When former president Hosny Mubarak was toppled nearly two years ago, millions of Egyptians celebrated the success of the revolution.
However the ousting of the regime was not the only revolution that took place in Egypt that year; a second revolution took form concurrently, a revolution whose effects have so far proven more significant as the face of politics has yet to significantly transform into a true democracy. This second revolution is the advent of wide-scale civic engagement in the form of citizen journalism.
During the 18 days that Egypt fought to expel authoritarian rule, everyone with a Facebook account became a reporter, sharing photos and videos of Egyptian flags obscured with tear gas. Activists emerged from the woodwork, armed with Twitter handles, to outline the goals of those in Tahrir. Through social media, the world received news of Egypt’s struggles and celebrations more quickly and accurately than most news outlets could provide, and to this day many still turn to these platforms for coverage of protests, clashes, and policy changes. Though Tahrir’s activists argue that their revolution has been highjacked, their digital revolution carries on, strong as ever, with one player at the forefront of the cause: Mosireen.
From their Downtown Cairo space, Mosireen holds weekly screenings of documentaries and short films from around the region and regularly hosts speakers to further engage the community. Mosireen’s Tahrir Cinema presents revolutionary footage in the heart of Egypt’s civic space and the group manages an up-to-date calendar of political meetings, protests, and strikes. Mosireen goes so far in promoting civic engagement, that literally anyone can participate. Don’t have a camera? They’ll rent you one. Can’t get your head around editing software? They hold weekly Final Cut Pro workshops. Need a workspace? They’ll share theirs. Mosireen has gone to great lengths to ensure that the citizen journalism revolution is here to stay, and in doing so, they may just help save the Egyptian Revolution.