How can we translate unruly politics into other languages?


Coming to the end of the MA course, my mind has been travelling all over the world with mixed feeling. While imagining going back to Korea, this question came aross in my mind: how can I translate unruly politics in Korean?  Definately, my family and friends will ask me about what I studied here in UK. I will proudly say about Unruly Politics to them for sure. But, how in my language???

I personally think bringing these learning into my language at some point is one of my responsibility. The resposibility for having this opportunity of learning! These learning should not be buried here. It shoud sprout a new leaves in the place where I will go.

Having thought about this, the idea of translating unruly politics into other languages came up along. I asked to my friends and colleagues who has understanding about unruly politics their contribution to translate it. actually, I asked them two things:

1. Translate the word “unruly politics” into your language;

2. Translate the concept or your understanding of “unruly politics” into your language.

So, here we have translation into 7 different languages!!! Hindi, Spanish, Turkish, Japaness, Arabic, Catalan and Korean!!! The translations are all from native speakers. I would love to say thank you again for those who contributed to realize this idea. So, for now it is your turn to engage in this project you people!! Please make this project alive through your comment and coversation. If you speak any these 7 languages, please share your opinion. And if you speak any other language, please contribute to translate unruly politics into your language now and here!!



1. अनियंत्रित राजनीति
2. अनियंत्रित राजनीति, राज्य और नागरिकों के बीच एक नयी भाषा बनाता है जो राज्य अनुमित क्या स्वीकार या अस्वीकार है उसे चुनौती देता है। ( Unruly politics creates a new language of engagement between the state and citizens that challenges what is acceptable and unacceptable.)


1. ‘las políticas de la indisciplina’, las políticas ‘de lo turbulento’

2. Las políticas de la indisciplicina o de lo turbulento tienen que ver con la posibilidad de ensanchar la realidad, de romper los márgenes de la realidad que existe para explorar espacios, medidas, realidades, normativas que no pueden ser imaginadas porque no han existido antes. Y se produce a través de un momento de ruptura, de indisciplina, con lo conocido.


1. Sivil İtaetsizlik

2. Sivil iteatsizlik; politik sistemin devlet aygıtlarıyla karşılık veremeyeceği ya da karşılık vermede zorlanacağı yöntemlerdir. Mizah bunlara iyi bir örnek olabilir, her ne kadar ülkemizde mizahçılar hakaret suçu altında yargılanabiliyor olsa bile, etki gücü bakımından ve direk olarak cezai bir eyleme tabi değildir. Bu yüzden mizah çok güçlü sistem dışı bir eylem aracına dönüşebilir.

1- 従わない政治
2- 生活の中に決められたルールがたくさんある。けど時々「あれ?」ってなる。そのモヤモヤを自分のやり方で表に出す事が従わない政治であり、当事者になること。いわゆる政治家とはやり方の異なる方法で政治に取り組むこと。



1- السياسة خارج القواع

2-السياسة خارج القواعد هي محاولة لفهم اسباب خروج المواطنين و تحديهم للقواعد و القوانين التي ترسمها اي سلطة حاكمة



1. Política transgressora.

2. És l’organitzaciö de les masses en contra d’una política restrictiva i ideada per afavorir a una minoria adinerada. En aquest moviment es busca el conflicte pacific per mostrar la disconformitat en les polítiques actuals als dirigents i més important, obrir els ulls a les classes mitges i sense recursos, per unir forces i tindre una opció real de canvi.



1. 비규범화 정치
2. 보통 정치는 규범화된 틀에서 이루어지기 마련이다. 하지만 현실에선 모든 사람이 그 규범화된 틀에서 자기 목소리를 낼수 있는 건 아니다. 규범의 틀에서 목소리를 낼 수 없는 사람들이 자기가 있는 곳에서 자기만의 방법과 생각으로 자기 목소리를 낼 때 기존정치의 틀은 조금씩 깨어지기 시작한다. 이렇듯, 현실 즉 비규범화된 정치의 영역에서 자신만의 방법으로 자신의 목소리를 내는 것, 그것이 바로 비규범화 정치의 핵심이라고 할 수 있다.


