AGSIW is pleased to host a conversation on the arts and culture scene in Bahrain with Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, an artist and the culture and arts director at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities.
Bahrain is home to a flourishing art scene that is now being recognized by the international art world. The country’s art history predates its establishment as a modern state; it was the first country in the Gulf to welcome art with painting classes in 1919, and the first to open a movie theater in 1937. In the middle of the 20th century the first generation of painters started to emerge, and an arts society was founded in 1983.
Although Bahrain is a newcomer to the world of contemporary art in a global context, Bahraini galleries are making a positive impression at international fairs and several state-sponsored projects are providing space for local art and culture to flourish.
A light lunch will be served.
Watch live today at 12:30 pm EST. Follow the conversation on Twitter: #BahrainArts.
Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa is the director of culture and arts for the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Museum of Fine Arts School and Tufts University in Boston and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University College London’s Slade School of Fine Arts. Al Khalifa began teaching art at the University of Bahrain and from 2008-11 served as the head of art education at the Museum of Islamic Art for the Qatar Museums Authority. She then joined the Public Art Department as the education manager and curator in the Fire Station – Artist in Residence Program, in Doha (2011-15). Al Khalifa has had a number of local and international exhibitions.
Kristin Smith Diwan is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She works in both comparative politics and international relations and specializes in Arab and Islamist politics. Her current projects concern Gulf political economy, the politics of sectarianism, generational change, and the evolution of Islamism in the GCC. Her analyses of Gulf affairs have appeared in many publications, among them Geopolitics, Middle East Report, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. Diwan received her PhD in political science from Harvard University, and holds an MA in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University in Texas.