• Issue
  • Jan 01, 2022

The Artists of 2021: Monira Al Qadiri

MONIRA AL QADIRI, Phantom Beard, 2019, photo documentation of theater performance: 50min. Courtesy the artist.

Before the 20th-century discovery of oil, the Arabian Gulf traded another coveted resource extracted from beneath the surface: pearls. Though it defined the region for more than a millennium, pearl diving has been quickly severed from contemporary Arab culture since the dawn of black gold. With the movement towards alternative energy sources, oil now faces obscurity. In her works, Monira Al Qadiri excavates the forgotten histories of pearling and fuses them with present-day petro-cultures and speculative post-oil futures that define identities in the Gulf.