Monday, 28 October 2013

Saudi Blues ... or Reggae

The past few days have seen a flurry of activity in Saudi Arabia against the ban on women drivers. A number of protests, some unreported, some high profile have sent a powerful message to the ruling elite. 

The protests are a symptom of the contradictions of Saudi society, partly the product of the policies of the ruling elite who, in order to protect their hold to power in an increasingly diverse society, have invested in a dual strategy consisting in courting the ultra-conservative religious establishment (and the notorious Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice also known as the religious police) and facilitating the expansion of middle class consumerism (described so vividly by Rajaa Alsanea in her Banat al-Riyadh (Girls of Riyadh) novel. Tensions have surfaced on a number of occasions from unrest in many provincial cities against corruption to the various forms of activism on women's rights. Media activism constitutes one of the fields in which contentious politics find expression in the troubled Kingdom. Protesters devise creative and innovative ways in expressing grievances and criticism towards the regime.  

Below activist and artist Hisham Fageeh's take on the ongoing driving ban for women in Saudi Arabia.

No comments:

Post a Comment