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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?

Sarah Samy
2 November 2012

The state of the Internet, or more specifically, the state of 'online surfing' is similar to that of dreaming; things leach into each other according to a logic that does not belong to us and cannot be correlated to our chronological time; images are constantly morphing into ghosts of other images of other images of other images. Nostalgia is no longer possible –  how can one feel nostalgic towards a mediated dream?


An obsession with separation between the online and the offline is a paranoid attempt to prevent our world from flooding. Obviously, one cannot think of the Internet as merely a tool, while ignoring the fact that tools are not neutrally passive, but have their own presence and tendencies, their own structures of control and belief systems embedded in their basic protocols. The impact of the Internet on art is far beyond art that exists online or that specifically deals with the Internet; it is fundamentally changing the way art is created, experienced and circulated, within an attention economy. However, such impact is in no way positive or negative, nor is it a radical novelty. It is what it is, and thus the actual question becomes, as an artist: How to integrate such awareness to further one's own work and interests?


Sarah Samy. Courtesy of the artist.
Sarah Samy. Courtesy of the artist.
Sarah Samy

(born 1992) is an artist based in Alexandria, Egypt. She is currently studying chemical engineering at Alexandria University. www.sarahsamy.info.

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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.