Posted on October 09, 2016

As part of its annual Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar) is proud to present UAE-based writer and art collector Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi with a lecture titled, ‘Politics in Modern Arab Art’. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 12 at 6PM at VCUQatar’s Atrium and is free and open to the public.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi will be discussing the political undertones of iconic artworks of the 20th century in the Arab world for the first Crossing Boundaries Lecture of the 2016-2017 year. This talk is an attempt to shed light on an often-neglected dimension in the modern history of the Arab world. From the Baathist regimes of Syria and Iraq to Egypt’s pan-Arabism under Gamal Abdel Nasser, paintings and sculptures in addition to film and performance have been employed by various governments as a tool of soft power to propagate their policies to the public not only in their respective states, but throughout the region and beyond. Despite this government patronage of the arts, many artists have chosen to challenge their authorities through their art practices.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist whose articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Room for Debate, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, and The Globe and Mail, as well as other notable publications. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is also a noted commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. He rose to international prominence during the Arab Spring, with his tweets rivaling those of the major news networks as a news source. This led to TIME magazine listing him as one the 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.

The lecture will take place on October 12 at 6PM at VCUQatar’s Atrium and is free and open to the public.