The Other Mid-East Media


Putting to rest the misconception that Al Jazeera represents the leading edge of electronic media in the Middle East, three artists who invoke the region in their projects presented work at Amsterdam's Mediamatic Fountadion on September 13th. Mounira Al Solh's video, 'Rawane's Song,' is featured in Lebanon's pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year. At Mediamatic, she screened and discussed that work, as well as two works-in-progress ('A Cat in the Hippodrome' and 'The Sea is a Stereo') that also tackle everything from Lebanese politics to migrating populations. Her presentation was followed by a slide show from Amsterdam-based Paul Keller, who draws on images taken in Dubai, Lebanon, Amman, and Damascus to illustrate his concept of 'collateral knowledge.' Finally, the young Lebanon-born, Paris-based musician and composer Tarek Atoui performed a piece dedicated to people in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon who have suffered as a result of regional conflicts. As a whole, the evening demonstrated the cultural influence of the region extending well beyond the narrow scope of news headlines.