What Would You Die For? Exploring the Use of Digital in Persuasion


A video recording of this program is now available on the Explore Content section of this website.

Throughout history, humans have sacrificed, ‘sold their soul’, and risked their lives for the greater good. They have fought to the death to secure food and shelter, to protect loved ones, and to preserve culture, identity and honor. But what about today?

Commissioned especially for The Media Majlis, a new artwork by Bahia Shehab explores the intensely personal yet universal question: What would you die for? The multi-screen digital installation interrogates its enormity and complexity, challenging us to think more deeply about the psychology, language and cultures of persuasion that shapes our lives. 

Join us for a discussion with the artist, with insights into her research and the development of the work, which included contributions from students in Qatar, Egypt and the UK. The session is moderated by Basma Hamdy, associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar.

  • Program credits

    Bahia Shehab

    Bahia Shehab is a professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and public spaces around the world and she has received a number of international accolades and awards. Her publications include A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif (2010); At the Corner of a Dream (2020); You Can Crush the Flowers: A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution (2021) and the co-authored book A History of Arab Graphic Design (2020). 

    Basma Hamdy

    Basma Hamdy is a designer, curator and educator producing work that bridges historical, political and social issues with archival, documentarian and critical mechanisms. She is co-author of Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution (2014), as well as co-author of Khatt: Egypt’s Calligraphic Landscape (2018). She is Associate Professor of Graphic Design and founder of the TypeAraby platform at VCUarts Qatar.