On 23 November, comedian Soundos el Ahmadi, who has appeared on TV programmes including De Wereld Draait Door, will invite pre-university pupils to interview her about her experiences in the media as a comedian with a Moroccan background: ‘I have been discriminated against by e
veryone and everything’. She will be a guest in a College Tour session that will conclude the symposium organized for school pupils by the University of Groningen entitled
Religion and Media: Facts and Prejudices
. Some 120 pre-university pupils will come to the University on Wednesday to learn about how religion and prejudice affect each other and how they themselves are influenced by the media. The symposium is full; it is now too late for pupils to sign up. The press is warmly invited to attend.
During the symposium, researchers and students from the Faculty of
Theology and Religious Studies
of the University of Groningen will talk about their field in relation to various themes concerning religion and media, and explore subjects including public perception. The participants will discuss questions such as: who are the ‘media’ exactly? Can we distinguish facts from prejudices in the deluge of information we receive? And is there such a thing as ‘neutral’ news?
Professor by special appointment in Protestant Church, Theology and Culture Wouter Slob will give the opening lecture. He will discuss contemporary issues including IS and The Passion, and consider the role of the media in less recent history. The invention of the printing press, for example, played a key role in the Reformation. At a time when ‘God’ is no longer something we talk about, Professor Wouter Slob will explore the presence and revival of religion in today’s culture. ‘Lower’ art forms, such as film and advertising, as well as social media, say a lot about how we currently view ourselves as human beings, says Slob. In addition to his professorship, Wouter Slob is also a minister in the Protestant Church in Zuidlaren.
The day will conclude with a College Tour session with Soundos el Ahmadi, where school pupils will be invited to ask her about her experiences. Soundos, a well-known comedian in the Comedytrain, is currently touring theatres with her third solo programme ‘Geboren met ervaring’ (Born with experience). She has also been resident comedian on the TV programme De Wereld Draait Door since September 2016. As a Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, Soundos is no stranger to discrimination, much of which develops when people form the wrong impressions due to stereotyping in the media.
In addition to the opening lecture and College Tour, the programme for the school pupils also includes a workshop given by researchers and students from the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen. The subjects they can choose from include Use of media by fundamentalists; Religion and media in China; Star Wars & religion; Muslim refugees in the media; Jesus in visual art.
The symposium is part of a project on religion and media being run by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies in association with the University’s Pre-University Academy. Teachers at VWO (pre-university education) schools can request guest lessons on the theme through the
, and a special training course has been devised for them. This is the fourth year that the Faculty has offered a programme for secondary school pupils. Previous themes, including Religion and Conflict, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Church as a 3D history book, taught some 12,000 pupils about the prominent role religion plays in society, both now and in the past.
More information about the programme is available on the website of the alfasteunpunt.
The symposium is full; it is now too late for pupils to sign up. The press is warmly invited to attend.
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