Two views of Unruliness, is it ‘Violence’ or ‘Critical Events’?


riots_1414603aDuring my first Block of Spring Term at IDS, I was scheduled two modules on Mondays. Mornings started with ‘Poverty, Conflict and Violence’ Module and then ‘Unruly Politics’ comes after noon. On one of those Mondays, the coincidence let me to get exposed two totally different articulations for the unruliness. One featured the unruliness as ‘Urban violence’ while the other looked at it as ‘critical events and rupture’ in Unruly Politics Module. What struck me the most that both used used same examples. One of those examples was ‘Tottenham riots’ in Aug 2011 when London witnessed a wave of riots following the fatal shooting by police of 29-year-old Mark Duggan.

Violence perspective focuses on the general violent nature of this unruly actions and questions different causalities and process in terms of inequality and state response of policing violence. Also terms like rioting, gang violence (extortion), looting, ransacking, stone pelting, bottle throwing, arson and policing violence were quietly used to describe unruliness which reflect kind or criminality-based articulation. In my opinion, it is a kind of mechanical understanding for this unruliness that omits looking at those events as politically meaningful. Rather than criminality or looking at direct limited causality, we need to question this kind of consciousness that the unruly actors developed. It is not violence as far it is a rapture in the relation between ‘how the world is’ and ‘how it appears’ to those people’ to grasp why it ceases to make sense (Akshay, 2012:166). This example highlights the need for reconsidering violence with unruly lens in order to constitute  understanding to different dimensions of citizen action beyond being in discursive frames of criminality and state aligned views about citizen action. More actors-aligned understanding is need to be pursued with much openness for new modalities for citizen action.


Riots in Tottenham after Mark Duggan shooting protest, [accessed 26th Apr. 2016]

Khanna, a. (2012) ‘Seeing citizen action through an unruly lens’ in Development, 55(2), pp.162-172.

* photo credit goes to The Sun, [accessed 26 Apr. 2016]

Egyptian Revolution and Prefigurative Dilemma

Prefigurative Tweet

The above tweet quotes ‘Alaa Abd El Fattah’, one of prominent activists in the Egyptian Revolution. It goes back to the time when Muslim Brotherhood was in power and many of oppositional actions were taking place in streets against their policies.  He says ‘because that there is no a catalog for understanding us, nonetheless we refuse this idea in principal. We don’t have a plan, an organization or a leadership. Tomorrow, we will invent solutions away from prisoning others. Tomorrow belongs to us’. Juxtaposing those words with ‘prefigurative politics’ can reveal how Alaa and other Egyptian revolution activists were pushing political ideals to be experimentally actualised in the ‘here and now’ through different modalities and solutions, rather than to be realised in a distant future with the same pitfalls they criticized in existing modalities of strategic politics.

I believe one of the biggest dilemmas of Egyptian revolution was the conflict between this kind of ‘here and now’ prefigurative view, on one side, and a strategic view of politics that separate between means and ends in political action and follow the conventional modalities toward brining the change. As participant in Egyptian revolution, I remember this conflict started to emerge during eighteen-day sit-in in Tahrir square when Muslim Brotherhood leaders went to negotiate with vice president at that time, Omar Suleiman. After five years, I can find this incident and others happened after resonate with Akshay’s (2012:166) argument that a given act cannot stay ‘unruly’ for long and ‘quickly [it got] absorbed by the realm of appearance, by the narratives that sustain ‘politics’ as defined by those in power’.

Thinking constructively about this dilemma, I find that we, as activists, did not manage to cultivate this kind of prefigurative views among wider public. Although ‘The republic of Tahrir’, as Van De Sande (2013) argued, has implied many prefigurative actions of brining the future that Egyptians want in the ‘here and now’, I can argue that those actions were tactical purposes rather than a quest for another prefigurative meaning of politics. I can not say at least for my self, when I was participating in those protests and demonstrations I was envisioning or calling for another politics rather than this liberal democracy. Therefore, I do believe it is crucial to communicate this prefigurative meanings widely and push questioning those conventional understanding of politics among wider public. Our problem in Egyptian revolution that we didn’t agree what kind of politics we want.

Khanna, a. (2012) ‘Seeing citizen action through an unruly lens’ in Development, 55(2), pp.162-172.

