Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Fine Arts

First Advisor

Simone Muscolino

Second Advisor

Basma Hamdy

Third Advisor

Diane Derr

Fourth Advisor

Ryan Browning


In a broad sense, cultures undergo a metamorphoses due to the external influences and systems impacting the evolution of internal identities. Conversely, Individuals within cultures react to those external influences and systems.The act of hacking a culture is an opportunity to challenge an existing or imported system in order to bring about change and improvement. An aspect of culture hacking is to create messages of satire or irony in order to criticize, or completely reject established systems within cultures.

Post Arab spring, Egyptians practiced culture hacking by applying their cultural tools to external systems and influences, producing a process of ‘Egyptianization’. This investigation examines the MFA program’s culture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar as a case study, and adapts those Egyptianized tools to hack the culture. The program has its own values, rituals, traditions, imported systems, influences and dominant symbols. The aim of this thesis is to generate customized hacking methodologies that identify cracks within this culture and develop an innovative framework to critically analyze them through visual representation.


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