Dr. Kareem Estefan is a scholar of contemporary visual culture who specializes in Arab moving-image practices, documentary and Global South cinema, and engagements with colonialism and its legacies in contemporary art and film. Currently, Kareem is working on a manuscript on witnessing and worldbuilding in contemporary Palestinian film and video. Based on his dissertation, this manuscript posits a model of witnessing as a decolonial process of worldbuilding and world repair in which artists refract the unjust conditions of the present and reconstruct unrealized political potential from the past to animate visions of emergent rights and resurgent communities.
Kareem joined Cambridge’s Centre for Film and Screen Studies and its History of Art and Architecture department as an Assistant Professor, and Christ’s as a Fellow and Director of Studies for Art History, in 2022. Prior to these appointments, he taught at the American University of Beirut, Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and the School of Visual Arts (SVA). He holds a PhD in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University (2022), an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts (2012), and a BA in Comparative Literature from New York University (2008).
Kareem also writes art criticism and has worked as an editor at nonprofits in the arts and journalism. From 2012-2015, he was associate editor of Creative Time Reports, an online magazine of the New York public art organization Creative Time that showcased artists’ writings and multimedia works engaging international social and political issues. His writing on art and cultural activism has appeared in both scholarly and general-audience publications, including 4 Columns, Art in America, Artforum, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Feminist Media Histories, Frieze, Ibraaz, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies, Journal of Visual Culture, The New Inquiry, The New York Times T Magazine, Third Text, and World Records, among others. He is also co-editor, with Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich, of Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production (OR Books, 2017), an anthology of essays by artists, curators, and scholars on artists’ activism, boycott campaigns, (self-)censorship, and transnational solidarity.