Global Middle Eastern / Transnational Media, History, and Theory Working Group

Michael Moshe Dahan
UC Irvine

Anandi Rao
UC Irvine

This working group interrogated the intersection of media, history and theory from or about the Global Middle East through the lens of postcolonial, decolonial, and transnational discourses. The group sought to explore the (after) effects of colonial incursions and continued imperial expansions in the region by examining visual media’s role in narrating, interrogating and challenging these processes. Members considered visual media’s role in instigating an engaged commitment to critical and radical thought production, beginning with Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 neo-realist masterpiece “The Battle of Algiers” and continuing through to contemporary films, such as Naji Abu Nowar’s “Theeb” (2014). Taking as its premise that the battle of Algiers continues to be waged globally, the group presented selected films and video artworks (narrative, documentary, and experimental) from the Greater Middle East in context with canonical and emergent historical and theoretical texts– works that continue to haunt the artistic and theoretical worlds we inhabit.