gained
independence in 1962) and Egypt (after the Free Officers' military
coup on July 23, 1952) to the one-party regime in Tunisia (starting from Tunisia's independence in 1957 and officially with the
prohibition of political parties in 1963) and Syria (since 1963, with the coming in power of the
party), through the monarchies and authoritarian regimes in Iran (such as the one established by the 1979 Islamic Revolution, notably with the mullahs' religious parties), Morocco and the Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, or the atypical authoritarianism in Libya with Qaddafi's 1969
coup d'état; in all such historical settings, the image and representations of the dictator are constantly our main focus and object of enquiry for this number of the Science and Video journal.
Given the amount of questions arisen by such a wide-ranging topic,
this special number will therefore focus on controversial figures of the dictator which is still relevant to construct our argument on dictatorship. We are mainly interested on the representation of dictatorship as an allegorical means of accessing contemporary problems of power and sovereignty, and will do this through an interdisciplinary perspective.
The relationship between art and politics under totalitarian regimes through the representations of the dictator.
The limits of representing the dictator in an authoritarian context (censorship and self-censorship)
The construction of the discourse of protest by representing the dictator (mechanism, processes, figures of speech – possibly employed in order to avoid censorship).
The imagery of power and its subversive distortion in art.
The tyrant's body as a work of fiction and its implications in literature and art.
The representation(s) of the dictator in the Arabic Muslim world (specificities and similarities with representations from other regions)
The issue of the public reception of literary works (literature of protest and propaganda)
Editorial constraints and distribution of literary works.
Science and Video is an online journal of multimedia writings that combines text, images or any other material (sound, audiovisual, graphics etc).
Papers must be conform to the spirit of the journal and should be sent no later than August 16, 2017 to: