Art Alert: Emirati commentator on Arab affairs and art, Sultan Al-Qassemi, to speak in Alexandria

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Nov 2016

The writer will discuss the intersection of 20th century art and politics in the Arab world

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi speaks during the Global Art Forum 7. 2013 (Photo: courtesy of Art Dubai 2013)

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi will give a talk at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 30 November on the political undertones of iconic 20th century artworks in the Arab world.

Al-Qassemi is an Emirati columnist and commentator on Arab affairs, whose articles have been published in the Guardian, CNN, the Independent, and Foreign Policy.

He is an MIT Media Labs Director’s Fellow; as well as the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, whose mission is to promote art by artists from the Arab world through local and international exhibitions.

Al-Qassemi is also the co-director of the Dubai Global Art Forum, which gathers artists, curators, musicians and writers to exchange and debate ideas on chosen themes. He was listed as one of Gulf Business' 100 Most Powerful Arabs, and TIME Magazine's 140 Best Twitter Feeds.

During his talk, Al-Qassemi will discuss 20th century artworks that have been used as tools of soft power and propaganda by various governments in the Arab World, including the Baathist regimes of Syria and Iraq, and the pan-Arabist government of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The Emirati writer will also discuss the works of artists who used their creations as a means of challenging authority. The aim of this talk is to shed light on an often overlooked dimension in the modern history of the Arab world.

The talk will be held on the same day as the Barjeel Foundation’s opening of the Hurufiyya: Art and Identity exhibition. Both events will be take place at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Wednesday 30 November, 1pm - 2:30pm 
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria

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