Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Gulf Futurism and the (un-)hopeful chronopolitics of art  
Melanie Janet Sindelar (Central European University)

Paper short abstract:

Gulf Futurism is one of the newest artistic and literary movements that has left cultural footmarks not only in the Middle East, but on a global stage. This paper undertakes a systematic review of the socio-political and philosophical statements that are transmitted through this movement.

Paper long abstract:

In the last ten years, Gulf futurism has emerged as a trope among artists and writers in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. Their works explore hypercapitalism and consumerism, technology, and outer space ambitions, along with the ethnofutures of a region where migrant workers from the Global South constitute a majority of the population. In contrast to other futurisms (including Afrofuturism), Gulf futurism’s aesthetic and tone are dystopian rather than utopian. It engages with Gulf countries’ sociopolitical problems, especially as they relate to these states’ ambitions for the future, stereotypes about the Gulf, the role of migrant workers, and the gendered dimensions of these issues. Gulf futurism has started to appear increasingly as a literary, artistic, and cinematic trope in which utopian and dystopian imaginaries have been mapped on the deserts and cities of the Gulf states. This paper aims to understand the formation of Gulf Futurism from a critical viewpoint, examining both artists who enthusiastically engage with tropes of Gulf Futurism and artists who critique the movement. Besides pressing concerns such as climate change, scholars have only recently begun attending to the future as a “cultural fact” (Appadurai 2013) or conceptualizing notions of acceleration (Eriksen 2016). Few studies have paid attention to how contemporary art movements engage with the Gulf countries’ sociopolitical problems, especially as they relate to state ambitions for the future. This paper remedies this lack of engagement by undertaking a systematic review of the socio-political and philosophical statements that are transmitted through this movement.

Panel P072
Hopeful chronopolitics: contemporary art and ethnography
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -