Photo by Ed Giles
Yasmin Elayat is a new media artist, experience designer, and creative technologist working at the intersection of art and technology. Her work focuses on pushing the boundaries of immersive, storytelling experiences ranging from new media documentary to immersive environments and interactive installations. Yasmin leverages emerging technology to create new forms of storytelling constructs/techniques to build collaborative, participatory projects for engaging communities and for social impact.
Originally from Silicon Valley, California, Yasmin grew up tinkering and merging her interests in arts and technology. She went on to complete a bachelors in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo and holds a masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After her masters, she joined Potion, an award winning interactive design firm based in New York City. While at Potion, Yasmin developed large-scale interactive projects including two Gold and Silver Muse Award-winning projects for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and other projects for The New York Public Library, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Rhode Island Design School, and MSI in Chicago.
After the Egyptian revolution began in January 2011, Yasmin felt compelled to move to Egypt and document the monumental events. Yasmin is the co-creator of 18 Days In Egypt: A Collaborative Web-Documentary Project about the Egyptian Revolution which calls on the Egyptian community to tell their story of the ongoing revolution using their own media.
The project is supported by the Tribeca New Media Fund grant and the Ford Foundation, was awarded an Honorary Mention in the Digital Communities Category of the Prix Ars Electronica 2012, was selected by the Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab, was featured in the Margaret Mead Film Festival 2012, and recently named one the Moments of Innovation in Participatory Documentary by MIT Open Documentary Lab & IDFA DocLab. The project led to the establishment of a citizen-journalism incubation program called The Egypt Journalism Project in 2013.
Yasmin is the co-founder of a technology start-up called GroupStream. GroupStream is a visual group storytelling tool that empowers groups to easily bring together their social media fragments, such as tweets, Facebook updates, photos and Youtube videos, to easily tell stories together. GroupStream presents these stories in a lean-back, interactive, visual experience. The company completed the Startup Bootcamp accelerator in Copenhagen, part of the TechStars network.
Yasmin also presents her work and ideas at various new media documentary and interactive storytelling workshops and panels around the world. Her appearances include Harvard University, the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, the i_doc workshop in Nyon, Switzerland, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Doha, Qatar, the DS8 Digital Storytelling Festival in Cardiff Wales and Memories Can’t Wait, hosted by the International Center of Photography in New York City.
Yasmin and her work have been featured in the books Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East by Christopher M. Schroeder (2013) and The Future of the Arab Spring: Civic Entrepreneurship in Politics, Art, and Technology Startups by Maryam Jamshidi (2013) as well as Good, Mashable, The Next Web, PSFK, Guardian, and The Atlantic among other publications.
In 2014, Yasmin was listed in GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100, an “issue dedicated to showcasing 100 people who are pushing the world forward in inventive and inspiring ways.”
Currently, Yasmin is based in New York City working on and consulting on various independent new media, interactive, and experiential projects. Yasmin is scheduled to teach this fall at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program a class on designing new narrative frameworks with various technologies for social justice projects.