Laila Shereen Sakr is VJ Um Amel online. She is a PhD candidate in Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and founder of the digital lab, R-Shief, Inc. With a background in poetry and web design, her current practices include digital media arts, visualization, and performance. Her work archives and maps the recent Arab uprisings and Occupy movements through semantic analysis of social media feeds in Arabic, Persian, French, English, Spanish, German. As a VJ, she uses data visualization and live cinema performance to demonstrate how embodied habits of communication are expressed virtually, and to understand how communities use technology to design their own narratives and worlds. She has exhibited at the San Francisco MoMA, National Gallery of Art in Jordan, Camera Austria, Cultura Digital in Brazil, DC Fridge Art Gallery, among other venues. Her work has also been published in Middle East Critique, Parson’s Journal for Information Mapping, ThoughtMesh, Jadaliyya, and in an edited volume on Mediating the Arab Uprisings. She holds an M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media from University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Recent reviews appear in The Wall Street Journal, Science, Art Territories, Fast Company, Digital Media and Learning, Egypt Independent, and The Creators Project.
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