A number of celebrities, including Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, were recently invited onto a new TV series named “The Activist” where six individuals compete against one another to promote a particular cause. These include health, education and the environment. Online engagement was one of the metrics by which the impact of different causes was to be measured; however, after backlash, CBS announced changes to the format. Despite this, the existence of such a show raises questions about the way celebrities and major brands use social media activism to boost their profile. Continue reading The Activist Economy
You may be familiar with certain Internet personalities known amongst Muslim audiences for their histrionic content. These figures are often shown reacting to anonymous anecdotes with advice from a (some might say ostensibly) Islamic perspective. While it has, rightfully, been subject to criticism for harping on drama, the modern celebrity preacher phenomenon, and the financial gain made from its underpinning sensationalism, continues to go under-investigated. Continue reading The Celebrity Preacher Phenomenon
The last few days have seen the continuation of widespread violence by Israeli occupiers against Palestinians in the West Bank. Numerous videos have been posted of illegal Israeli settlers evicting Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah and of Israeli forces attacking peaceful Muslim worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque. Continue reading Israel-Palestine: The End of Media Deception?
Even before Maïmouna Doucouré’s Cuties, or Mignonnes in French, was released on Netflix, it ignited international debate. The trailer alone provoked huge controversy for the film’s questionable use of minors, representation of minorities, and framing of Islam. Although raw emotion and knee-jerk reactions can be impulsively misleading and hinge on mob mentality, they may also be incredibly revealing. The instinctual response to a film says a lot about how well it conveys its message appropriately. Continue reading The Fine Line: A Film Critique of Doucouré’s “Cuties”
The recent debates around religion and representation shed light on the following quandary: whatever good is in mainstream media must eventually submit to the demands of entertainment. This is the argument of Neil Postman’s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. Continue reading Neil Postman and the Internet Age
For centuries, we have measured ourselves against Greco-Roman standards of perfection. Continue reading The Selfie Epidemic