From March 2 to 21, 2016
March 6, 2016 at 6pm
Holiday Powers, Assistant Professor, Art History, VCUarts Qatar
The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar
George Awde, Mark Bermejo, Richard Blackwell, Gina Hunt, Dr. Thomas Modeen, Shankar Padmanabhan and Aisha Al-Ziani
The artwork of Doha-based cartoonist @khalidalbaih first became well known during the Arab Spring when one of his images of Hosni Mubarak went viral. Today, he publishes his cartoons under Creative Commons licensing on social media at “Khartoon!” His cartoons range from pointed political commentary on current events to broader comments on free speech, contemporary society and technology.
This exhibition focuses on the ways in which technology is activated to provide a platform for activism in Khalid Albaih’s work. If the Arab Spring is a starting point here, 2011 is not highlighted for its political statements but instead as a way to consider the new modalities of internet-based publics and solidarities. In these images, which exist primarily online, the repeated motif of the pen, which signals an underlying commitment to the power of free speech and open dialogue, is interspersed with Albaih’s viral images.
@khalidalbaih is an independent Sudanese artist and political cartoonist that was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1980. He currently lives and works in Doha, Qatar, where he has been based since 1990.
He publishes his cartoons on social media under “Khartoon!,” a word play on ‘cartoon’ and Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Albaih has published his cartoons widely in international publications including The Atlantic, PRI, and NPR, in addition to his published written social and political commentary in publications such as The Guardian and Al Jazeera.
His work has been exhibited in group exhibitions including “do it بالعربي” (Sharjah, 2016) and “RE:BELLION // RE:LIGION // RE:FORM – Artistic Action in Times of Crisis” (Zwickau, Germany, 2015) as well as solo exhibitions at the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI, 2015), McGill University (Montreal, 2014), and Edge of Arabia (London, 2013).
Holiday Powers is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at VCUarts Qatar. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, where her doctoral research focused on modernism in Morocco. She has contributed to publications including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, The Journal of North African Studies, and Under the Skin: Feminist Art from the Middle East and North Africa Today. She was the Artistic Program Coordinator and in charge of Parallel Projects for the fifth edition of the Marrakech Biennale.