Sharjah, UAE – American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently hosted “A Look at the Social Dimension of Modern Arab Art,” a talk by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder of Barjeel Art Foundation and member of AUS Board of Trustees, where he delved into societal influences and reflections on contemporary artistic expressions.
Al Qassemi engaged AUS students in an exploration of how modern art reflects and influences societal shifts. He touched upon the evolution of artistic expression against the backdrop of historical events, emphasizing art's role as both a witness to and commentator on the ever-changing societal landscapes.
"Art doesn't merely mirror our history but often writes it. In each painting, there's a message, a voice echoing the sentiments of an era. I urge AUS every student to delve deep into the seen and unseen art of the Arab world and beyond. For in understanding our legendary poets, artists and stories, we not only appreciate art but also decode the chronicles of our history and civilization," said Al Qassemi.
Al Qassemi is a renowned UAE-based columnist, with articles featured in publications such as The Financial Times, The Guardian and The New York Times.
His rise to international prominence was catalyzed by his astute commentary on Arab affairs on Twitter, leading TIME magazine to recognize him in its “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”
Beyond being a commentator, his association as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab Director’s Fellow and his endeavors at New York University's Hagop Kevorkian Center delineate his depth in understanding the art-politics nexus.
"Hosting Al Qassemi at AUS was a true honor and is an immersive soulful experience into art and its profound connection to society and cultural diplomacy. Our students have been privy to an enriched perspective that intertwines cultural insights with historical tapestries, and we are immensely grateful for such an enlightening dialogue," said Haifa Ismail, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership at AUS.
The AUS Student Council played an instrumental role in promoting this event, motivating AUS students who are keen to deepen their understanding of art's intricate relationship with society's ever-changing dynamics.
“Having Al Qassemi talking to AUS students was a defining moment. His deep knowledge, combined with the AUS Student Council's efforts to promote the event, ensured its resounding success,” said Mira Daoud, accounting major and President of the AUS Student Council.