Critical Writing Index

Middle Eastern Media Arts: An Introduction

by Dorit Naaman

Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, Fall 2002, v. 43, no. 2, pp. 5-13

In her introduction to the Middle-Eastern Media Arts themed issue of Framework, Dorit Naaman explores the notion of what a "Middle Eastern Cinema" means within a contemporary international context that too often takes the West as the normative position against which to define national, ethnic and political dimensions of visual cultural production. Admitting to the intrinsic problematics and limitations of any geopolitical designation, Naaman situates "Middle-Eastern" geographically as being comprised of North African countries, the Arab world, Israel, Turkey and Iran. The author defines the Middle East as encompassing diverse material and cultural experiences that are tied by a common physical landscape and shared/elapsed histories. Naaman provides specific comparative examples of what she considers Middle Eastern work to reveal the intrinsic contradictions and productive outcomes of lending a Middle-Eastern lens to visual cultural production as it plays out at an international level. Naaman discusses the various types of funding the moving image arts receive in the Middle East the broad scope of training artists have received and the content and funding politics that are often at play in the making and distribution of video and film content from the Middle East as well as the problematics of Middle Eastern self-representation within a post-9/11 global political climate. Finally, Naaman provides a synopsis of the articles in this issue of Framework.

ITEM 2002.216 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

CutNizar Hassan

The PeddlerMohsen Makhmalbaf