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Six Moments from a Revolution

A Brief History of the Shoura Council So Far: February 2015

010 / 4 July 2017


A Brief History of the Shoura Council So Far, February 2015


04 mins 03 secs


This is the last video on our channel. Regular production ground to a halt after Rabaa. Sisi cemented his grip on the country, outlawing protest, imprisoning activists, muzzling the media. It became almost impossible to film in the streets. But we faced a far more serious problem: our role before had been to expose the crimes of the state, but the Rabaa Massacre happened live on television. And people applauded it.  


My cousin, Alaa Abd El Fattah – an influential revolutionary thinker – was arrested and prosecuted. He was sentenced to five years in prison. He is still in prison today. Life twisted itself towards the penal system and towards the details and evidence and legal arguments thrown at bitter judges enmeshed in the corruptions of the state.


It is distressing for me to watch this video now. Our attention to the details being presented, to the facts, is almost pitiful. We already knew that there would no hope of justice from within the system. But we had no other moves.


You can see the trappings of the moment in the work. It is not a good video. It holds no appeal, cinematically or narratively or even as news. It is struggling to create an energy that is not there, struggling to maintain a principled position despite the absurdities of the moment yet there is no political direction or message – or antagonism. Everything is suppressed.


This video feels, to me, like little more than a symptom of a moment of desperation as we became lost in the endless swamp of the judiciary's counter-revolution.


The video is pretending to believe in a system that was no longer even pretending it should be believed in. Who is this video addressed to? The contradictions of the moment are so clear it is little wonder that this is the last video we released.


Everyone on the Shoura Council case was sentenced to between three and five years. Alaa is still in prison.


After this, we made no new videos. But soon the full archive, the raw, unedited archive will be online and open for anyone, for everyone, to step in and make the next one.

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