A court in Saudi Arabia has overturned the death sentence given to Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh last November on charges of publicly renouncing Islam, but the new terms of his punishment are also extremely savage.
Saudi Arabia Sentences Poet to Death
On November 17 a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced the artist, poet, and curator Ashraf Fayadh to death for renouncing Islam.
Keep Your Abaya Inside the Ride at All Times
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — In the Arab world, it’s not an easy task to voice an opinion that goes against the cultural norm. The average person would usually be shunned for doing so, often persecuted.
The Story of One Saudi Sculptor Who Took a Chance and Made “Un-art”
As I sat down with Saudi artist and sculptor Saddek Wasil to talk about his latest solo exhibition and his upcoming first auction participation at Christie’s Dubai in October, he started by recounting his earliest memories of delving into the art world: “I used to work on my sculptures at the garage. And one of the workers told me that my father, who was not aware of my work at the time, used to ask them to bring one of my pieces to put up his feet and relax. Later on, I decided to participate in an exhibition in Kuwait and submitted this particular sculpture. And one day he asked for it, and the workers told him that Saddek took it. He asked, ‘what does Saddek want with this junk?!'”
What Is and Isn’t Art in Saudi Arabia?
What is art and what is not in Saudi Arabia? We were hoping to answer that in the first monthly Casual Art Talk (CAT) I hosted in Jeddah on November 23, 2011. CAT is a small initiative I started to gather artists and art lovers of all ages to talk about art in all its different forms. We began by discussing the broad definition of art, but all who attended felt that it would be more productive to think about the local art scene. As with so many conversations trying to answer the question of what is art, the only conclusion attendees could agreed on is that art is a matter of taste and we will never concur on its purpose.
Saudi Arabia Needs to Talk
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Contemporary art is not the first thing you might think about whenever Saudi Arabia is mentioned. But if you decide to look beyond the veil of political media and stereotypes you will be quite surprised at what you might discover.
Cartoonists Vs. Islamic Iconoclasts: Have You Drawn Mohammed Today?
When people start telling other people what they can and cannot draw then we have a problem. Yesterday’s “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day!” made it clear that some religious fundamentalists need to be told to mind their own business and stop policing other people’s culture.