Speaker Spotlight: Suroosh Alvi

Suroosh Alvi, the final speaker in our 2017 series Undercurrent, will be joining us this Tuesday to share his experiences as co-founder of VICE Media. Alvi launched VICE magazine in 1994 that later expanded to a multimedia network with online streaming of original documentaries and news reports, an Emmy-award winning series on HBO, and most recently a 24-hour television channel. Check out some of the most fascinating pieces and reports from VICE and then join us today in Shriver Hall at 8:00 PM.

Overview of VICE

  • VICE Magazine: The magazine that started it all – it originally covered arts and pop culture but has since expanded to include news events.
  • VICE (TV Series): In 2013, HBO featured VICE's first season of international coverage on subjects such as North Korea, Chinese ghost towns during the housing boom, and underground heroin clinics. The series was awarded an Emmy and recently premiered it's fifth season in 2017.
  • VICE News: Reportage that includes videos and full-length documentaries that delve into subjects utilizing the 'immersionist' technique of embedding correspondents during their reports.
  • VICELAND: Launched in 2016, VICE's TV channel hosts shows that covers topics including news, lifestyle, sex, drugs, art, and culture.

NY MAG: Interview With Suroosh Alvi

Image courtesy of NPR

Image courtesy of NPR

Q: What was your first job in New York?
A: I’ve only ever had one job worth mentioning, which was Vice, but when we moved to New York in ‘99, it was at the peak of the dot-com bubble. My job, in addition to running editorial for all of Vice, was to build an insanely over-the-top, ecommerce website that could fulfill orders globally the next day, but then the bubble burst and it all went away overnight.
Q: In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
A: It used to be putting out fires and hitting send and receive all day and being a professional emailer, but now I get to spin the globe and look at a map and decide where I want to go to investigate and produce my content.

VICE Season 1 Episode 10: Basketball With Kim Jong Un

VICE made history by going to North Korea to take an inside look at Kim Jong Un's life and play some basketball.

DOcumentary Exlusive: World's Scariest Drug

"VICE's Ryan Duffy went to Colombia to check out a strange and powerful drug called Scopolamine, also known as "The Devil's Breath." It's a substance so intense that it renders a person incapable of exercising free will. The first few days in the country were a harrowing montage of freaked-out dealers and unimaginable horror stories about Scopolamine. After meeting only a few people with firsthand experience, the story took a far darker turn than we ever could have imagined."

VICE Report: Iran's Fashion Scene is Blossoming Under SHaria Law

Image courtesy of VICE

Image courtesy of VICE

Before Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, citizens weren't required to wear the Islamic cover known as the hijab and the country's fashion was almost identical to that of the United States and Europe. After the revolution, though, the hijab became required by law.

Although the standard black hijab is still commonplace—especially in rural areas in the country—Iran has recently seen a fashion renaissance, and cities like Tehran are becoming home to new and innovative designers. The clothing may still have to respect the Islamic dress codes, but the bright colors and designs would never have been seen a decade ago in Iran.

Last summer, VICE went to Tehran to attend the third annual Fajr Fashion Show and speak with some of Iran's new designers. The country's top officials—responsible for granting permission for the show—were all seated in the front row to show their support. And to make sure the models were adhering to the country's law.