I’d prefer not to situates modes of not-working in the historical context of Egypt’s revolutionary moment—understood here not as a fixed, discrete period of time (the 18 days of 2011), but rather a series of fluctuating moods, actions and events that occurred before and after, with a focus on artists who combine alternative strategies of retreat—for example, a return to formalism, or Sufi-tinged search for the sublime—with a vociferous shunning of socio-political critique or commentary.

Ania Szremski is the managing editor of 4Columns. She was a co-founder of Mada Masr, Egypt’s premier online platform for progressive independent journalism, launched on June 30, 2013. From 2011-15, she was chief curator of Townhouse—a non-profit contemporary art platform founded in downtown Cairo, Egypt in 1998. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications, including Art21, Bidoun, Contemporary Art Broadsheet, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, and Motherwell.