Van De Sande, M. (2013) ‘The prefigurative politics of Tahrir Square – an alternative perspective on the 2011 revolutions’, Res Republica, 19, pp.223‒229.

Fashion Revolution

Do you like fashion? How often do you buy new clothes? Do you buy the clothes because of design or … just price??

1,134 people (men, women, and children) were killed, over 2,500 were injured and at least 800 children were orphaned by the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013 [1, 2].


  1. Why did it happen?
  2. One of the possible reasons was the more than the ‘legal permitted’ number of factories operating inside of the buildings. And even though other workers within the building such as bankers and shop keepers were evacuated before the collapse happened, the garments workers could not because they were threatened with losing their jobs. The building’s collapse just took 90 seconds [2]…


Since then, people especially who love fashion have stood up to ask ‘Who made my clothes?’

Fashion Revolution has spread to over 70 countries in the world last year. People are demanding fairer, cleaner, more sustainable, transparent, and beautiful…and I would like to add, kinder (sweeter) clothes. To focus on transparency, people take selfies with #whomademyclothes. (Last year, it was reached 63-million participants [4].) This movement created curiosity for people about their clothes’ tags which leads to transparency by showing ‘MADE IN ○○○’. This protest about inequality and unfairness which prefigurative action occupies social network by annually memorial collect actions to meet the goal of create sustainable and ethical fashion.


Globalisation offers many conveniences but also leads to ignorance. Globalisation connects people all over the world but there is still a serious lack of empathy for people who are far away and whom we do not know. If today, I decide to ignore, the fact that someone might be undergoing serious suffering to ‘pay’ for my happy affordable (cheap) shopping, it is quite easy. But is it really okay?? Our choice of consumption is connected to someone’s life. Personal consumption is completely in our control. In reality, I might want to say we do not have enough money to buy ethical clothes which still tends to more expensive than regular clothes…that is true, but how about pay more just 25p/per item of clothes just protect living wage first.


Some facts [4] (2016):

£2 trillion annual turnover of the fashion industry

£100m value of used clothing that goes to landfill in the UK each year

£2 average daily wage of a garment worker

      25p amount that, if added to every item of clothing, would cover the costs of a living       wage for all workers, and for factories to meet safety standards.

170 million estimated number of child labourers around the world, many for textiles industries


But should only consumers pay more? How about ‘£2 trillion annual turnover of the fashion industry’? : Is it a fair amount??



Brighton is the one of the fashionable and environmental conscious cities in the UK. It hosted the first sustainable fashion week last year. One of the interesting proposals was phase to out from ‘fast-fashion’. Every year, there are many fashion shows, new lines and trends for each brands. Tons of clothes are produced and thrown away every year. Fast-fashion clothes tend to be unrecyclable because they use poor quality materials to facilitate ever-changing designs [6]. So, if the industry decides to reduce numbers of new lines and seasons to produce, if they engage more innovative technologies which are more environmentally and workers friendly…Or, if we decide not to buy a new winter coat every year, if we buy new clothes just when we need… if we love more the clothes which we already have – things can change and we can embody it just like our clothes embody the change.

3 [7]

The Rana Plaza became the event which can bring ‘change’ for many people because this was one of the biggest fashion industrial disaster: even though there were many other sweatshops disasters before and after Rana Plaza, such as ‘the Ali Enterprises fire in Pakistan in September 2012, the Tazreen Fashions fire in Bangladesh in November 2012 and the Kentex factory fire in the Philippines in May 2015’ [8]. To speak out and opt out, both consumers and workers need to fight unethical, unsustainable and awful fashion industry practices at a global.


In 1990s, when NIKE became symbol of sweatshop users worldwide, consumers could change companies’ practices by protesting [9]. It is the time for the whole fashion industry, including each one of us, to think about our clothes in a holistic manner. Inspired from Badiou [10,11], there were many glimpses of truth which people began to notice something which was invisible before. There were events before the Fashion Revolution movement started. Not only sweatshop protest movements but other previous industrial disasters. We see these disasters in screens and pictures. This could make us doubt about fashion itself. Fashion Revolution is the tool of participation to protest and express their voices together. The Internet helps to expand information all over the world to collect actions and bring voices.


