Identitat, gènere, mística del petroli i futurs possibles.
Artista visual, escultora i performer crescuda a Kuwait i educada al Japó, Monira Al Qadiri explora les "cultures del petroli" del Golf Pèrsic, qüestionant el seu imaginari cultural, recalibrant el seu rol econòmic i el seu paper futur en la geopolítica global a través d'una obra marcadament autobiogràfica -entre allò personal i la política, la temàtica de gènere i un sentit de l'humor fosc- que contradiu la creença en el petroli com una substància gairebé mística i inesgotable amb la qual han estat beneïdes les monarquies del Golf Pèrsic i el seu poder.
¿Un possible futur sin petroli? Aquest és el tema de Petroquímics al Purgatori, la recerca que Monira Al Qadiri presentarà a The Influencers en format performance.
“There is a void in the history of the region. As we are in non-democratic societies, history is always a kind of taboo. We’re not really supposed to talk about poverty, or about ways of life, or industries that existed, that were the norm before oil. Oil is seen as this mystical substance that came to us and that we’re the chosen people. The history is sanitized [to become this Disney-esque “Vay! Pearl Songs!” They make these ads now, where old men who used to be pearl divers are on their iPads on their boats. But of course nobody does this! None of it reflects any kind of reality. It’s so distorted now, to a point that it’s become absurd...
So this is not nostalgia at all. You need to know your history in a more realistic form, especially that in the early 20th century a lot of this information is blacked out because there were so many mini-wars and coups… Sheiks killing other Sheiks, and tribes killing other tribes, and so much blood. There is this huge period that is very vague and nobody really knows what happened because now we’re just being taught this official history, “This is your country. It was founded in 1961, we’re new. Before that? We don’t know.”
So my work is about this terrible acknowledgement of history and, of course, thinking about the future because the petroleum interval in history is going to be very short, it’s not sustainable. Everybody knows that, even though our governments ignore it, but it’s the truth. We’re the freaks of this weird time.”