Poets of Protest reflects the poet’s view of the change sweeping the Middle East through its intimate profiles of six contemporary writers as they struggle to lead, to interpret and to inspire.
Poetry lives and breathes in the Middle East as in few other places.
In a region long dominated by authoritarian regimes, poetry is the medium for expressing people’s hopes, dreams and frustrations. Poets became historians, journalists, entertainers - and even revolutionaries.
Ever since Tunisians chanted Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi’s If the People Wanted Life One Day poetry has been a key weapon of the Arab Spring, used to taunt regimes’ refusing to see the writing on the wall.
As the revolution spread to Egypt, it turned out that the writing on the wall was also poetry - graffiti by young artists painting the works of poets like al-Shabi or Egypt’s Ahmed Fouad Negm.
Poets of Protest focuses on the writers, their political and artistic struggles, and their work, with beautifully filmed visual interpretations of the poems.
September 3, 2012