Elsayed Mahmoud Elsehamy

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The exiled revolution and the revolutionary exile: the emergent political subjectivities of Egyptian political exiles in Istanbul

My doctoral project explores the politics of exile and its contestations in the aftermath of the 2013 military coup in Egypt. I investigate political subjectivity formation of post-2013 Egyptian political exiles in Istanbul. I re-work the concept of exile and engage with anthropological works on the state, refugees, displacement, borderwork, revolutions, nostalgia and home-making. One of my aims is to explore the way in which exile is deployed and developed into the workings of Egyptian state security institutions. My project traces how Egyptians are and were forced to leave the country in the aftermath of the 2013 military coup to depict the function of exile in the Egyptian polity. Understanding exile as a process of political exclusion, I perceive exile as a modality of government in Egypt. In addition, I explore exile as one of the afterlives of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. I seek to understand how the exiles relate to their loss and defeat and how they re-enact and deal with configurations of their political pasts in exile. Through ethnographic storytelling, I reveal the legacies of the 2011 revolution, which the Egyptian exiles embody and recreate.

Supervisors: Michelle Obeid, Soumhya Venkatesan

External positions

Researcher, The Aleppo Project, Shattuck Center on Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery, Central European University (Budapest College)

Jan 2019Jun 2020


  • Exiles and refugees, The state, Displacement, Political violence, Diasporas, Revolutions, Affect, Borders