Walid El-Houri is a filmmaker, journalist and researcher. He is currently the lead editor of openDemocracy’s North Africa West Asia, and managing editor of Jeem, an Arabic online platform on sex, sexuality and gender. He is also a lecturer at Bard College Berlin. He completed his PhD in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2012. He holds a BA in Filmmaking from the Saint Joseph University in Beirut, an MA in Journalism from the Lebanese University and the Paris II University, and an MA in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam. His PhD dissertation, entitled “The meaning of resistance: Hezbollah’s media strategies and the articulation of a people”, explores the transformation of Hezbollah’s media strategies and productions, their military role, and the articulation of the notion of “resistance” as a political identity in Lebanon.

He has previously taught at the American University of Beirut (2013) and the University of Balamand in Lebanon (2009). In 2013 he moved to Berlin as a postdoctoral fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien before receiving the ICI fellowship. His research focuses on protest movements and the notion of failure in politics.

The Meaning of Protest:
Spatial Practices and Tactics of Erring in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria

ICI Project 2014-16

Using the concept of Errans in its dual meaning of wandering and error this project analyzes practices of protest movements ongoing in three locations with three representative forms of political conflict: Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. This comparative analysis will investigate counter-hegemonic spatial and discursive practices and tactics used in these three cases in order to elucidate the role of space and meaning in the process of political transformation.

In order to do so, I will look at the ways in which subversive uses of public spaces transgress, transform and re-appropriate these spaces and how these essentially experimental and creative political movements, their trials and errors, are part of a process whose analysis cannot be limited to notions of success and failure in the traditional sense but to the dynamic process of imagining and articulating new subject positions and new chains of equivalence between a multiplicity of groups and demands present on the ground.