(mis)representation

My Q&A with Homeland Hacker Heba Amin Published by Al Jazeera!

Heba Amin Photo

Heba Amin, an Egyptian visual artist, Karam, an Egyptian-German artist, and Don painted Arabic graffiti on the set of Showtime’s series Homeland [Al Jazeera]

To read the article on Al Jazeera’s site, click here.

Homeland hacker challenges media portrayals of Muslims

Visual artist Heba Amin discusses the thin line between news and entertainment and making a point through humour.

When the German publisher Don Karl approached Heba Amin, an Egyptian visual artist and researcher, to paint Arabic graffiti on the set of Showtime’s series Homeland, her initial impulse was to decline, as others had before her.

She rejected what she viewed as the programme’s orientalism and its framing of diverse peoples from South and West Asia as monolithic evildoers.

But then she reconsidered. What if she could use the moment to spark a dialogue?

So, in collaboration with her colleagues, Karam, an Egyptian-German artist, and Don, she did just that.

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My Radio Interview on Uprising: Anti-Arab Racism & Orientalism in Homeland & Quantico

Uprising

Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar interviewed me about my article on the Orientalism in Quantico and the subversive Arabic graffiti art on Homeland. Listen to the interview here.

Jeannie’s American Dream: My Feature Article–on Newsstands Now!

Jeannie

Jeannie title

To read this article (in PDF), click here: Jeannie’s American Dream-The Assimilation of a TV Icon. It’s in the winter issue of the print magazine Bitch. Yes, that’s right, print is NOT dead. Get your copy now at your local bookstore, newsstand or on their website.

To hear me interviewed about the article on the podcast Popaganda, click here.

I look at how Jeannie, from the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, started off as an over-the-top Arab stereotype, but over the show’s five-year run was forced to assimilate due to pressure from network executives who wanted her to be more “likeable,” i.e. American. I also break down how Orientalism helped ratings and why, even though Jeannie calls Tony “Master,” she can be read as a feminist, transgressive character.

Jeannie quote

I’m a Featured Contributor!

Bitch Tough Issue

The “Tough Issue”  hits newsstands June 1st. I’m honored to have been chosen as one of five featured contributors: 

Bitch Feature Pic

My article, “Alice in TV Land” addresses what went down with ABC’s Alice in Arabiaas well as the divide between media critics and makers but looks to bridge the gap: “As an Arab American feminist trained to critique popular culture, I want to find ways to spark, influence, and create it as well.”

Alice in TV Land Image

 

Here’s a pulled quote to wet your appetite: 

Bitch Pulled Quote Alice Tough Issue

 

Bitch, a feminist response to pop culture, is a non-profit and currently fundraising with 20% off subscriptions: subscribe today! 

Dutch Sociology Magazine Eutopia Publishes My Critique

Chocomel

How Is This Dutch Company Using a Harem to Sell Chocolate Milk?

The Dutch chocolate-milk manufacturer Chocomel has produced a new commercial that has gotten nearly 800k views on YouTube in the three weeks since it was posted. How has a commercial for a sweet dairy drink drawn that kind of attention? By employing old Orientalist and racist tactics, and Arab face. You know the kind: sleazy Arab sheikh tries to get what he wants by luring an innocent white man into his “palace,” where eager, exotic women line the walls.

Although, I must admit they’ve put some fresh spins on an old move. Here’s how:

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