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Anthony Downey

Anthony Downey

Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa

Birmingham School of Art
0121 331 5970

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is currently affiliated with several research projects exploring the politics of global contemporary art practices; digital media and image production; knowledge production and visual culture; and how cultural practices relate to migration and human rights across the Global South. In 2019, he received an AHRC Network+ award (in his capacity as a co-investigator) to develop research on disability education and visual culture in the West Bank and Lebanon.

Anthony has the following professional affiliations:

  • Member of the Editorial Board of Third Text (, appointed 2006.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Digital War (, appointed 2019
  • Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz (, appointed 2011.
  • Series Editor, Research/Practice (Sternberg Press/MIT), 2019-present.
  • Series Editor, Visual Culture in the Middle East (Sternberg Press), 2016-present.
  • Consultant Editor, Open Arts Journal at the Open University (, appointed 2012.
  • Trustee, Strange Cargo (an Arts Council funded organization focusing on community-based arts project,, appointed 2014.
  • Trustee, Maryam and Edward Eisler Foundation, appointed 2011.
  • Trustee, Arts Cabinet (an organization that develops international art and culture programmes in the Middle East and beyond,, appointed 2015.
  • Research Associate, the Institute of Human Activities (, appointed 2016.

Recent and upcoming publications include Unbearable States: Digital Media, Cultural Activism and Human Rights after the Arab Spring (forthcoming, 2021); Displacement Activities: Contemporary Art, the Refugee Condition, and the Alibi of Engagement (Sternberg Press, 2020); Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019); Critique in Practice: Renzo Martens' Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (Sternberg Press, 2019); Don’t Shrink Me to the Size of a Bullet: The Works of Hiwa K (Walther König Books, 2017); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (Sternberg Press, 2016); Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2015); Mirrors for Princes: Slavs and Tatars (JRP Ringier and NYU Press, 2015); Art and Politics Now (Thames and Hudson, 2014); and Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practice in North Africa and the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2014).

Current Activity
Postgraduate Supervision
Media Work
Work With Industry
Links and Social Media