“Writing comes up from under my skin,” writes Brandon LaBelle. “It creeps into my sleep, to tense my fingers; I am plunged into it, as a space for capturing a new voice, for figuring a new body, between here and there.”
Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian is marked by an urgency to unsettle divides between west and east, Anglo and Arab, and to put into question structures and modes of being-political. Written between February and June of 2011, the Diary functioned as a daily consideration of the intensity of events erupting around the world at that time. LaBelle sought to engage these events by way of a diary of affiliation and reciprocation in which personal memories and cultural reflections search for remote connection, in particular, with the Arab Spring. The Diary acts as a platform from which questions around US imperialism, art and revolution, the task of writing, and the possibility of new political subjectivity are raised. LaBelle asks for an "agency of the intimate", outlining a tender map of the transnational.
Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian is the second issue of the new book series Doormats published by Errant Bodies Press, edited by Riccardo Benassi and Brandon LaBelle. The series aims at contributing to the now, addressing issues that are present and that demand presence.