Alserkal Avenue, Dubai Farah Al Qasimi, Spring 2017 / by May Al-Dabbagh

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Farah Al Qasimi is an Emirati artist known for a photographic style that investigates the fantastical in quotidian spaces. Al Qasimi studied photography and music at Yale University and has an MFA from the Photography programme at Yale School of Art.

During her class talk, Al Qasimi discussed her recent commission with Al-Serkal Avenue “Its not easy being seen” which explored the invisible labor of women in the cycle of creation and consumption. She also elaborated on her engagement with public responses to current and past exhibits and addressed questions regarding the politics of reception of gender-related representations in the Gulf.

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Students then had the opportunity to view the multimedia piece in person during our class visit to Alserkal Avenue in Dubai. The installation sparked conversations about paid versus unpaid work, a key theme explored throughout our class readings on marxist feminist critiques, and also allowed students to explore how art can be a potential mode of activism that creates new spaces for questioning and engagement.

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