"A bold attempt to recreate the mindscapes of the South African and Iraqi worlds that were under the jackboot of tyranny and repressive governance."—African Studies Quarterly
"Segall reminds the reader of the importance of performance in creating national collective memories and histories that enable mourning and healing, particularly music, poems and dance. In this sense, the arts transcend their entertainment role and make collective political claims."—Journal of International Women’s Studies
"With literary skill, Segall gently guides the reader through the contours of blogs, performed protests, plays, books and even witchcraft to explore the symbolic realms of those who ‘perform democratic desire with diverse claims’ beyond the lens of the mainstream media."—Journal of Peace Education
Reflecting twenty years of research and experience—after working with guerrilla fighters in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, with Iranian refugees in Istanbul, with interreligious reconciliation groups in Morocco, and with former political prisoners in South Africa—Segall offers a groundbreaking study of globalization, gender, and resistance in public spaces. With timely correctives to the media lens of the Arab and African Spring, the author views protest not just as an economic and political act but also as a potential space of healing and creativity amidst contentious and gendered territories. Analyzing blogs, graphic novels, performances, and public testimonials, this book is unique in its attention to local expressions and creative use of technology to speak of political identities. With its impressive range of generational and gendered voices, Performing Democracy suggests hybrid protests that are voicing trauma, seeking change.
Kimberly Wedeven Segall is professor of English at Seattle Pacific University and affiliate faculty of gender, women, and sexuality studies at the University of Washington.
6 x 9, 320 pages, 10 black and white illustrations