I’d prefer not to situates certain 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. It features essays on themes such as quitting, sleeping, angelic and ghostly forms of communication, and the turn to the aesthetic. The blog also focuses on artists who combined 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.