Conferences and debates
Spanish journalists in Arab countries
From February 05, 2019 until September 11, 20197:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
Throughout 2019, Casa Árabe will be holding a series of conferences
aimed at increasing awareness about the work by Spanish journalists who
cover the Arab world to provide information.
The series Spanish journalists in Arab countries provides an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about the trade of investigating, processing and publishing informational content originating from the Middle East and North Africa for Spanish and Spanish-speaking societies. Throughout the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first century, different forms of journalism and media have been evolving, sometimes quite rapidly and radically. How can journalism adapt to change, to the conditions reporters face on the ground, to the wide range of different sources? How can it relate with European journalism traditions and contemporary international practices? And how is the impact of their messages to be evaluated?
February 5: Three decades of experience in the Middle East, by Ángela Rodicio
February 25: Javier Martín
March 27: Ricardo García Vilanova, on the occassion of the presentation of his book, Fade to Black. Acenso y caída del Isis 2011-2019. Siria, Libia, Iraq
April: Natalia Sancha
Three decades of experience in the Middle EastFebruary 05, 20197:00 p.m.MADRIDCasa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62, upper floor). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.In Spanish.First session in the series Spanish journalists in Arab countries, given by Ángela Rodicio, a journalist for Informe Semanal, a weekly news show on Spain’s RTVE network.The event will be presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe.
Ángela Rodicio traveled to Iraq for the first time in April of 1988, to cover the Iran-Iraq War. Since then, over the last three decades she has tracked the most important events taking place in that region, as well as the main events influencing the changes in geopolitical alliances and strategies. She has witnessed the breakup of the USSR, the end of the bipolar Cold War world, the war in Bosnia, the origin of a new era of religious wars, the campaigns in the Gulf of 1991 and 2003, the unrest and uprisings in Iran, the movements known as the “Arab Springs” and the shifting borders in the Middle East one century after the Sykes-Picot Treaty. In 2016, she won the Espasa Essay Award for her latest book Las Novias de la Yihad (The Jihad Brides), which has just been translated into Russian for publication.
The series Spanish journalists in Arab countries provides an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about the trade of investigating, processing and broadcasting informational content originating from the Middle East and North Africa for Spanish and Spanish-speaking societies. Throughout the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first century, different forms of journalism and media have been evolving, sometimes quite rapidly and radically. How can journalism adapt to change, to the conditions reporters face on the ground, to the wide range of different sources? How can it relate with European journalism traditions and contemporary international practices? And how is the impact of their messages to be evaluated?
Ángela Rodicio has worked at TVE since 1986, when she was hired by the public network as an intern from the Universidad Complutense, where she earned her university degree in Information Sciences. She has been a correspondent and special envoy since then, covering topics in international politics. She has been awarded with the most important acknowledgments in Spain, including the Víctor de la Serna Award for best correspondent in 1992 and the Cirilo Rodríguez Award that same year. She has also received other international awards, including the International Maria Grazia Cuttuli Award given by the Corriere della Sera Group, in 2011, and the award given by the UNCA (United Nations Correspondents Association), in 2014.
Challenges for a Spanish correspondent in the Arab worldFebruary 25, 20197:00 p.m.MADRIDCasa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.In Spanish.EFE news agency correspondent in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, Javier Martín, is the personage highlighted at this second session in the series Spanish journalists in Arab countries.Participating with Javier Martín is Ramón Lobo, a journalist and writer. Presenting the event is Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s Coordinator of International Relations.
The career of a journalist with a lengthy career in Arab countries is peppered with complex moments and crucial decisions in the daily task of providing information. The last two decades have witnessed major transformations, not only of political regimes, but also civil society. The pendulum swinging between authoritarianism and democracy continues to mark the region, and the defense of human rights and the trade of working in journalism are often at odds. Javier Martín will be speaking about his experience dealing with these situations and how to make providing reliable, contextualized information compatible with defending human rights. He will be accompanied by veteran reporter Ramón Lobo.