I love fashion. But I do not want to wear unhappy clothes, which bears the burden of someone’s suffering and of unethical practices. It does not necessarily meaning we should buy expensive clothes. But we can choose better quality and lesser number, and find out more ethical retailers and apparel companies. (It includes vintage and second hand stores.) Buying is voting. Lastly, love the ones we already own. The power is in our hands and not in the apparel companies: we need to push them to change through our everyday closet choices.




Here are some interesting social experiment. (1.44mins)

-Do you want to buy 2euro T-shirt…even if you see who made how?

Fashion Revolution-The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment



This is another experiment. (2.10mins)

-There are no difference between children who live in developing country and developed country.

Fashion Revolution- The Child Labour Experiment







[1]Fashion Revolution. At (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[2]Jones, D. (2014). How The World Has Changed Since Rana Plaza. Vogue At  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[3] Opu, M.H. & Chowdhury, S.T. (2014). In Pictures: Recounting horror of Rana Plaza. Suffering continues for survivors and victims’ families a year after the building collapsed in Dhaka. Aljazeera. At  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[4] Rivera, L. (2016). The true cost of ‘fast fashion’: why #whomademyclothes is trending this week. Indipendent. At  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[5] Fashion Revolution. Facebook page at  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[6] Joy, A. (2014). Fast Fashion, Luxury Brands, and Sustainability. The World Financial Review. At  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[7] Anne, (2015) Fashion Revolution TAG!. Quarterlife Adventures. At (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[8] International Labor Rights Forum. (n.d.) Sweatshops are the norm in the global apparel industry. We’re standing up to change that. At  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[9]  (Accessed 23th April 2016)

[10] Badiou, A. (2012) The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings. London: Verso

[11] Ayan5. (2015). SOUR 5 Session 6 – The Event, its Ruptures, their Enfoldings and their Residues. At (Accessed 24th April 2016)


Fashion Revolution. The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment. At (Accessed 23th April 2016)

Fashion Revolution. The Child Labour Experiment. At (Accessed 23th April 2016)


Follow more movement

Fashion Revolution

 Pay Up campaign (3.07mins)

Brighton Fashion Week

Documentary movie- The True Cost Trailar (2.33mins)

“turning the world inside out”

A global participatory art project that integrates street art and PEOPLE: Ordinary people will join an art project by themselves and a project that focuses on personal identity who usually not show or be shown in public. How does that sound?

Each picture has a story but not an obvious one. This is Art. JR is a French artist who started this project in the early 2000s. His gallery is everywhere where he puts massive sized portfolio pictures.0 [1]

His project started from the Paris riot in 2005 [2]. He started captured people’s faces who live Le Bosquet and put their pictures and even their name and addresses in the bourgeois area and then the city hall of Paris. These actions helped to change the image of young people which thug images created by the media to ‘the person’ (because they made funny caricature face. Art made them as an individual person not riot.

In 2007, his team took pictures for a project called ‘Face 2 Face’ project. For this project, his team made portfolios of both Palestine and Israelis people, who work in the same jobs. JR’s team put on these huge pictures on both side of the separation walls between Palestine and Israel. Most of people could not tell who is who. In these countries, putting up pictures is illegal but JR was trying to first see local people’s reaction. Given that it is street art, people are able to remove it if they do not like it. JR would have to respect those choices. JR does not worry too much about that, his concern is to deliver a message and leave the decision to local people. He was trying to break the boundary (wall) by the art.


I believe is this is another kind of ‘the occupy’ movement. Not physically, but walls and public spaces are occupied by people’s images and the audiences will get the message by seeing the pictures. And interestingly, it remains there still after years. As Mitchell [4] mentioned about Gormley’s work, the ‘Asian Field’, ‘rarely engages the explicitly political tactics of the occupation of public space as aspects of a protest movement’ (2013). In a similar way, Inside Out project also provides strong message to people that includes both participants and audiences. These huge portfolios are not only create a dramatic impact and make’s real the existence of these people but also. The people’s eyes will tell their message to the audience.

