VJ Um Amel: A Force in the Digital Realm

Under the umbrella of remix cultures and new media digitalization, VJ Um Amel is a force to be reckoned with in social activism. Take a peek at the Manifesto on the VJ Um Amel website:

http://vjumamel.com/about/

Readers can better understand the goals and accomplishments of VJ Um Amel; in fact, her credentials are rooted deep in her personal, hands-on experience in digital activism and digital art. For this discussion, I decided to look into a few websites that mention VJ Um Amel and her accomplishments.

 

The first website, http://www.digitalislam.eu/website.do?articleId=7957, introduces VJ Um Amel and her works in creating R-Shief, as well as focusing her work towards mapping Arab revolutions and allowing others to visualize dissent. Along with her largely credible background in education and involvement/appearances in international events, VJ Um Amel has been able to further examine and challenge the intersection between politics and digital media. In this case, her works have reflected her abilities to map, visualize, and reify instances of Arab political disruptions.

 

Another website, https://creators.vice.com/en_us/article/vj-um-amel-remixes-a-revolution, describes VJ Um Amel and her engagements in turmoil surround Africa and the Middle East. Furthermore, the article discusses the applications of her work in different areas of media—whether this may be Twitter, R-Shief, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. For instance, her website and database, R-Shief, provides a visualization regarding the amount of hashtagged Twitter conversations regarding specific topics circulating around the media. Something that caught my attention was how the article mentions how the hashtag #Jan25 was mentioned in 800,000 tweets. Therefore, VJ Um Amel’s work has been able to create awareness and representations for topics regarding social injustices in the Middle East. This offers the opportunity to map significant events and phenomenon, especially in political issues that may go unnoticed in other Western communities. In fact, I learned more about the Arab Uprisings and the important role that Twitter/R-Shief played in created a global awareness towards social justices.

 

The last article I read was not particularly an article, but instead a YouTube video on a Tedx Talks given by VJ Um Amel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfzEERoZf5k

Her topic regarding the intersection between digital media and politics is really engaging, because it allows those who are interested to get directly involved. Her discussion also surrounds the topic on the ways in which social media platforms are designed in ways to build global communities. By doing so, Facebook and Twitter are able to become larger, political, and expansive modes of discussion and in creating larger communities online. She also challenges listeners to conceptualize the ways in which information is designed around the world. In other words, the ways in which our social structures have created communities becomes a more significant and intentionally manipulated construct. This is also a microcosmic example in creating structures both socially, politically, and digitally.

In conclusion, VJ Um Amel is noted to have made a larger, impactful presence in various museums, festivals, and galleries. She has not only created awareness for sociopolitical conditions in the Middle East, but also challenged the ways in which our social structures are built and manipulated.

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