A Protest of the Poor: On the Political Meaning of the People
In this chapter, Seikaly engages an uprising against neoliberal reform on18–19 January 1977 in Egypt. By mapping the role that food played in protestors’ and government strategies and demands, she examines how basic needs function as a trigger of social upheaval as well as a vehicle of political containment. Seikaly explores how government officials, journalists, and protestors defined and ultimately contained the “poor” and the “hungry.” By attending to how protestors narrate and represent themselves and the tools they use to make their claims, this chapter troubles the construction of the “people.”
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