For the last 20 years, I have been working on visual media production and multimedia public dissemination with a devoted attention to the Muslim world, using the photojournalist expertise I gathered from Morocco to China to continuously refine my academic research.
I assessed IRNA's news coverage of the then-unknown Taliban in my Laurea dissertation (Venice: 1999). The outcome granted me a bursary to come to SOAS for my MA in Anthropology of Media (London: 2001). In 2002 I started my career as a professional photojournalist and multimedia consultant for news agencies and UN bodies. After a series of funded collaboration with IOM and UNESCO, I went back to University to contextualize the practice-derived approach I have been devising over the previous years. My PhD case study on the Hawzas, the Shi'a seminaries of Syria and Bahrain, was further supported by a British Academy Research Grant and widely disseminated through a series of photographic exhibitions in the UK. Through my PhD I have finalized two theoretical models, the Meta-Image and Public Communication 2.0, which I am applying for today’s digital cultures of multimedia storytelling and multi-audience production.
I focus on the nexus between theory and practice in the contemporary cultural industries. My 15 years as a professional photojournalist and multimedia consultant have been critically questioning the so-called 'visual turn' to invite a more sensorially driven approach on contemporary multimedia production, digital dissemination and interactive engagement. My established expertise as analyst on and practitioner in the Muslim world supports my theoretical research by modelling wider framework for the specific needs of the Middle East region.
More in detail, I draw on analytical contributions from philosophy, media and communication, anthropology and the arts to investigate the object ‘photograph’ and, upon that, challenge the notion of both the still and the moving image. Following-up on the impact of current multimedia processes, I question the extent to which the image might be approached as a self-reliant communicative tool, and whether it should ‘represent’ or ‘interpret’ reality: this allows me to contextualise the representation alongside its media dynamics, and articulate a theoretical framework on contemporary visual cultures to be applied to the interpretation of today’s Middle Eastern socio-cultural and political societies.
My current academic focus is on how different media platforms might reach diverse audiences to maximize social impact; in the tradition of engaged photojournalism I rely on all available media to work on public awareness, from exhibitions to academic publications, magazines, online platforms, and open workshops.