The series Spanish journalists in Arab countries provides an opportunity to get first-hand knowledge about the trade of investigating, processing and broadcasting the news content originating from the Middle East and North Africa to Spain and Spanish-speaking societies. Throughout the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the different forms of journalism and media have gradually evolved, sometimes quickly and radically. How can journalists adapt to this change, to the conditions of the reporter in the field, to the wide range of sources? How can contemporary European and international journalism traditions relate with one another, and how can the impact of their messages be evaluated?Javier Martín is a representative of the Efe News Agency in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. In his 22 years as a journalist in the Arab-Muslim world and North Africa, he has covered six wars and has been a permanent correspondent for Efe in Egypt, a special envoy to Iraq, the founder of the Efe correspondent’s office in Iran and a correspondent in Israel and Palestine. A regular contributor to publications like El País and Foreign Policy (Esglobal), he has authored five well-known books about the region. A finalist on two occasions for the Cirilo Rodríguez Award for foreign correspondents, in 2018 he was bestowed with the international “Julio Anguita Parrado” journalism award for his work in favor of human rights.
Ramón Lobo has been a writer and journalist for four decades. He was a war correspondent for El País from 1992 to 2012. In 2001, he received the eighteenth Cirilo Rodríguez Journalism Award.
“Fade to Black: Rise and fall of Isis from 2011-2019 in Syria, Libya and Iraq”May 06, 20197:00 p.m.MADRIDCasa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.In Spanish.Casa Árabe and the BLUME publishing firm have organized the presentation of this book by Ricardo García Vilanova as part of the series “Spanish journalists in Arab countries.” It will be taking place in Madrid on May 6.The event will include participation by the author, Ricardo García Vilanova, a photojournalist, who will be accompanied by Juan José Escobar, the Ambassador of Spain in Iraq, Gervasio Sánchez, also a photojournalist, and Leopoldo Blume, the director of the BLUME publishing firm. Presented by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s Coordinator of International Relations.Fade to Black contains a devastating, honest and courageous photographic tour resulting from nine years of work on the front lines of battles in the wars of Syria, Libya and Iraq, the three countries most affected by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Daesh), or ISIS, as it is known by its abbreviation in English.
This documentary work of worldwide reference helps explain the rise and fall of the caliphate in the extensive region where ISIS established its three capital cities, Raqqa, Mosul and Sirte.
Framing images with precision, creating compositions of opposing scenes and interplaying lights and shadows, with devastated landscapes and faces which reflect the rage and fear of the subjects, it is an extraordinary photographic work created from the vantage point of empathy, emotion, simplicity, sacrifice and respect for others’ pain.
On the occasion of World Freedom of the Press Day, which is held each year on May 3, Casa Árabe is contributing to spreading the word about this fundamental right established under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”Ricardo García Vilanova is a Spanish video and photo reporter who lives in Barcelona. He has spent more than fifteen years working as a photojournalist who specializes in areas of conflict and humanitarian crises. His most recent work has covered the movements referred to as the “Arab Springs” (as of 2011) and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Chad, Haiti, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Bangladesh, as well as others. His work has been published in the most highly acclaimed newspapers and magazines and has been exhibited in several capitals around the world. He has earned awards in Europe and the United States and has been a contributor to CNN, Channel 4, Reuters, APTN, Euronews, Cuatro, Telecinco and TV3.
Gervasio Sánchez is one of the best-known Spanish reports worldwide. He has received awards on many occasions (the National Photography Award, the Ortega y Gasset Award and many others). He is an expert with a lengthy career covering wars and conflicts in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well as on European soil, after the fragmentation of the former Yugoslavia. He has been a “Special UNESCO Envoy for Peace” since 1998.