JR then took on a new project called ‘Women are Heroes’ which he started in different places in the world. He focused on women who are primarily victims of conflicts, wars, rapes, crimes and so on. For example in Brazil, there was a huge sadness after three students were killed (and chopped in pieces) in Favelas at 2008. So JR and his team took the pictures of local women include victims’ grandmother and friends and put them on the hill. The media got interested in it and spoke to the participants. Pictures connected the media and local anonymous women who have their stories.

Look at this picture below, women’s eyes are seizure of walls which is usually empty space.

Bringing voice from “the person”, this is his and his participants’ art.


Another of his interesting projects took place in India. Because of the law and culture, he could not paste pictures. So he decided to paste white paper …with sticky parts. So if dust came up, picture will automatically came out. It should not be there, but eyes will look the city and break the norm of hidden existence. Walls were transformed to their voice.


‘The question is not “can art change the world”, but “can art change people’s lives?’ (JR, 2011, [2])


The ‘Inside Out project’ affects to human’s lives as well. In Pakistan, there is a region where people regularly attacked by drone. In military slang, drone operators call killing people like ‘bug splats’ because when they operate the drone, images operators see look like smashing bugs. Awful!! So JR’s project put up a huge poster which shows a girl who lost her parents and siblings by drones [5]. From drone, operator can see her as a human. She will scar operators’ minds for good, hopefully.

This picture below is view from a drone.


In 2015, at NY, [dis]ABLED project collaborated with JR and Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes. People tend to see disabilities instead of ‘the person’ and do not treat them equally. However participant said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m cool’ [6]. Huyghues said ‘Be seen, be heard’, ‘usually people with disabilities are put in a closet, seen as a problem or issue for society. Pity — that’s what we’re trying to break. And people are so excited to be a part of this. It’s amazing’ [6]. When participants have empowered to be seen and heard and others see and listen their voice, social norm will break.



‘Art is not supposed to change the world, to change practical things, but to change perceptions. Art can change the way we see the world’. (JR TED 2011 [7])


Break the boundary between invisibility of personal existence (voice) and public can happen by the art. Like Ranciere’s distribution of sensibility[9] which is such as what can see and who can speak. For instance, [dis] ABILITY case, through the picture, people recognise and experience new view of disabilities, not sorry or uncool but ‘the person’ and start of communication. As well as these pictures, be remain or not is depend on local people’s decision. This is PEOPLE’S ART.

[1]                                                             [8]



[1] Balboaplein Amsterdam West.Inside Out at Balboaplein. September 17th, 2013 [online] Available from: (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[2] TAKTAL. (2015). Inside Out – participatory street art project on a global scale. 4thy November 2-015. [online] Available from: (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[3] Reframing photography. (n.d.) JR. [online] Available from: (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[4] Mitchell, W. J. T. (2012) ‘Image, space, revolution: the arts of occupation’, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 39(1), pp.8-32.

[5] #NotABugSplat. (n.d.)A giant art installation targets predator drone operators. [online] Available from: (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[6] Petronzio, M. (2015). Art project will take 3,000 photos of people with disabilities to change your perceptions. 29th May 2016. [online] Available from: (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[7] TED. (n.d.) My wish: Use art to turn the world inside out. [online] Available from:  (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[8] inside Out Project Japan. (n.d.). Inside Out Project in Japan. [online] Available from: (Accessed 23rd 2016)

[9] Ranciere, J. et al (2006) ‘The distribution of the sensible’ in The Politics of Aesthetics, London: Continuum, pp.7-46.


Releasing inside unruliness

rules made to be brokenCalling back the unruly experiences I have been through, brings me paradoxical feelings and questions. Internally, I was feeling a struggle. I don’t believe any more that the system, i.e. formal authorities, considers my voice. They never pay attention to any citizen voice as long as it did not turn to be unruly. The powerful thing of unruliness that it disrupts the power arrangements and reveals the silenced voices about injustice. Back to these paradoxical feelings, despite of this conviction of the inevitability of unruly action in nowadays politics, I found each time confusing inner voices keep asking me ‘is what I am doing allowed or possible?’ in terms of being lawful and abiding to rules. Which I should say, it was useful to be cautious about the consequences of my actions. But I feel this paradox, in middle of unruly action that ought to challenge rules and laws, I keep thinking of them.

