Anthony Downey, image courtesy of Jens Kohlen, Kassel, 2017


Anthony Downey is an academic, editor, and writer. He is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University) and 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  (thirdtext.org), appointed 2006.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Digital War (digital-war.org), appointed 2019
  • Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz (ibraaz.org), appointed 2011.
  • Series Editor, Research/Practice (Sternberg Press/MIT), 2019-present.
  • Associate Director of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation, 2011-present.
  • Research Associate, the Institute of Human Activities (humanactivities.org), appointed 2016.
  • Series Editor, Visual Culture in the Middle East (Sternberg Press), 2016-present.
  • Consultant Editor, Open Arts Journal at the Open University (openartsjournal.org), appointed 2012.
  • Trustee, Strange Cargo (an Arts Council funded organization focusing on community-based arts project, strangecargo.org.uk), 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, artscabinet.org), appointed 2015.

For further information, see: http://www.bcu.ac.uk/art/about-us/our-expertise/our-staff/anthony-downey

Email: anthonydowneyblog@gmail.com


In 2019, Anthony will launch Research/Practice (Sternberg Press/MIT, 2019), a new series that will include projects from Michael Rakowitz, Heba Y Amin, Larissa Sansour, and Lara Baladi. Other recent and upcoming publications include Unbearable States: Digital Media, Cultural Activism and Human Rights (forthcoming, 2021); Displacement Activities: Contemporary Art, the Refugee Condition, and the Alibi of Engagement (Sternberg Press, 2020); 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); Art and Politics Now  (Thames and Hudson, 2014); Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practice in North Africa and the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2014); Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes (JRP Ringier, 2015); and The Future of a Promise: Contemporary Art from the Arab World (Ibraaz Publishing, 2011). Anthony is also currently editingin partnership with Renzo Martens and the Institute of Human Activities, Critique in Practice: Renzo Martens’ Episode III (Enjoy Poverty), (forthcoming, 2019).

For further information, see:




Anthony holds a PhD from Goldsmiths College, awarded in 2006, and his research, publications, and teaching focus on the politics of global contemporary art practices; human rights, bio-politics and migration; new media, collaborative and participative art practices; and contemporary cultural production in the Maghreb, the Middle East and Global South. He supervises PhD students with research interests in contemporary art and the politics of cultural production in the Maghreb, the Middle East and Global South; neoliberalism, human rights, bio-politics, and migration in contemporary art practices; and new media, performativity and civil society in the Middle East.

Anthony Downey, image courtesy of Jens Kohlen, Kassel, 2017

Anthony Downey, image courtesy of Jens Kohlen, Kassel, 2017