Platform for discussion004
With the benefit of hindsight, what role does new media play in artistic practices, activism, and as an agent for social change in the Middle East and North Africa today?
Digitised media in the last decade has undoubtedly been propelled by the enormous speed of new technology and spontaneous platforms for rights, defined by Hakim Bey as 'Temporary Autonomous Zones' and 'network guerrillas' by Ozgur Uckan. Consequently, despite the mediated content of the mainstream media, social media sites have emerged as powerful tools and driving forces for the democratisation process in the region. On the other hand, and at an ever increasing pace, Turkey has become subject to Internet filters, various forms of censorship in the media, and irrational criminal accusations against online platforms for alternative voices.
In making this point, I am curious and interested in the tactical moves of artistic practices, which could constitute statements and diverse voices without being trapped by the limitations of this suppression. Instead of recording the ongoing disasters and repeating them as silent witnesses and victims, the crucial question for me is the investigation of the mechanisms behind these traps.
What is a platform?
A platform is a space for speaking in public. It is an opportunity to express ideas and thoughts. It also suggests the formal declaration of a stance or position on any given subject.
Unique to Ibraaz is a 'platform', a question put to writers, thinkers and artists about an issue relevant to the MENA region. This platform is sent to respondents both within and beyond the MENA region and contributions will be archived every 12 months.