Destruction as Image-Act - Remapping History

Project image: 
Christian Christensen, Nadia Oweidat and Rüdiger Lohlker

Thursday, March 17, 6:30 pm

Destruction as Image-Act - Remapping History
New York University, 1307 L St. NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Metro: McPherson Square)

Propaganda and imagery are integral to terrorism. Their production by Da’esh in the last three years has achieved a competitive quality and displays bewildering resilience to counter terrorist measures. The digital media made available to audiences globally demonstrate a new dimension of immediacy of crime and ostentation. Videos of trials, beheadings, fighting and destruction have borrowed formats from formats such as video games and documentary films. The execution of people and the destruction of cultural objects and places have been used to produce a self-righteous culture of annihilation and implement an overall claim to a lasting change of the course of history in the Middle East and beyond.

Christian Christensen is Professor of Journalism in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University in Sweden. He focuses his research upon the relationship between media and power, in particular during times of warfare. He looks at the representation of Islam in the international media and the use of social media for information distribution.

Rüdiger Lohlker is Professor of Islamic Studies in the Oriental Institute at the University of Vienna, Austria. His research looks at the history of Islamic ideas, Islam and the Arab world online, modern Islamic movements, Jihadism and Islamic law. He focuses on Arab and Islamic websites and contemporary Islamic movements (Jihadism and Salafism in particular) in a comparative perspective. He maintains several blogs about Islam and Arabian culture, critique of anti-Muslim discourses and Arab hacker culture.

Nadia Oweidat is a Senior Non-Residential Fellow at New America. She also teaches Modern Islamic Thought and Extremism at Georgetown University. Her doctoral research illuminates currents of Islamic thought and the challenges facing reformers who work from within the tradition. Oweidat's expertise spans a wide range of contemporary issues such as the Arab Spring, countering violent extremism, the radicalization of Muslim youth, and Internet trends among Arabic speakers.

Honey Al SayedModerated by Honey Al Sayed, adjunct professor at the School of Foreign Service in the Culture and Politics department at Georgetown University and development manager at El Hibri Foundation, which supports peace education and interfaith cooperation. Al Sayed created the bi-lingual radio program "Good Morning, Syria," and co-founded SouriaLi radio, a grassroots non-profit online radio station dedicated to working with Syrian people in fostering an advanced level of awareness in civil society. She is a member of the media resource on who's who women experts in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.