Upending infrastructure: Tamarod, resistance, and agency after the January 25th revolution in Egypt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In this paper, I review recent contributions to theories of resistance and agency in the context of anthropology of Egypt. Drawing on ethnography conducted in Egypt after the January 25th Revolution and then after the election of Mohamed Morsi as President, I analyse the mass mobilization movement in Egypt called Tamarod. Tamarod led the effort to have twenty-two million Egyptians sign a call for President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to step down, and mobilized an estimated twelve million to come on the street for a mass demonstration on 30 June, after which Morsi was removed from power. Rather than critique the notion of Tamarod as resistance, as a dupe of the Military, or as the legitimate voice of the Egyptian people and their agency, I argue that Tamarod made visible, and rendered available for political goals, a social infrastructure of communicative channels in Egypt. More generally, the paper shows concretely, and as concomitant processes, how agency is embedded in infrastructure and how infrastructure is upended in uprisings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-471
Number of pages20
JournalHistory and Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 8 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology


  • Egypt
  • Infrastructure
  • Resistance
  • Revolution
  • Social Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Upending infrastructure: Tamarod, resistance, and agency after the January 25th revolution in Egypt'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this