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On the 7th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution (in 2011) international scholars focus on what it means to 'give voice' within the repressive context(s) of Egypt’s post-revolutionary aftermath.

Detail Summary
Date 25 January 2018
Time 10:00 - 16:45
Location Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)
Room Location: University of Amsterdam, Roeterseiland, REC B 5.12
Protest Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, 2011 (photo: Flick/CreativeCommons/DanH)

The workshop will particularly address the ethical choices and dilemmas involved in the processes of 'giving voice' in Egypt’s current hyper-repressive context. Ínternational scholars will discuss what it means to give voice and to whom, under what contexts and at what costs.

Workshop questions

Participants to this workshop will reflect on questions such as (but are not limited to) the following:

  • In what ways is the process of 'giving voice' related to transformation? And what kind of transformations? What are its outcomes and consequences? And for whom?
  • When we give voice, what do we seek to transform and for what (social, political, cultural or political) purpose? What does it mean to give voice? What are its social, political and cultural implications? Are these always deemed positive or are there potential downfalls to the process of giving voice?
  • In what ways do voices and (counter)narratives differ from dominant official discourses? And what does this mean for their representation, inclusion and potentially marginalisation?
  • What are the ethical limitations and implications of giving voice? And how is this transformed or influenced by Egypt’s hyper authoritarian context? How does the latter influence our research and activism?
  • What are the personal, material, social and professional costs of giving voice for the participants and the researchers? What does it mean to listen?


  • 10:00 – 10:30 Workshop Opening and Welcome, by Rahma Esther Bavelaar, Vivienne Matthies-Boon
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Can voices be given? The political sensitivities of researching politically sensitive events, by Alia Mossallem
  • 11:15 – 12:00 On Mutual Vulnerability in (Post)Revolutionary Egypt: Towards a Levinasian Ethics of Care in Activism and Scholarship, by Vivienne Matthies-Boon
  • 12:00 – 12.45 Lunch
  • 12:45 – 13:30 Research with/in “Margins” in Egypt: Ethics and Challenges, by Nayera Abdel Rahman, Free University Berlin
  • 13:30 – 14:15 Cuteness and Stupidity as Research Methods: Moving and Talking on Pilgrimage Roads, by Alaa Moustafa Attiah, American University of Cairo
  • 14:15- 14:45 Coffee Break
  • 14:45 – 15:30 The Moment of Defeat in Victorious Narrative: Third army soldiers’ voices in the October War 1973, by Mohamed Yehia Kamel, SOAS
  • 15:30 – 16:15 Fixing for the Revolution: Agency Earned and Recognised, by Salma Moustafa Khalil, University of Amsterdam
  • 16:15 - 16:45 Roundtable: Giving voice: Ethics and Care in Activist Academia? Moderator: Dr Vivienne Matthies-Boon and Rahma Bavelaar


Attendance is free, but please register via:


This event is organised by Rahma Esther Bavelaar and Vivienne Matthies-Boon and co- funded by the Department of Anthropology and Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam and ERC Project 2013-AdG-324180.

Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)
Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)

Room Location: University of Amsterdam, Roeterseiland, REC B 5.12

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam