Tamara Abdul Hadi Stages Self-Portraits in Palestine

Dubai photographer, Tamara Abdul Hadi, lets Palestinians capture their own images. She sets up a camera with an extended shutter cable and lets the subjects photograph themselves. In this fashion, the photo subjects display greater apprehension to take a more formal photo versus that of the common smartphone selfie. read more

The Infographic — Or, How We Use Creative Media to Explain the Messes We Help Make

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Conflicts throughout the world have become ever increasingly complex in their beginnings and ongoing outcomes. Trying to understand why the Arab Spring began and how it spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East or who the myriad of participants in the now five-year-old plus Syrian Civil War takes a significant amount of focus and tenacity to absorb details from media sources or history books. Enter the infographic, a relatively new form of media that attempts to squeeze the complexity of modern-day social, economic, and political issues into a few minutes of clarity. read more

Recreating What’s Destroyed: How Displaced Syrians Rebuild the Past

Mahmoud Hariri recreates a model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. Photo: Christopher Herwig.
Mahmoud Hariri recreates a model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. Photo: Christopher Herwig.

Even before peace can even be imagined in Syria, there are already plans underway to renovate antiquities destroyed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levent when they took control of the central Syria in 2015. The United Nations and UNESCO have both pledged support to reconstruct Palmyra, an important site of ruins dating back to two thousand years BC. But while war rages on, Syrians in Za’atari refugee camp begin reconstruction on a much smaller scale. read more

Don’t Go to Iran, or Maybe Let’s Go

Okay, so Iran has a lot of work ahead in the realm of human rights, although many other countries do too. And even if this is a promotional video, we can agree that the greatness and beauty of Iran are its people, cities and countryside — and that beauty exists above and beyond its politics and shortcomings. Should we not go? read more

Ruins — Depicting the Results of War on Yemeni Walls

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Artist Murad Subay depicts the challenges and troubling results of Yemen’s civil war by creating murals and graffiti, drawing attention to the plight of fellow Yemenis and remembrance to thousands of lives lost. Motifs are placed among the bombed ruins underscoring the ongoing warfare and subsequent ravaged landscape. The project is Murad’s fifth undertaking titled Ruins. Choosing wall spaces bordering war zones, the painting and installation was often interrupted by fighting, loss of electricity, and resources. Sometimes supported by fellow artist Thi Yazen, Murad would also enlist the participation of the Yemini community to assist in painting images — thus making the graphical statements communal and not only his own. read more