Politics in the Middle East is now 'seen' and the image is playing a central part in processes of political struggle. This is the first book in the literature to engage directly with these changing ways of communicating politics in the region - and particularly with the politics of the image, its power as a political tool. Lina Khatib presents a cross-country examination of emerging trends in the use of visuals in political struggles in the Middle East, from the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon to the Green Movement in Iran, to the Arab Spring in Egypt, Syria and Libya. She demonstrates how states, activists, artists and people 'on the street' are making use of television, the social media and mobile phones, as well as non-electronic forms, including posters, cartoons, billboards and graffiti to convey and mediate political messages. She also draws attention to politics as a visual performance by leaders and citizens alike.
With a particular focus on the visual dynamics of the Arab Spring, and based on case studies on the visual dimension of political protest as well as of political campaigning and image management by political parties and political leaders, Image Politics in the Middle East shows how visual expression is at the heart of political struggle in the Middle East today. It is a hard-hitting, enjoyable, groundbreaking book, challenging the traditional ways in which politics in the Middle East is conceived of and analysed.
Lina Khatib is the head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She is the author of Filming the Modern Middle East: Politics in the Cinemas of Hollywood and the Arab World (2006) and of Lebanese Cinema: Imagining the Civil War and Beyond (2008), both from I.B.Tauris.
Acknowledgments List of Images Introduction: The Visual in Political Struggle Part I: Revolutionary Illusions Chapter 1 - The Visual Legacy of the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon Chapter 2 - Hizbullah: Image Management and Political Survival Chapter 3 - The Politics of (In)visibility in Iran Part II: Revolutionary Images Chapter 4 - Imaging the Arab Spring Chapter 5 - Television Images and Political Struggle Chapter 6 - Re-imaging the Arab Dictator Notes Index