By Lowell H. Schwartz, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Jeffrey Martini
Regional artists can play a good function in shaping public debate and assisting democratic transition within the center East. This document explores the demanding situations artists have confronted because the Arab uprisings, U.S. executive courses to aid arts within the sector, and the large choice of nongovernmental actions to interact Arab artists, delivering suggestions to enhance help for those artists.
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20 Artists and the Arab Uprisings cost is not inconsequential, given that the total budget for a small independent production, according to the same interviewee, can be as low as $100,000. Self-Censorship and Economic Incentives In parallel to government censorship and bureaucratic mechanisms of control, artistic freedom is also constrained by societal pressures. Artists must comport with conservative values or risk public backlash that can include organized campaigns by religious activists. For example, every Egyptian writer is aware of the infamous 1994 attack on Naguib Mahfouz, who was stabbed in the neck by religious extremists who viewed his work as un-Islamic.
10 Interview with a senior State Department official, February 10, 2012. S. Government Efforts to Support Artists in the Arab World 37 similar institutions overseas. For example, it awarded a DanceMotion USA grant to Rennie Harris Puremovement, a hip-hop dance company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2012, Rennie Harris toured the Middle East, stopping in Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan. 11 Other State Department cultural programs seek to provide artists with training in their discipline and the ability to experience life in the United States.
8 However, during the short period he has been president, Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood’s senior leadership, has already availed himself of the same legal statutes as his predecessors to stifle dissent. 9 Laws protecting the reputation of state institutions are most often exercised visà-vis journalists; however, these codes have a chilling effect on artistic production as well. 10 them from undermining national security in their treatment of the armed forces. “Misr: Bad' Tadrībāt 'Askarīya Mushtaraka ma' Amirīka” [“Egypt: Start of Joint Military Exercises with America”], Al-Hayat, September 4, 2012.