Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in North Africa and the Middle East is the first volume of a planned series of publications on contemporary art practices from the MENA region put together by Ibraaz, a self-identified online “critical forum on visual culture in North Africa and the Middle East.” The volume includes contributions previously published on Ibraaz’s online platform, as well as newly commissioned essays and reproductions of artists’ works. Uncommon Grounds addresses the role of new media and technology in contemporary art practices throughout the MENA region and brings together contributions by thirty-four scholars, curators, artists, and other cultural practitioners. As the rest of the world has turned its attention toward the Middle East in the wake of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Arab Spring, “artists [have been] called upon (and often [have put] themselves forward) to make sense of events as they unfold,” in the words of the volume’s editor Anthony Downey (p. 14). While acknowledging the important role that artists’ works in new media have played in understanding and bringing attention to the contemporary social and political climate of the region, the volume also importantly addresses the problematics of focusing on these types of issues in art from the Middle East and North Africa. As Downey goes on to state in his introduction, “we … need to remain alert to how the rhetoric of conflict and the spectacle of revolution is deployed as a benchmark for discussing, if not determining, the institutional and critical legitimacy of these practices” (p. 17). The volume’s contributors clearly take this concern seriously, and turn their attention to issues such as the overemphasis on social media as a democratizing tool in the Arab Spring revolutions, and the appropriation of the death of Egyptian artist Ahmed Bassiony, a victim of sniper fire in Tahrir Square, by the Venice Biennale.