To understand the source this paradox, we need refer back to all education and socialising processes we have been exposed to. We are not educated to question the laws and rules rather than respecting and abiding to them. We internalise them into our daily life in way that hinders any unruly possibility we can take. Bourdieu (1980)* has described this kind of embodied boundaries as ‘habitus’ that we acquire through the activities and experiences of everyday life and constitute our values, dispositions and expectations that constitute everyday life. That’s why releasing our unruliness needs much of ‘unlearning’ that can disconnect us from constructed habitus toward of internalised boundaries. We need to rethink all of this rules and laws and question them. They are not unbreakable if we don’t make sense of them. They are made to serve our agency not the opposite.

*Bourdieu, P. (1980). The Logic of Practice. Stanford, Stanford University Press.

** credit of the photo goes to collective creative  of the internet

Troubles of bringing back the unruly

Unruly politics is more than can be explained through academics. It’s equally a feeling. It’s something you learn to understand when you’re in it. When you feel the power of those you are with. When you scream together until your voices are sore. When the stranger next to you becomes part of an identity that you create within the space of your action:

Feeling the thrilling spaces in which prefiguration rules our soles.

Creating visibility for what could not be seen before.

Following the seduction of anti-structure.

Sensing what is not to be sensed.

Bringing the real to reality.

Force the truth back.



But if understood in the moment,

how can we bring the unruly back?

How to show and explain others the feeling and meaning of unruly politics?


We, a group of IDS unrulistas, tried to confront this problem. A few weeks ago, we participated in a demonstration to shut down the biggest detention centre in the UK, Yarlswood. After having been able to see unruly theories in action, we wanted to share our experiences with others and invite them to look together with us through the unruly lens. Some of us wanted to ‘create a rupture’ and challange the structures within our own institution. Others argued that it was the wrong strategy: It would make people close their minds to our ideas before they had the possibility to engage with them. Creating an unruly event ourselves could have also brought people we cared about into trouble. So what was it that we wanted to achieve? Inviting people to look through the lens or experiencing unruliness themselves?b.png

What came out of our discussions was a mixture of the two: we decided to occupy the lobby of IDS on its 50th birthday celebration for three hours. We brought back our experiences from Yarlswood with banners, pictures, phrases, audio and videos. We decided to intervene into everyone’s life – in this time and space – and force the reality outside of the IDS bubble back into the visible. At the same time, we engaged with people that passed our claimed space in discussions. What was that what we created here? Why did we do it? What did we want to show with it?a.png

As we shared our experiences about Yarlswood, there was one question which – at least in my conversations – regularly occurred: “So did it lead to something?” And exactly this was our entry point to explain the raison d’être of the unruly lens

Unruliness seeks to explain what has been left out of academics so far. It explains details, insights and stories that are very personal and at the same time universal. It helps us as activists to engage and understand better what we do; at the same time it shows us as academics how these moments can be theorized and understood on a bigger scale.


While our journey together comes to an end here, my encounter with the unruly has only started. And I am ready for it.

Rita .. the Jewish girl whom Palestinians love

Marcel is a singer, composer and one of the world’s most acclaimed oud players. He sings about freedom and nationalism and is famous for translating poetry into music. For years, he collaborated with the nationalist Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish who wrote the most beautiful poems about Palestinian culture, lands, and struggle. Together, Marcel Khalifa and Mohamed Darwish, told the story of a nation, Immortalized its history and carried on the struggle among generations.

This song was written by Darwish to his neighbour “Rita”, the Jewish girl whom he loved deeply for years. Despite the controversy of falling in love with the enemy, Palestinians celebrated the beauty of the song and sang her name in their gatherings and celebrations. The aesthetics of the song created a special place for a Jewish girl within the Palestinian culture.

