Exhibition: Art For Change


If this year could be summarised in one word, then that word would be change. We share the work of 10 emerging artists and photographers from the Arab World who have translated how they feel about change, and what kind of change would they like to see in the world.

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Swim Good, by Mujahid Al Malki, Oman

Description by artist: “A lot of us feel like their job in the corporate world has become a large part of their identity and sense of self-worth. Most of the time you’d feel locked and marginalised which follows up with physical exhaustion and spiritual drain. This photograph describes a place where every corporate person would like to be in, a temporary escape to a perfect world where you swim in an ocean, and where the sun always shines.”

Change Khaleeji Cinema, by Yara Ayoob, Bahrain

Description by artist: “Almost every Khaleeji drama includes violence, abuse, yelling, second or third marriages, cheating, foul language, blackface and mistreatment of women and housekeepers. It’s time for a change. It’s time to tarnish the reputation that has been given to us and to branch out into new ideas that stay away from all this violence being portrayed. We need to do better.”

Gulf of Oil, by Marwa Saeed, Bahrain.

Description by artist: “Dear non-Arabs and non-Kaleejis: Stop looking at us from media screens.We are not all overly wealthy, our thoubs aren’t made of silver, and our streets aren’t made of diamonds. We don’t eat oil on breakfast, and it doesn’t rain money.”

With Time, by Mariam Al Salem, Bahrain

Description by artist: “This painting shows a woman who is going through change. Change takes time. That’s why there’s an hourglass that is taking the place of her head. She is in different yoga positions with each passing time. The first pose is the tree pose, because I believe that even though you go through change you must always stick to your roots, your morals and who you truly are as a person. The next pose is the cobra pose, and that shows that change also requires to shed everything that doesn’t help you grow. The last pose is Tadasana, also known as the mountain pose. Change is scary and that’s why you need to stand strong like a mountain and be fearless when it comes to new experiences and new chapters that you need to embark in life.”

Open Eyes, by Zahra AlAli, Bahrain

 Description by artist: N/A.

Nothing Is Permanent, by Abdullatif Alfouraih, Saudi Arabia

Description by artist: Arabic calligraphy art to illustrate a famous Arabic saying that states that no situation is permanent.

Social Affinity, by Mohammed Awwad, Jordan

Description by artist: A box of pills that states on it 100 % true feelings. “We need to offer our beloved ones more time in this crisis so that we may reach a safe shore together.”

A Journey to Self Disocvery, by Mohammed Alattar,Oman

Description by artist: The artwork portrays the constant self-discovery search, and the more we search, we discover that we are constantly changing, thus the self-discovery journey is a continuous process. 

Behind the Closed Doors, by Hamda Al Khaja, UAE

Description by artist: “Sometimes we feel that we need to change something, but we’re not sure which door to open. Is it easier to keep all the doors open? Or there is time for each one? Do we know which is the most important door to explore? Or does it depend on our thoughts in this time? Doors are necessary and you never know what’s behind until you open and explore!”

At What Cost?, by Mahmood Al Zadjali, Oman

Description by artist: “Between buying golden finery, renting a hall, and catering for masses of guests, some Omani youth have found that the joy of marriage requires a bank loan. They’re stuck in seas of expenses, tied down by the crimson thread of loans, and the cost of marriage keeps rising higher and higher like a tide. Yet this is what society expects. Parents say, ‘Get married and make us happy.’ Society wants them to responsibly build a family home. Tied down in the sea, some youth are closing their eyes and holding their breath. ‘Let the waves crash on me,’ they cry, ‘I hope this is worth it.’” Swipe left to see images.

This exhibition was organized by the Sekka Team.

The views of the authors and writers who contribute to Sekka, and the views of the interviewees and artists who are featured in Sekka, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sekka, its parent company, its owners, employees and affiliates.