Following a successful launch last week, you’re invited to join us at our second Friday Hangout!
The Friday Hangout brings together people interested in Arab culture for an online chat over their lunch breaks, wherever they may be. We’re a very sociable bunch, and we’ve been missing our lunchtime hangouts while working from home, so we thought we’d extend an invite to others who may be feeling the same.
Each Friday Hangout will be co-hosted by an artist who’ll talk a bit about their practice and what they’re up to, before opening up the floor for informal discussion. This week, we’re delighted to announce that the Hangout will be co-hosted by Manal Al Dowayan.
Long invested in interrogating the gender-biased customs that impact the condition of women in Saudi Arabia, Manal Al Dowayan is a sensitive yet critical witness to the cultural metamorphosis engulfing the Kingdom. Her practice, formally speaking, regularly shifts and evolves—from the assertive black and white photographic portraits of highly skilled working women in her early I Am series (2005), to the research-driven Crash (2014) documenting media silence on fatal road accidents involving commuting women schoolteachers. Equally recognized for her work in sound, neon, and sculpture, Al Dowayan is perhaps best known for the participatory installations Suspended Together (2011) and Esmi-My Name (2012), the result of workshops offering channels for over 400 women in the Kingdom to unjust social customs. Most recently, you may have spotted her work at the jaw-droppingly stunning Desert X, the landmark group exhibition across the AlUla desert.
Unsurprisingly, Manal’s gaze unravels the expected tensions running through the fibre of Saudi society—public vs private, traditional vs modern, community vs. world. But as the Kingdom races towards further change, Al Dowayan’s artistic engagement with this new metamorphosis promises to be bolder and more incisive than ever.