Photo: Natalia Sancha
Sectarianism after the Arab Springs: An examination through the mediaJune 17, 20197:00 p.m.MADRIDCasa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.In Spanish.Natalia Sancha, a contributor to the newspaper El País on Lebanon and Syria, will be playing the main role at a new session in our series titled “Spanish journalists in Arab countries.”Sancha will be taking part in a dialogue with Cristina Manzano, the director of Esglobal. Presented by: Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s Coordinator of International Relations
The epicenter of the fragmentation which the Middle East has undergone has its most recent origins in the Iraq invasion of 2003, but the shock waves have spread to many countries in the region: Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Yemen, to name just a few. The most simplified version of these troubles is the split between the Shia and Sunni, fiercely revived because of the growing sectarianism in politics and armed confrontations, but also due to the way in which the story is told by the media, which pour gasoline onto the flames and boil the complexity of conflicts down to the differences between different religious beliefs. There are notable differences between the coverage by the media in the region itself and the story told by the Western media, and as a journalist it is important to remain well-informed about these biases when interpreting the actual situation in the field.
Natalia Sancha is an independent journalist and photographer who specializes in the Arab world. She has resided in Lebanon since 2008. Since 2011, she has covered the wave of popular protests in the Middle East and the later conflicts in countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, as well as the resulting flow of refugees and their impact on the region. She also contributes to the Spanish daily newspaper El País for Lebanon and Syria, and publishes analyses on regional politics in Esglobal and Política Exterior. She is a co-author of the book Siria. La primavera marchita (Syria: The wilted spring). She earned her Master’s degree in Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University as a Fulbright scholar, and was a finalist for the Cirilo Rodríguez Award in both 2018 and 2019.
Former Jihadists: Stories of deserters and returneesSeptember 10, 20197:00 p.m.MADRIDIn Spanish and Italian, with simultaneous translation.Casa Árabe has organized this conference to be held on Tuesday, September 10, within the framework of its series on “Journalists in Arab Countries.” The conference will be given by journalists Alexandra Gil and Gabriele del Grande.Alexandra Gil, a former journalist and the author of En el vientre de la yihad: El testimonio de las madres de yihadistas (In Jihad’s Womb: Testimonials from jihadists’ mothers), and Gabriele del Grande, a journalist and the author of Dawla: The history of the Islamic State told by its deserters, will be introduced by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator.
In 2015, approximately five thousand European citizens had left their countries to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Many of their families were torn apart, becoming victims of the whirlwind created by Daesh to seek recruits, but they were viewed as being guilty, as well. These families now live lives which in no way resemble those they had years ago: wiretapped telephones, endless interrogations, accusing looks from those around them and, above all, the fear of turning on the television after a terrorist attack and recognizing the perpetrator. At the same time, the history of the rise and fall of the Islamic State has produced as many warriors seduced by the call of its false jihad as it has deserters who have discovered the deceptive manipulation and horror existing under the ruthless regime of Daesh. These powerful stories lead us down little-traveled paths through the limited space on television news programs, which journalists Gabriele Del Grande and Alexandra Gil have spent time researching.Alexandra Gil A lawyer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Gil was trained at the EFE News Agency and has worked in French media such as Streetpress and Meltygroup, where she held the position of editorial staff director for two years before starting her career as an independent journalist. After completing a Master’s program on Challenges for Peace, Security and Defense, she specialized in global terrorism, and as of 2014 she began working as a media correspondent in Paris, writing about jihadist terrorism. She is currently the assistant editor-in-chief for France’s Afrique Magazine. In 2017, she published En el vientre de la yihad: El testimonio de las madres de yihadistas (In Jihad’s Womb: Testimonials from jihadists’ mothers, published by Debate).
Gabriele del Grande studied History and Oriental Studies at the University of Bologna and was trained as a journalist at the Lelio Basso Foundation in Rome. In 2006, he founded Forum Fortress Europe, a forum devoted to the problems of illegal immigration which is unique in in Europe. Del Grande currently lives in Athens and works for the news agency redattore sociale. In 2014, he was one of the co-authors and co-directors of the documentary Io sto con la sposa (I’m with the Wife), which won a special award at the Venice International Film Festival in 2014. In 2007, he wrote Mamadou Is Going to Die: The extermination of immigrants in the Mediterranean and in 2019, he authored Dawla: The history of the Islamic State told by its deserters (both published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo). He earned the Cáritas Award in 2015.
Collaborates: With the cooperation of: Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo