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OxDeg: Cyber-utopian City: Revolution, Venture Capital, and the Rise of the Activist-Entrepreneur in Egypt

Date & Time:
16.30 - 18.00,
Wednesday 2 May, 2018


After Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the impetus for revolutionary social and political change in Egypt has converged with a neoliberal drive toward individualism, innovation, and entrepreneurship. As the political sphere in the country began contracting in response to counterrevolutionary forces, many of Egypt’s young, tech-savvy activists have found new opportunities in an emerging startup scene. This paper explores the spatial transformations taking place in and around Tahrir Square, the heart of revolutionary Cairo, to accommodate a new heroic figure in the national narrative: the activist-entrepreneur. These new spaces can constitute a zone of resistance while simultaneously being embedded in and contingent on the abstractions and exclusions of state-driven neoliberalism.


Kira Allman

Oxford Human Rights Hub

Kira completed her DPhil in Oriental Studies (Islamic World) at the University of Oxford, where her doctoral research focused on online/offline politics, space, and mobility in Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Her thesis explored how information and communications technologies enable new forms of resistance and also new regimes of disenfranchisement and exclusion. Kira is a Rhodes Scholar and holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in Government and Linguistics from The College of William and Mary. She is currently the Communications Director and a post-doctoral researcher at the Oxford Human Rights Hub.