Mounir Samuel (1989) is a multidisciplinary artist, renown journalist, author, documentary film maker, museum curator and cultural entrepreneur working on the cutting edge of climate, politics, media, culture, art, language, gender, religion and geography.
He is notorious for his work on social change, and is considered one of the most provocative thought leaders of the Netherlands. Winq Magazine rewarded him with the honorary title of ‘Changemaker of the Decade’.
Living in Amsterdam, Mounir is both Dutch and Egyptian. He is a strong advocate for acknowledging and embracing one’s multiple identities to then transcend them. He is author of the book ‘Je mag ook niets meer zeggen - een nieuwe taal voor een nieuwe tijd’ (You can’t say anything no more - a new language for a new time) in which he presents a blueprint for a value-based language that is truly safe, inclusive and accessible and gives people an equal starting point in the necessary conversations of this day and age. The most pressing of which is the imminent climate catastrophe. He wrote the book Jona zonder walvis: een profetie voor Nederland (Jonah without the whale: a prophesy for the Netherlands) in which he clearly stipulates the enormity of the current climate catastrophe, predicts the nearby impact and effect on the Netherlands and surrounding countries, reveals the massive role of the Dutch government, big business, heavy industry and bio- and fishing industries and presents a conclusive and concrete action plan to safe as many people and animals. All together Mounir has written more than a dozen books; from fiction to non fiction, poetry to essays. In his work he addresses a wide variety of themes, always stressing a holistic approach and the interaction effects between pressing matters.
© Irwan Droog (2022)
Mounir is also the inventor of the Privilege Pyramid. In this interactive model identities, social position and legal rights are turned into separate building blocks which together shape a pyramid. The interaction between these different building blocks visualize the meaning of intersectionality and deconstruct pre-fixed notions on privilege an identity politics. ‘White’ and ‘Maile’ usually end up on top of the pyramid for example, but if combined with ‘visual disability' and ‘psychological challenges' and his ‘primary caretakers were of underprivileged income groups’ all blocks shuffle. This is just one of the many social participatory models he developed to research and reveal systematic in- and exclusion. Many of them are actively used in museums such as the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.
© Irwan Droog (2022)
"Mounir deals with the major questions of the day and advocates social justice and sustainable system change."
Mounir deals with the major questions of the day and advocates social justice and sustainable system change. He has been a frequent guest in all sorts of talkshows on radio and television in both the Netherlands and Belgium. From curating the museum exhibition What a Genderful World for Tropenmuseum and Wereldmuseum, to hosting the TV program De Nieuwe Wereld (The New World), to the theater show En toen Schiep God Mounir (And then God created Mounir) and keynotes such as The Restoration of Adam and Eve for IMPAKT festival – Mounir always keeps challenging existing socio-political concepts of love, gender roles, religious doctrine and men’s relationship with earth and climate.
He has been rewarded with many prices from the Kleurrijke Prijs (“The Colorful Price”) to major journalistic achievement awards such as Dick Scherpenzeel aanmoedigingsprijs en Lira Correspondentprijs voor talent jonger dan 30 jaar.
Mounir Samuel studied political science, international relations & diplomacy, Middle Eastern studies and Islamic law at University of Leiden and UC San Diego.
© Nienke van Denderen (2022)