The Egyptian Revolution in Context
The Egyptian people successfully — and peacefully — brought down the autocratic government they had feared for decades. Pro-democracy activists in the Middle East are exercising the power of popular resistance as they agitate for democracy, transparency, and accountability in traditionally closed governments. This makes for what some might call a "teachable moment."
Here at ITVS, in partnership with PBS NewsHour and Independent Lens, we have been working with international filmmakers and newsmakers as well as community organizers, educators, and activists to trace the evolution of democracy movements worldwide, with a special focus on Egypt in light of the revolution unfolding there. Our films and discussion guides may help place current events into historical context. The revolutions have been televised, and they did not materialize out of the blue.
Shayfeen.com: We are Watching You follows three women in Egypt during the 2005 election who organized a new media-savvy grassroots campaign for democracy in their country, presaging the "Wikileaks Revolution" by six years. Check out free lesson plans for this film, which focus on digital activism and civil engagement in the political process.
Garbage Dreams, a film shortlisted for the 2010 Academy Awards, tells the story of one of Egypt's most disenfranchised minorities — the Zabaleen, a coptic Christian community that recycles 80 percent of Cairo's trash.
Also included here are study guides and collections featuring clips and lesson plans from several international films focusing on democracy movements around the globe.