Safa Al Ahmad

Safa Al Ahmad is an award-winning Saudi journalist and filmmaker. She has directed documentaries for PBS and the BBC focusing on uprisings in the Middle East and the aftermath. She is currently nominated for the Emmy Awards in two categories for her documentary "Yemen under Siege'.


Raja Althaibani

Raja is a Yemeni American, born and raised in Brooklyn, and her passion for her heritage is translated through her work with not-for-profit organizations domestically and internationally. As a field researcher, she focused on Yemen’s evolution of tribal law and the influence of the Yemeni central government system on the traditional tribal systems. Raja is an AmeriCorps alumna who served one year in the largest Arab American community in New York state providing bilingual culturally sensitive social service support to newly arrived Arab immigrants. Raja’s strengths lie in community mobilization, political analysis of the status of the Middle East, international human rights, and Islam. Raja currently works to ensure that video is used effectively to take advantage of the critical moment of transition in the region and to ensure innovative learning is shared and built upon. Most recently, Raja led a critical response effort in Syria, delivering critical support to areas across the country. In 2011, she was in Yemen covering the revolution as a media stringer and freelance photographer for international media.


Heba Amin

Heba Y. Amin is an Egyptian visual artist, researcher and lecturer. She is currently teaching at Bard College Berlin, is a BGSMSC doctorate fellow at Freie Universität, and a recent resident artist at the Bethanien artist residency program in Berlin. Amin has received many grants, including the DAAD grant and the Rhizome Commissions grant. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, the curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal (US), and curator for the biennial residency program DEFAULT with Ramdom Association (IT). Furthermore, Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series “Homeland” which received worldwide media attention.


Kari Andén-Papadopoulos

Kari Andén-Papadopoulos is Professor at the Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University. She has published widely on photojournalism in times of crisis and war, with particular interest in citizen and activist camera-mediated practices and networked digital media. Recently completed research examined how global and national news organizations and their audiences are responding to the growing availability of crowd-sourced eyewitness footage from zones of conflict and crises around the world. Current research involves media and activism in the Middle East, with a specific focus on emergent modes of civic expression and engagement connected to digital cameras and platforms. 


Ali Atassi

Mohammad Ali Atassi is a journalist, producer, and documentary filmmaker. He was born in 1967 in Damascus, Syria. Atassi obtained a diploma in civil engineering from Damascus University in 1992 and a DEA in history from the Sorbonne Paris 4 in 1996. Since 2000, he has been writing for several Arab and international newspapers on political and cultural topics. Since 2001, he directed two short documentary films and two feature documentaries and produced several short and documentary films. His films have been shown in numerous festivals worldwide and have gained several awards. He is the founder and the director of Bidayyat for Audio-Visual Arts in Beirut.


Lara Baladi

Egyptian-Lebanese multidisciplinary artist Lara Baladi lives between Egypt and the USA. In her investigations into myths, archives, personal and socio-political narratives, Baladi makes use of a wide range of mediums including photography, video, sound and new technologies to create immersive multimedia installations, architectural spaces, collages, sculptures, tapestries, perfume, etc. She is on the Board of Directors of several cultural Foundations in the Middle East, the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Egypt and the Arab Image Foundation in Lebanon. She is the founder of the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Nomadic Artists) in Egypt’s White Desert (2006) and the co-founder of two media initiatives, Tahrir Cinema and Radio Tahrir (2011). Currently, Baladi is working on a transmedia, interactive timeline of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its aftermath. Since 2014, she has been a Fellow at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab. In 2015-16, she was the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at MIT’s Centre for Art, Science and Technology (CAST). Since 2015, she has been a Lecturer in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT).


Karin Becker

Karin Becker is Professor emerita in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University.  Her early work focused on documentary photography and photojournalism, and broadened to include research on vernacular and arts-based  practices in visual media, frequently using ethnographic methods. Her background includes work in visual media studies at the University of Iowa, at Konstfack in Stockholm and at Linköping University. She was coordinator of the Nordic Network for Digital Visuality, and led the research project ”Changing Places," on the space of the public screen, that involved  collaboration with video artists, and focused on global media events. Her current research includes a study of visual aspects of global television news broadcasters’ coverage of protest, within the project Screening Protest: (tele)visual narratives of dissent across time, space and genre.


Amahl Bishara

Amahl Bishara is an associate professor of Anthropology at Tufts University whose research revolves around settler colonialism, expressivity, place, and media. She is the author of Back Stories: U.S. News and Palestinian Politics (Stanford University Press 2013), an ethnography of the production of U.S. news during the second Palestinian intifada, and the article “Driving While Palestinian in Israel and the West Bank” (American Ethnologist 2015). She directed the documentaries Degrees of Incarceration (2011) and Take My Pictures For Me (2016). During 2017, she is an ACLS Burkhardt Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


Cécile Boëx

Cécile Boëx is assistant professor at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris. Arabist, she is a specialist of the links between moving images and politics in the Middle East. Her current research explores the uses and the grammars of videos made by ordinary protesters, activists and fighters since the beginning of the revolt until now. Crossing political sciences and visual anthropology, she focuses on political and ritual innovations mediated by vernacular video in this context of extreme violence. She is also interested in power relationships embedded in the core of images and sounds. Her teaching deals with vernacular video in conflicting contexts, film making, cinema and violence as well as epistemological issues related to social sciences research on Syria since 2011.


Jeff Deutch

Jeff Deutch is lead researcher with the Syrian Archive, a Syrian-led human rights monitoring group dedicated to the preservation and verification of digital content of human rights violations and other crimes committed by all sides in the Syrian conflict. He is a fellow at the Centre for Internet and Human Rights and doctoral candidate at Humboldt University in Berlin.


