[P5880] You Must Listen to the Artist! The Gulf's Creative Class in the Twenty-First Century

Created by Elizabeth Derderian
Monday, 10/05/20 01:30 pm


For years, many Arabs and non-Arabs have seen the Gulf's oil-producing monarchies as cultural wastelands defined by the uneasy co-existence of narrow interpretations of Islam along with vast imported wealth from oil production. Those select Gulf nationals interested in art and in cultural production often traveled to Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, or to the West--reinforcing a narrative of the region as a cultural tabula rasa. What art that has emerged from the Gulf has often been dismissed as lesser work, at best, or propaganda, at worst.

In reality, however, the Gulf has produced generations of musicians, poets, painters, and other cultural producers who have given unique voice to the people of the region while influencing cultures and societies in the Gulf, the Arab World, and beyond. They did so with the support of local organizations and elites. This panel takes the work of Gulf-based artists seriously on their own terms to gain insight into the complex politics of the region, and looks at the development of critical cultural infrastructures that have and continue to help scaffold artistic production in the region.


Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS)


Anthro; Art/Art Hist; Hist