ريتا والبندقية

بين ريتا وعيوني… بندقيَّة
والذي يعرف ريتا , ينحني
لإلهٍ في العيون العسليَّة !
..وأنا قبَّلت ريتا
عندما كانت صغيره
عندما كانت صغيره
وأنا أذكر كيف التصقتْ
بي, وغَطَّتْ ساعدي أحلي ضفيرة
وأنا أذكر ريتا
مثلما يذكر عصفورٌ غديرَهْ
آه.. ريتا
بيننا مليون عصفور وصوره
ومواعيدُ كثيرة
أطلقتْ ناراً عليها.. بندقيَّة

اسم ريتا كان عيداً في فمي
جسم ريتا كان عرساً في دمي
وأنا ضعت بريتا … سنتَينِ.
وتعاهدنا على أجمل كأس , واحترقنا
في نبيذ الشفتين
وولدنا مرتين !
آه.. ريتا
أي شيء ردَّ عن عينيك عينيَّ
سوى إغفاءتين
وغيوم عسليّة
قبل هذي البندقيَّة!
كان يا ما كان
يا صمت العشيّة
قمري هاجَر في الصبح بعيداً
في العيون العسلَيّة
كنست كل المغنين, وريتا
بين وعيوني.. بندقيّة


What If you are a Homo Sacer but you don’t know it?


In the early morning of 24th, March 2016, Rasha Tarek an Egyptian housewife woke up to help her husband getting ready for work. He had to go to an affluent neighborhood in Cairo to do some wall painting. Rasha was suspicious that her husband is being unfaithful to her, so she called her father and brother to accompany the husband in the short work trip. Later on the day, Rasha called her husband to hear her brother’s voice begging someone for mercy. She kept calling over and over but the mobile phones of the three men were turned off.

الخمس ضحايا.jpg

At the following day, the headlines in Egyptian news celebrated the heroic achievement of the Egyptian police who could catch and kill the gang that kidnapped, robbed and tortured Guillio Regeni. The only evidence the Egyptian police provided was a picture of Guillio’s university card next to a handbag that was claimed to belong to the criminals. The alleged gang was composed of five men, three of them were Rasha’s father, brother, and husband. The five men have no criminal records and they met for the first time while taking the same bus to Cairo at the day of their tragic killing. Italy refused the Egyptian police story and small protests took place in Cairo streets calling for justice not only for Regeni, but also for the innocent five men. Also, many social media users used the hashtag (Justice for the five men and Justice for Regini) to write about them. However, now, only one month later, there is no mention of the five men in any media outlet or social media and till this moment very few people would know the actual names o the five men, unlike Regeni.


Guillio Regeni, an Italian PHD student at Cambridge University, disappeared in Cairo at the 5th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution. His battered and bruised body was found outside Cairo in early February. The incident sparked outrage in Italy, where officials questioned the various explanations Egypt has offered for young man’s death. Till this moment, the horrible death of Guillio is being talked about in international and European media as unsolved mystery and a pressure card at the hands of the Italian government.

According to Agamben, Homo Sacer means those reduced to bare life and can be killed by anyone in the society with no consequences. In Roman times, the sovereignty, which also implies the ability to kill, was only for the king who has the authorities of God, so he has the right and capacity take the life of any of his objects. Now in modern states, the sovereignty is scattered among the constituencies of the system, and the right to kill became a collective not individual responsibility on the society, however, the implementation remained at the hands of the state.The state has a totalitarian control of life and death with no justification needed. The Egyptian state did not even exert any effort in creating a solid story. The five men with no previous connection, who cooperated together to kill a random Italian guy with no motive and kept his belongings while driving together through Cairo streets is a ridiculous story that a kid would not believe, so the state is not actually interested in providing a justification for killing five people. Citizens, as viewed, the state are just objects with biological nature…A zeo with some rights of Bios.. A creature whose death has no impact nor his/her life… A bare life.

That is exactly why I feel so scared every time I go to protest in Egypt, knowing that my life and death mean nothing for the power holders. It means a lot to my family and to my social circles, but within the context of the Egyptian state, we are in a state of exception where all ordinary citizens are Homo Sacers.

Agamben, G. (1998) ‘Part two: Homo Sacer’ in Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp.71-115.

Guillio’s Regeni Mother’s speech in front of the Italian Parliament

Italian student’s killing pulls Egyptian family into web of deaths, dead ends

Human Rights watch- World Report 2015: Egypt

Who killed Regeni? (Arabic)

List of the Egyptian police victims in the first quarter of 2016 (Arabic)