Tandem Project

Arab Uprisings: Beyond Media and Liberation

Publication Project & Exhibition

Communication researchers largely agree that the social media effect on the Arab uprisings was overemphasized. Dynamics of popular dissent were too diverse and too wide spread to simply call the Arab uprisings a ‘Facebook-Revolution’. First traces of dissent were already visible within digital publics: blogs became most popular in the noughties and created an alternative public sphere. These traces were symptoms of an emerging hybrid media system of traditional mass media and individualized digital media. In the aftermath of the protest movements, many Arab journalists and researchers were specifically targeted and forced to migrate. This led to a notable growth of diasporic communities in European cities and in particular in Berlin.

Bridging communication studies and area studies, AGYA alumna Prof. Dr. Hanan Badr and AGYA member Dr. Lena Maria Möller critically investigated these dynamics in media and journalism in the transformation phase after the Arab protest movements.

Publication: Ten years after the Arab uprisings - Beyond media and liberation

The publication project critically analyses the role of media beyond the liberation euphoria by retracing and researching societal, cultural and political interdependencies, interactions and negotiation processes between media, society and politics in several Arab countries. It encouraged critical perspectives, theoretical reflection and interdisciplinary approaches that pay attention to both mass media and digital media as well as their interrelation.

The special issue ‘Ten Years after the Arab Uprisings’ of the highranking journal Media and Communication features eight peer-reviewed articles scrutinizing the role of media in the transformation period after 2011. The journal is open access, which ensures the due visibility and circulation needed for this interdisciplinary project. The call for papers attracted contributions from a broad spectrum of different countries and disciplinary perspectives: media and communication studies, linguistics, political sciences, area studies, Islamic studies, and urban studies.

Portrait Series: Faces of the Arab diasporic community in Berlin

Focusing on the role of media after the Arab uprisings as expressed through the identities of journalists, intellectuals, and activists, a portrait series was produced in Berlin by Egyptian photographer Eman Helal. Berlin has become the host of a vivid diasporic community from many countries of the Arab world. The portrait series will be presented in the dynamic exhibition "Biographies in Motion" as part of the Salon Sophie Charlotte 2022 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) on 21 May 2022.

Book Cover


Disciplines Involved
Media and Communication Studies, Area Studies, Political Sciences, Linguistics, Islamic Studies
Project Title
Ten Years after the Arab Uprisings: Beyond Media and Liberation
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project
Countries Involved
Egypt, Germany
AGYA Publication
Ten Years after the Arab Uprisings: Beyond Media and Liberation