The Waking Nightmare: Post-revolutionary Egyptian Dystopias by The British Library

Six years after the revolution and in the current climate of suppressed dreams, a new wave of Egyptian writers and artists are blending horror, realism and black humour to reflect on this painful phase of their nation’s history. Hosted by celebrated literary translator Elisabeth Jaquette, three Egyptians working in the continuum from nightmare present realism to dystopian futurism will read from and discuss their brave work and its troubling context.

Basma Abdel Aziz is an award-winning writer, sculptor, and psychiatrist specialising in the treatment of victims of torture. A long-standing human rights activist in Egypt, she is the author of several works of non-fiction. In 2016 she was named one of Foreign Policy’s Leading Global Thinkers for her debut novel, The Queue, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette.

Ganzeer is a maker of installations, prints, paintings, videos, objects, guerrilla actions in public spaces, and comix. Like Basma Abdel Aziz, he was named a Foreign Policy Leading Global Thinker in 2016 for his current project, a graphic novel entitled The Solar Grid. Art in America Magazine has referred to his practice as ‘New Realism’.

Mohammad Rabie’s first novel, Amber Planet, won First Prize in the Emerging Writers category of the Sawiris Cultural Award Competition in 2011. Otared, his third novel, was published in Arabic in early 2015 to much critical attention and appeared in English in 2016, having been shortlisted for the 2016 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.