[-empyre-] Response to Dale Post

Sean Foley foleymtsu at gmail.com
Thu Feb 6 02:44:41 AEDT 2020


Thank you for your response! Those are all good but complicated questions –
ones that I deal with in a recent book

and my late 2019 article in ROMES – https://doi.org/10.1017/rms.2019.43.

Gharem and his colleagues have been successful in part because they use two
key mechanisms. First, they understand that visual images (and even film,
etc) provide one with opportunities to speak to multiple audiences and
speak on a variety of topics at once. “Visually,” Gharem once observed,
“you can say it because no one can accuse you with an image.” By contrast,
“if you are going to write or text or say something, it’s easy to accuse
you.”  Second, Gharem and others also use collage, humor, and other forms
of communication that voice multiple – even contradictory messages – at
once. Images allow the audience to, in the words of a Saudi art critic, to
read into art “work what they want…, to have their own take, so to speak.”
 Media companies like Telfaz11 have in particular utilized humor—a context
that often involves multiple viewpoints and which is not supposed to be
taken seriously by definition (“that’s just a joke, right?”) – to discuss
some of the most sensitive topics in the Kingdom. This is an example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgbJGn4cH-M of a work that deals with a
serious topic which has been interpreted in vastly different ways.


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