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Thursday, 9 October 2008

It's all about Meees

‘Meees’ translated into English from Welsh means ‘Baaas’ – the sounds that sheep make – in Arabic it is ‘Maaas’. Meees is a Welsh children’s TV show, similar to the Tweenies or Teletubbies, consisting of colourful animatronic heads and costumes worn by trained actors enacting educational and often moral scinarios, with the aim of making the innocent ones of today the PC-minded citizens of tomorrow. Meees Takes this further; rather than hinting at racial equality and freedom of lifestyle by, say, pastel coloured outfits, or subtle statements such as the sex-less purple one sporting a red purse, Meees conspicuously has a dark skinned sheep as the mother (ethnic minority), a father sheep from Greece (immigrant) and a daughter sheep and her partner, who is step-dad to her 2 children.

The TV network Al Jazeera recently bought the first series of the show and is in the process of translating it into Arabic, to be broadcast to Arabic speaking countries. Tanya El Khouri is one of the vocal artists and is well aware of the radical cultural differences; “The show is very open-minded … they are not used to seeing this”.
Having watched Arabic channels via satellite over the years, I have seldom come across such forward-thinking concepts, perhaps they do exist and are just not openly broadcast. The reaction to Meees will be a good measure of tolerance in the Arab world (where it is allowed to be shown) and I will be keeping an eye out for further developments and reactions.


Artsadmin said...

is that the same Tania El Khoury who took part in this years Artsadmin summer school?
if so well done!

Jen Rich said...

I hope British TV recognises this. We'd never give kids enough credit to get their heads around step-parenting and immigration and yet its part of everyday life in the home, street, media etc.

They do look absolutely ridiculous though!