Anthony Downey

Dr. Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East at Birmingham City University. Recent publications include Don’t Shrink Me to the Size of a Bullet: The Works of Hiwa K (Walter König Books, 2017); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (Sternberg Press, 2016); Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2015); Art and Politics Now (Thames and Hudson, 2014);  and Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in North Africa and the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2014). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz, an online research platform for cultural producers in the Middle East (2010-present), and sits on the Editorial Board of Third Text. He is currently researching Zones of Indistinction: Contemporary Art Practices and the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (forthcoming, Sternberg Press, 2018).


Peadar Grogan

I'm an editor with the news agency Storyful, the world's first social media agency, based at the company's headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. On a day-to-day basis, my work involves directing coverage for our world news team in the Europe-MENA time zone, editing copy and finding, investigating and verifying or debunking video and photos from eyewitness sources for newsrooms around the world. I worked for many misspent years as an engineer before switching to journalism in 2013 and have experience in radio and digital journalism.


Storyful's news team came to prominence during the Arab Spring, using a unique approach to social media content discovery and verification to give publications worldwide access to eyewitness reporting on stories outside the traditional reach of their newsrooms. The team has grown, with offices in London, Hong Kong, Sydney and New York, and works with many of the world's largest publishers, while also protecting the rights of activists and eyewitnesses to the day's biggest stories.


Sara Ishaq

Sara Ishaq is a Yemeni-Scottish filmmaker who graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in Humanities & Social Sciences (2007) and an MFA in Film Directing in (2012). She began her filmmaking career in 2007 working with the BBC and other media outlets. She later made two award-winning documentary films about the 2011 Yemeni revolution: Karama Has No Walls (Academy Award & BAFTA nominated) and The Mulberry House. She is also co-founder of the Sana'a-based media collective #SupportYemen (2011) and Comra Film Camp (2015). She is now developing her first fiction feature.


Thomas Keenan

Thomas Keenan teaches media theory, literature, and human rights at Bard College, where he directs the Human Rights Project and helped create the first undergraduate degree program in human rights in the United States. He has served on the boards of a number of human rights organizations and journals, including WITNESS, Scholars at Risk, The Crimes of War Project, The Journal of Human Rights, and Humanity. He is the author of "Fables of Responsibility," 1997; and with Eyal Weizman, "Mengele’s Skull," 2012.  "The Flood of Rights," co-edited with Suhail Malik and Tirdad Zolghadr, was published in 2017.  "It is obvious from the map," a project on mapping and migration curated with Sohrab Mohebbi, was exhibited at REDCAT in Los Angeles in 2017.


Hagit Keysar

Hagit lives and works in Israel-Palestine, her background is in visual anthropology and fine art studies and she has recently submitted a PhD thesis titled: “Prototyping the Civic View From Above: Do-It-Yourself Aerial Photography in Israel-Palestine”. Based on her ongoing collaboration with the Public Lab ( she explores the potential role of open-source and DIY scientific instruments for human rights grassroots activism.


Marwan Kraidy

Marwan M. Kraidy is the Anthony Shadid Chair in Global Media, Politics and Culture and Founding Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania. His major works are Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization (Temple, 2005), Reality Television and Arab Politics (Cambridge, 2010), and The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Creative Insurgency in the Arab World (Harvard, 2016). He is now working on Islamic State as a war machine in the digital era, and on the rise and fall of Turkey in Arab public discourse.


Sara Rifky 

Sarah Rifky is a writer and curator. She is the co-founder of Beirut (2012-2015) an art initiative and exhibition space in Cairo. She is the author of numerous essays of art and other speculative fiction. She is pursuing her PhD in History, Theory and Criticism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is a fellow of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.


Dima Saber

Dima Saber is Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. She is responsible for leading and delivering projects in citizen journalism in the Arab region, with a focus on the role of digital media in fostering social change and in altering the work of political activists in post-revolution countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Syria.


Ala'a Shehabi

Dr Ala'a Shehabi is a Bahraini writer and economist. She co-edited the book Bahrain's Uprising and co-founded the investigative platform, Bahrain Watch.


Bilal Tamimmi

 Bilal Tamimmi, born in 1966, is resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In December 2009, the village began weekly non-violent demonstrations in opposition to the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish annexing of a number of fresh water springs, located on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of An Nabi Saleh, and stealing of more of the village’s land. He has been documenting the weekly anti-occupation demonstrations with his camera for many years. He has been arrested, assaulted, beaten and targeted with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets many times by the Israeli army in order to prevent him from filming and photographing.


Malin Wahlberg

Malin Wahlberg is an Associate Professor in Cinema Studies at the Department for Media Studies, IMS, at Stockholm University. She is the author of Volume 21 Documentary Time. Film and Phenomenology in the Visible Evidence Series (Minneapolis och London: University of Minnesota Press, 2008), and of essays and book chapters on subjects including aesthetic theory, science cinema, video art, and TV documentary. Her recent work includes an archive project on Vietnam documentaries and solidarity programming in the context of early public broadcasting culture, and a theoretical project on sonic traces, voice and aurality in documentary memory work. 


Dork Zabunyan

Dork Zabunyan is professor in film studies at Paris 8 University. He has wrote several essays on the arab springs for various revues such as Cahiers du Cinéma, Trafic or artpress. His last book, published last year, is called L'insistance des luttes - images, soulèvements, contre-révolutions (De l'incidence éditeur, 2016).