Performing Democracy: Reviews


perform dem internet image

Kimberly Segall’s text provides an analysis of the social and cultural impacts of war, social unrest and political violence in two societies that have undergone traumatic conflict and upheaval. By investigating various means of communication–such as  blogs,  protest,  graphic novels, performance–Segall shows how groups of affected people in Iraq and South Africa reposition themselves to cope with collective trauma.


Available on Amazon: Performing Democracy in Iraq  and South  Africa (Syracuse  University  Press,  2013).


Segall’s book draws our attention to the use of media, art and popular culture by ordinary people living through extraordinary times. She highlights the role of affect and emotion in resisting, negotiating, understanding and coping with dramatic and sometimes violent political change.
–Nicola Pratt, coauthor of What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq

Segall engages some of the most innovative artists of contemporary South African theatre, including Brett Bailey, Yael Farber, and Nadia Davids. Performing artists’ meditations on the complexities of post-apartheid democracy illuminate the gulf between South Africa’s constitution, with its progressive aspirations for human rights, and the legacies of an apartheid past evident in persistent violence and socio-economic inequality today.

–Catherine M. Cole, author of Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition 

A keen listener and observer, Kimberly Wedeven Segall brings together two decades of engagement with Middle Eastern and African communities that have sought to forge new political imaginaries. Drawing our attention to many forgotten springs beyond the newly named Arab Spring, Segall shows how popular and artistic expressions in these communities have resulted in hybrid blooms of democratic voices.
–Gaurav Desai, coeditor of Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism

Journal of International Women’s Studies, Book Review of Performing Democracy in Iraq and South Africa: Gender, Media, and Resistance

About Author: Kimberly Wedeven Segall CV

Performing Democracy flier segall

Selected Book Talks

UW New Voices on the Middle East Series, 2015