A new exhibition at The Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) explores how media in the Arab world have been – and continue to be – used as a tool for expression, dissent and resistance.
The exhibition, ‘From Visionaries to Vloggers: media revolutions in the Middle East’, explores myriad media content that has been used for decades to challenge the prevalent narratives and status quo, and to fuel societal movements across the region – from the early days of oral storytelling to the Arab Spring. Drawing from content gathered across the Arab world, it portrays issues that over time have both altered media and adapted to media, all with the
vision of creating change.
“A large part of our mission is to give visitors different points of view and different ways of analysing the media around them,” said Pamela Erskine-Loftus, director of the Media Majlis. “This exhibition will introduce people to the backstory of issues that are in the media now and show that they are not actually new, but rather have origins from years before.”
The exhibition discusses how although the medium and the approach may differ, the message of change remains the same, NU-Q has stressed in a statement.
Visitors can expect to learn more about the rise of Arab influencers, from the first Arab poets to the latest comedy sensations and talk show hosts, and understand the historic moments that shaped the evolution and revolution of media as a means to call for change in the region. The Media Majlis opened its first exhibition in May 2019. “It is the first university museum in Qatar, open to the public and bilingual in all its aspects. The museum features extensive digital capacity to elevate a visitor’s experience by inviting them to participate in a global conversation on a continually changing media landscape,” the statement added.
The bi-annual exhibitions at the Media Majlis are designed so that visitors can journey through media-centric themes, exploring hundreds of images and films, as well as scores of original interviews – developed in-house – with scholars and professionals who are experts on the museum’s current exhibition topic.
In addition to the content exhibited, the museum’s programming includes exclusive lectures, workshops, and panel discussions with prominent media figures in the region.
The Media Majlis is open from Sunday-Thursday, 12.30pm-5pm, and on Saturdays from 10am-5pm. The current exhibition will run until June 13.
To learn more about the museum and its programmes, visit https://mediamajlis.northwestern.edu/en
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