Randa Mirza (b. 1978) is a Lebanese artist living in Beirut, who works with digital photography and live video editing.
The Shock Culture installation Mirza will be showing at the Finnish Museum of Photography is part of the project on war, the media and tourism that she started in Helsinki two years ago. In July 2006, she was on an artist’s residency on the island of Suomenlinna when the war between Hizbollah and Israel suddenly erupted in Lebanon. The conflict lasted 33 days, which Mirza spent in virtual exile intently following the news from her native land. This experience led to the emergence of the shock culture project that Mirza will be showing at the Finnish Museum of Photography from 2.5.-22.6.2008
Randa Mirza’s exhibition Shock Culture takes its starting point in photographs of the war-torn Lebanon. These could be compared to the endless torrent of images from the world’s crisis regions that we see in the media. Do those of us on the outside view this world through the eyes of the tourist? Mirza uses digitally manipulated images to transport an inquisitive audience to the battlefield. Where is the dividing line between communicating information and using shock for entertainment?