Media, Art + Activism


The democratic movements known as the “Arab Spring” have brought extraordinary political and social changes to the Middle East and beyond.  The Media, Art, and Activism in the Middle East and Asia Speaker Series is offered in connection with an Asian Studies Colloquium Class taught in Art History + Visual Culture by Dr. Karin Zitzewitz.


In total, the series features six speakers working between the United States and a geographic site in the Middle East and Asia, including Egypt, Afghanistan, and India and will investigate the role of art, media, and creative expression in battles for public and private space.  


The Media, Art, and Activism in the Middle East and Asia Colloquium is sponsored by the Asian Studies, Art | Art History | Design, Global Studies in the Arts & Humanities, Arabic Flagship Program, and Muslim Studies.  



Jessica Winegar | October 4, 4PM | KAC, 108

A Civilized Revolution:  Aesthetics, Political Action, and Urban Space in Egypt

Jessica Winegar's writings on the revolution in Egypt have appeared in Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, and She is author of the award-winning Creative Reckonings:  The Politics of Art and Culture in Contemporary Egypt (Stanford, 2006) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University. 

Hamdi Attia | October 4, 7PM | KAC, 108

Living and working between Cairo and Chicago, artist Hamdi Attia engages an experimental vocabulary through the use of video, mapping, drawing, and sculpture. His work represented Egypt at the Venice Biennial in 1995, where it received the top pavilion prize with Akram El-Magdoub. 


Nora Taylor | October 18, 4PM | KAC, 108

Running the Earth: Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba's Breathing is Free 12,756.3 

Nora Taylor holds the position of Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She is the author of Painters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art (Hawaii 2004/University of Singapore Press, 2009) and co-editor of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art:  An Anthology (Cornell, 2012).


Mariam Ghani | October 25, 4PM | KAC, 108

Afghani- and Arab-American artist Mariam Ghani lives and works in Brooklyn.  Her research-based practice examines the places, spaces, and moments where social and political structures take on visible and tangible forms.  Ghani’s exhibitions and screenings include dOCUMENTA 13, Sharjah Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, and transmediale.  


Jaishri Abichandani | November 8, 4PM | KAC, 108

Primarily a conceptual and political artist, the work of Jaishri Abichandani reflects her position as a feminist South Asian American. Her practice manifests in the form of installations, sculptures, paintings, events, and exhibitions focusing on issues of gender and power.  Abichandani has exhibited at P.S.1/MOMA, the 798 Beijing Biennial, and the House of World Cultures in Berlin. 


Peggy Wang | November 29, 4PM | KAC, 108

Politics of Intervention: Tracing the intersections of contemporary art and media in China, 1980s–now 

Peggy Wang is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College.  Her writing has appeared in Yishu, Art Asia Pacific, and Orientations.  Most recently, Wang worked as the Editorial Associate on Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, published by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.