Jessica Winegar: Books and Radio


Creative Reckonings: The Politics of Art and Culture in Contemporary Egypt

Published in 2006, Winegar’s first book examines the cultural politics of Egypt by exploring the intricacies of the Egyptian art world. Utilizing participant observation and interviews, Winegar gained information from Egyptian artists, collectors, critics, curators, art professors and administrators. Her research illuminates and deals with themes of “colonialism, post-independence state socialism, nationalism, Egpyt’s role in the Middle East, the growth of Islamism, privatization and market liberalization, and foreign political, economic and military interventions” through the scope
of art interlocutors (Winegar xvii).


Craig S. Barnes Show

The New Mexico based radio show (KSFR 101.1), aired an interview with Winegar on October 8, 2011. During the interview, Winegar outlines her experience during the first uprisings in Egypt. Important, as well, are her discussions about the false perceptions from the U.S. media, the Muslim Brotherhood, and gender’s role during and before the revolution. At the conclusion of the radio show, Winegar discusses the reasons she believes the revolution happened- authoritarian rule of government and the shift to extreme form of Neo-Liberal Capitalism put in place by the IMF and the World Bank.

Interesting quotes:

“It was a huge interest of Mubarak government to spread a notion of national culture among Egyptians to unify them. There were elements of this program geared towards pacifying them… less apt to engage in political critique.”

“On the one hand the regime tried to have these cultural programs to quiet the religionist, but they didn’t do much, obviously we know in retrospect, to deal with the actual issues that people were protesting.”

“It was very easy to unite behind the removal of Mubarak… Now that Mubarak is gone, it is a more of a challenge to continue the Revolution because people have different demands. There are different ideas for how to go forward to accomplish those demands. But in those early days, people were across against class lines, religious lines, gender lines to rally against that one thing- which was to remove the President.”

“Well anthropologists are never good at predicting. There is what I think will happen and what I hope will happen…Real problem of creating viable political parties. This means that the population needs to understand what are the options for having a democratic system…Basically we need time. Egyptians need time and resources to build those parties and build those resources.”

Listen here: