Reorienting the Middle East: Film and Digital Media Where the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean Meet

Dale Hudson (Editor), Alia Yunis (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Stories of desert landscapes, cutting-edge production facilities, and lavish festivals often dominate narratives about film and digital media on the Arabian Peninsula. However, there is a more complicated history that reflects long-standing interconnections between the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean. Just as these waters are fluid spaces, so too is the flow of film and digital media between cultures in East Africa, Europe, North Africa, South Asia, Southwest Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Reorienting the Middle East examines past and contemporary aspects of film and digital media in the Gulf that might not otherwise be apparent in dominant frameworks. Contributors consider oil companies that brought film exhibition to this area in the 1930s, the first Indian film produced on the Arabian Peninsula in the late 1970s, blackness in Iranian films, the role of Western funding in reshaping stories, Dubai's emergence in global film production, uses of online platforms for performance art, the development of film festivals and cinemas, and short films made by citizens and migrants that turn a lens on racism, sexism, national identity, and other rarely discussed social issues.

Reorienting the Middle East offers new methods to analyze the often-neglected littoral spaces between nation-states and regions and to understand the role of film and digital media in shaping dialogue between area studies and film and media studies. Readers will find new pathways to rethink the limitations of dominant categories and frameworks in both fields.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIndiana University Press
Number of pages350
ISBN (Electronic)9780253067593
ISBN (Print)9780253067562, 9780253067579
StatePublished - Jan 16 2024


  • Middle Eastern cinema
  • South Asian cinema
  • South Asia studies
  • Middle East studies
  • Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
  • British colonialism
  • film studies
  • visual arts
  • globalization
  • UAE
  • Persian Gulf
  • Indian Ocean
  • area studies


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