Northwestern opens a unique media museum on Qatar campus: BTN LiveBIG

Northwestern opens a unique media museum on Qatar campus: BTN LiveBIG

The consumption of Arab media, from news stories to literature to images and films, in the western world has been vital to how forming our ideas of the region, for good and ill. All too often we’re confronted with images of strife, but those belie a region rich with cultures and narratives that fly in the face of our assumptions.

Reporters, photographers, filmmakers and writers have had to navigate strict censorship, sectarian violence, mutable power structures and wavering borders to bring to light the honest stories of the region.

In the midst of this landscape, Northwestern University (NU-Q) has established one of the leading media and communications schools in the world. Northwestern’s Qatar campus offers degrees in Journalism and Media Industries and Technologies through programs aligned with curriculum taught in Evanston.

Furthering their mission in region, NU-Q recently announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind museum aimed at exploring journalism and media in the Arab world. The Media Majlis – Arabic for “gathering place” – offers a bilingual, technology-driven experience that bridges the connection between cultural traditions and global communication.

In a press release, NU-Q dean Everette C. Dennis highlights how important it is to contextualize how Arab media is viewed and understood.

“The Media Majlis, a decade in the making, is a space where our students and faculty, as well as the general public, can engage with content that examines media influences and impact. The museum’s programming, which will explore everything from Arab representations in film, to censorship and identity, underscores the importance of media in society and draws on images and materials from local sources and global collections.”

The museum was created with the help of a Content Advisory Board comprised of international media scholars. Thousands of films and images of the Arab world invite visitors to wander through the space and delve into the various media themes that are broached. In addition to the main exhibition area, the Media Majlis is also supported by educational spaces, a projection theatre, a black box theatre, a functional newsroom and an auditorium for visiting speakers and lecturers.

For more information about the Media Majlis as well as Northwestern’s broader mission in Qatar, please follow the link above.