Tag Archives: revolution

[Publication] Reality Bites: The Digitally Mediated Urban Revolutions

My essay, titled “Reality Bites: The Digitally Mediated Urban Revolutions” is published in the Architectural Review. It is available for viewing online if you register (free registration). Once registered, you’d be able to read other essays (which are interesting) too. If you’re too lazy to register, you can download the pdf version here.

When I was an architecture student in Bandung, Indonesia, I always dreamed about getting published in two world architectural magazines — The Architectural Record and the Architectural Review. Even though I never stop designing and drawing, obviously I retired early from the architecture profession and totally forgot that I ever had such dream. I was too busy pursuing many other dreams, I guess. Early this month, I was contacted by the AR editor whether I’d like to contribute a broader view essay. So that’s it — strangely, one of my forgotten dreams came true….

[Publication] Clicks, Cabs, and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt, 2004–2011

My article on social media and 2011 Egypt revolt has been published. It is published as:
Due to copyright issue, however, I cannot share the published version for download from my own server, you thus should download from its original source.
For those who’re interested to read but don’t have access to the journal, I can email you the file. Just post me  your email address (send to my email or leave your address in the comment box below).
Thank you.


To deepen our understanding of the relationship between social media and political change during the Egyptian uprising of early 2011, events in Tahrir Square must be situated in a larger context of media use and recent history of online activism. For several years, the most successful social movements in Egypt, including Kefaya, the April 6th Youth, and We are all Khaled Said, were those using social media to expand networks of disaffected Egyptians, broker relations between activists, and globalize the resources and reach of opposition leaders. Social media afforded these opposition leaders the means to shape repertoires of contention, frame the issues, propagate unifying symbols, and transform online activism into offline protests. Continue reading [Publication] Clicks, Cabs, and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt, 2004–2011

Slate.com: Tahrir Square Was a Foreseeable Surprise?

Slate Magazine asked me to provide a short essay on the social media and Egypt revolt as part of my forthcoming talk in DC, so I did, here it is: http://www.slate.com/id/2298948/.

Meanwhile, please find below the longer version — unedited one.


The emergence of online collective actions has driven much attention and recently made headlines based on what has transpired politically in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. However, there is very little research devoted to deepen our understanding of this phenomenon. Our knowledge on these kinds of observable facts mostly relies on quick, short-term, often journalistic observations and post-event visualization of social media mapping. The tendency to either over-emphasize or under-emphasize the role of social media without any knowledge on the actual usage of these media and perceiving these uprisings as being ‘unexpected’ and ‘surprising’ indicates a lack of in-depth studies in this area. Looking from a scientific lens, what gets labeled as ‘surprise’ can also be a product of phenomenological impediments or epistemological oversight.  A deeper investigation on these movements, especially those in Egypt, shows that the historical moment happened in Tahrir square was actually an ‘imaginable surprise.’* Not that we knew when the day/date of the event or how it’d happen, but by looking closely the ongoing consolidation of oppositional actors and expansion of on/offline collective action networks over time, we could clearly see that over years there had been a tremendous growth of oppositional networks against the Mubarak regime in the country and thus could envision the outcomes that might come out of this growth. To fully understand phenomena such as the Tahrir revolt, we need to rigorously look beyond the Tahrir days, beyond the usage of Facebook and Twitter, but mostly on how the oppositional networks emerged, expanded, and were translated into a momentous mass movement, and how the Internet and social media were entangled in these processes. Continue reading Slate.com: Tahrir Square Was a Foreseeable Surprise?

Against Pharaohs: Cinematic Timeline of Egypt Popular Protests (2003-2011)

I did a cinematic (and better!) version of the TimeLine I used in my Revolution 2.0? lecture. All data used here is based on my own research. I did all graphic and videographer work, including editing. Music used for this video is from the song entitled “Egypt Revolution” by Yassir El Scarabeuz (featured Omima). Continue reading Against Pharaohs: Cinematic Timeline of Egypt Popular Protests (2003-2011)