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Women Solidarity: Rethinking Mid-Twentieth Century Arab Art

Study program:
Dr. Phil.

Christian Kravagna

Lina Ramadan
Research Grantee Academy of Fine Arts Vienna | Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2024


The research traces Arab artists' movements and histories through rethinking feminist ways of reading art modernities and entanglements. I mainly focus on the work of Huguette Caland, Safia Farhat, Salwa Raouda Choucair, Inji Efflatoun, and Tamam Al Akhal, among others. The dissertation confronts artistic productions, daily activities, and women-led organizations influencing historical discourse. By delving into the role of solidarity in modern society and its nexus to contemporary politics, I emphasize feminist rhetoric persisting into current times. This rhetoric not only stands as a 1950s legacy from the Middle East and North Africa but also as an artistic agency challenging dominant nationalist and colonial narratives. I'm keen to understand the dynamics of producing and circulating artistic ideas through mediums like manifestos, philosophies, exhibitions, festivals, and more, spanning from abstract to figurative creations. Overall, by revisiting these moments, the research seeks to unravel the dynamics arraying from the production and circulation of ideas as artistic means, and the production of Arab political and feminist discourse in the arts.

Short biography

Lina Ramadan (b. Qatar) is a writer and curator specializing in modern and contemporary art. Her research focuses on post-colonial MENA histories, women artists, and literary productions. Ramadan holds a BA in English Literature from Qatar University and MA from University College London Qatar. From 2016 to 2022, Ramadan served as a curator at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. She is the recipient of the 421 Curatorial Development Program for 2023-24. Her recent curated exhibitions include "Taysir Batniji: No Condition is Permanent" (2022-23), as assistant curator, "Kader Attia: On Silence" (2021), "Raqs Media Collective: Still More World" (2019), among others. She’s the book editor of "Madness of the Anthropocene: Thinking with an Image" (forthcoming, 421 art space). Ramadan has contributed to various publications, including "The Palaver Tree" in "Farid Belkahia: For A New Modernity" (Ed. Gauthier, m. Centre Pompidou & Mathaf, 2021); "Moments of Return" in "Avant-Garde and Liberation" (forthcoming, Ed. Kravgna, C., Mumok Publications);  "Foreword" for "Yemen Art Now" (forthcoming, Ed. Vartanian Collier, L & Ibrahim, I. Romooz Foundation) and "Modern Art in Qatar" in "Modern Art in the Arabian Peninsula" (forthcoming, Shabout, N., Rogets, S., Takesh, S. American University of Cairo).