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Politics in Modern Arab Art

LSE Kuwait Programme Annual Lecture

Watch the video and listen to an audio recording of the lecture

Watch a short interview with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi about his lecture

In his lecture, UAE based writer and art collector Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi will be discussing the political undertones of iconic artworks of the 20th century in 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. This talk is an attempt to shed light on an often neglected dimension in the modern history of the Arab world.

Event Details  

Speaker: Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, @SultanAlQassemi
Chair: Professor Toby Dodge, LSE                   
Date: Tuesday 18 October 2016                 
Time: 18.30-20:00, followed by a drinks reception                
Location: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE                   
Event Hashtag: #LSEKuwait                  
Attendance: This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis. Our events are very well attended, please make sure to arrive early. We cannot guarantee entry.


Al-Qassemi, Sultan

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist and prominent commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. Al Qassemi is also an MIT Media Labs Director’s Fellow and the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region.




‘The Protector of Life’ by Hamed Ewais (1967–68). Image Courtesy of Barjeel Art Foundation.