Leslie Johnson

New Media: 1919 // 2011

the square“New media” was a big part of both the 1919 and 2011 Revolutions. The phrase, “new media”, can be used to explain new forms of communication used to express people’s feeling towards the revolutions in ways that were not typical like newspapers and on TV. The most dominate forms of “new media” in 1919 were songs and plays. The most dominate forms of “new media” in 2011 was Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other forms of social media. Mainly the people who were against the government and the revolutionaries used “new media”. This new wave of communication infuriated the officials. Many people were arrested and jailed for their songs and what they said. For instance, Ramy Essam, the singer in the 2011 revolt, was arrested and brutally beaten for his music. The effect of “new media” in 1919 and 2011 was very different. In 1919, “new media” was used either as a way for people to be able to express themselves, to persuade people to believe their viewpoint, or to persuade other people to revolt. In contrast, in the 2011 revolt, “new media” was used to keep the government from hiding their crimes and to get foreign countries to hear their cry for help. “New media” was a much bigger deal in the 2011 revolt. People were arrested and jailed in 1919 more frequently for “new media”, but people were murdered more frequently in the 2011 revolt for “new media”. Overall, “new media” was a good “venting mechanism”. As said in Fahmy’s chapter on New Media in 1919, “It reflects the sense of universal shock felt by average Egyptians over the occupation of the country.” I think that most “new media” was not used so much to belittle the government, even though there was a large amount of resentment for the government, but the main purpose was to vent. Plus, they thought that it would eventually lead to a change if people could understand the troubles they were facing on a daily basis. I think that the venting approach was used more in 1919 and the “cry for help” approach was used more in the 2011 revolt. The biggest form of “new media” during the 1919 revolution was plays, just like in the Sayyid Darwish film. These plays were an easy way to deal with their pain. I think that there were less revolutionary murders in the 1919 revolt as opposed to the deaths in the 2011 revolt because since the plays were a source of entertainment, they did not feel as harsh and judgmental towards the government as the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter posts did. Just as plays were the biggest form of “new media” in the 1919 revolution, YouTube was the biggest form of “new media” during the 2011 revolt. Since the methods, local and global publicizing, were different, so were the outcomes. The 2011 revolt received much more global attention. YouTube changed the revolution completely. It allowed people all over the world to see what the government was doing and it put a stop to the government covering up their hateful and cold-hearted crimes. If it weren’t for the 2011 revolutionaries globally crying for help, they probably would still be stuck in the same place, even now. In contrast, the 1919 revolution could have been much more successful if the revolutionaries had have been able to publicize the Egyptian problems globally. There may not have even been a need for a revolution in 2011 had the revolutionaries in 1919 been publicized globally. The publicizing could’ve ended the problem for good.