Symbols of Humanity: Syrian Artist Bridges Times, Religions PDF Print
16 October 2019

Event: 17 October - 17 November

Country: UK


In our divided and polarised world, who, but artists, can conjure up the possibility of coexistence between cultures, ethnicities and religions?

Born in 1966 in Aleppo, George Baylouni fled to France during the war. And now his work builds bridges between the East and the West, and the past and the present.

Fascinated by the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia, he studied their mysterious artefacts and texts, written in ancient cuneiform.

He paints religious symbols and makes collages, adding gold leaf, his trademark, telling a tale of ancient worlds and of contemporary times. Uniquely, his paintings combine religions, with several pieces focusing on both Christianity and Islam in the same painting.

"Humanity can only thrive when we embrace diversity and differences regardless of race, creed or colour. When I combine the symbols of the different civilisations in my paintings, I convey my faith in the unity of humanity. This is my message to the world, irrespective of time or place,” Baylouni says.

His work has been showcased prominently in the Middle East and Europe and he was named one of the 100 most important personalities in the Arab world in 2014 by Arabian Business Magazine.

”Symbols of Humanity”, Baylouni’s first exhibition in London opens at the Stories Art Gallery in Mayfair on October 17 and runs until November 17.

Baylouni’s exhibition marks the first anniversary of Stories Art Gallery, which features renowned and upcoming artists from around the world, many from war-torn countries, and focuses on the stories behind their artwork.

MDI Team at UNESCO MIL Conference 2019 PDF Print

Dates: 24 – 26 September 2019

Country: Sweden, Gothenburg

MILWeek2019GotenbergAt this year’s UNESCO Global Media and Information literacy conference, Media Diversity Institute (MDI) sent two of its representatives to contribute to the discussion and exchange of ideas and best practices at the event held on 24-26 September in Gothenburg, Sweden.

We at the Media Diversity Institute believe that media literacy is an essential skill for the 21st century,” said MDI Western Balkan Director Ivana Jelača. She pointed out that the critical analysis of the media, access to information and independent creation of the media content are crucial for securing media freedom in any society. At the UNESCO panel Jelača was joined by the most prominent media literacy experts such as professor Ulla Carlsson, UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy who promoted her publication “Understanding Media and Information Literacy in the Digital Age”, Anette Novak from the Swedish Media Council and professor Anubhuti Yadav from the Indian Institute for Mass Communication.

Join the South Social Festival Celebration of China PDF Print

Event: 3 October 2019

Country: United Kingdom

Screen_Shot_2019-09-23_at_4.32.26_PMSouth Social Film Festival is a space that celebrates South London’s diversity and multicultural character. Launched in 2015 by Paola Melli an Italian-born film festival curator, the festival strives to meet the growing demand for independent films with an intersectional perspective that is not being met by mainstream cinemas. On 3rd October, they will be celebrating China* with an independent film screening, dance performance and delicious Shanghai food.

In the last twelve months, South Social has put up an impressive programme. In November 2018, they affirmed the valuable contribution of women directors with #girlsmakefilms at Tate Modern. In February this year, the “festival was celebrating Black London, with a weekend of Caribbean and African cuisine, art, dance and film in Peckham.” Since then, South Social organised a number of smaller events, focusing on particular countries like Japan, Spain and Chile.


MDI at UNESCO's Global #MIL Week "Feature Conference" PDF Print

Event: 24-26 September 2019

Country: Sweden

Screen_Shot_2019-09-23_at_4.12.46_PMThis week, Media Diversity Institute will be at UNESCO’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week “Feature Conference” in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Senior Programme Manager Dasha Ilic will be moderating a panel on “MIL to Tackle Disinformation and Propaganda,” featuring Soeun Yang and Jae Woo Lee of Seoul National University, Head of the Lycé Franco-Finlandais d’Helskini Kari Kivinen, Remo Media CEO Namnandorj Bayaraa of Mongolia, and Twitter’s Public Policy Manager Mr. Ronan Costello. This panel will take place on 25 September, between 8:30 and 10:00 AM local time.

Event: Media Diversity Institute at the Ministerial on Religious Freedom PDF Print

Event: 10 - 11 July 2019

Country: United States; Global

43631247441_96d339f444_oBetween the dates of 10-11 July 2019, Media Diversity Institute attended the US State Department’s annual Ministerial on Religious Freedom in Washington, DC.

It is the largest, and most well-attended US State Department event relating to religious freedom.

“Religion is one of the most sensitive identity issues, so we are thrilled to have this opportunity to hear about experiences religious minorities are going through, but, also, to contribute to a debate on  what the media’s role is  in debating and reporting on the issue,” said MDI Executive Director Milica Pesic, who attended the event on behalf of the organisation.

Over the course of the three day event, participants heard from more than 1,000 participants representing 106 countries, including but not limited to testimonies from religious violence survivors from countries like Iraq and Pakistan.

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