The lecture tonight did an excellent job at showing us how and why the Arab Revolutions were successful. One aspect that Mark LeVine discussed was the importance of power and space. He said that all boundaries that normally separate Egyptians had disappeared, those between men and women, secular and religious, Christian and Muslim. This allowed for open conversation and the ability of people to assert themselves against authority. My question is how was this moment, in the beginning, different from any other? LeVine said that they all wanted a change in the system. But why was it right then that men and women, Christian and Muslim, were able to inhabit the same space without fighting?
The talk related to some ideas that we have discussed in class in regard to agency. The Egyptians made conscious actions to fight against a system that did not serve their needs. In the case of Rwanda we see that people have agency to make connections and find food so that they can support their families. The themes of agency, power, and space are often brought up when considering a high authoritarian state because of the nature of this type of government and the limited power of the people.