Clapback Fury Art Installation by Saeeda Saeed



In 2018, the state-supported Saudi Electronic Army created thousands of fake Twitter accounts to promote the veneration of rulers both online and offline. Similarly, in 2017, legislation was put in place where “retweeting narratives that go against the state, the royal family or religion” is seen as an act of terrorism punishable by a thousand lashes and a 10-year jail sentence. Critics, both in and out of the kingdom, end up harmed with their families and friends threatened, shamed and harrassed.

In response to this reality and throughout her practice, Saeeda Saeed (b. 1988) has been devising counterstrategies to somehow disturb these well-oiled machines. Especially with the constant loss of both physical and digital autonomy for individuals around the globe, she attempts to claim some semblance of control through the rhythm and dance piece, Clapback Fury. Comparable to the gameplay of “Dance Dance Revolution,” each step produces nonsensical meme insults and directly tags Saudi state-run accounts with the intent of drowning out official tweets. The work uses play, humor and joy as a means of release, a joy that opposes the despair of a political reality without an alternative.

Text by Iris Ferrer.