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What relationship does visual culture have to the world we live in?

Ibrahim Farghali
1 November 2011

It is so difficult to imagine the people in the world now getting their cultural resources without a visual component, especially in the Arab world where the photograph is becoming increasingly dominant in the media. For example, most newspapers and Arabic magazines are giving much more space to photographs, considering them as important as the written reports. Unfortunately this produces less analysis from the media in general. On the other hand, the various satellite TV channels, with their constant dissemination of imagery, are today a tool to inform and influence a large segment of the Arab people, namely illiterates.

There is however an incompatibility between the rising wave of using and dealing with images in the Arab world, and the Islamic militants who say that image-making 'Tasweer' is forbidden in Islam. 

But the dramatic shift in popular and social media following the revolutions in the last year will inevitably generate substantive discussions on the subject in the coming years among artists and religious clerics and may yet result in many new phenomena.

Ibrahim Farghali

is an Egyptian author and journalist.

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