Barjeel Art Foundation hosted a panel discussion examining at the relationship between art and nationalism. The panel was moderated by art historian and curator Dr. Salwa Mikdadi and included panelists Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, independent curator and Dubai editor of Art Asia Pacific, artist Ebtisam Abdul Aziz, Dr. Sharon Parker Assistant professor at Zayed University, and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, collector and Arab affairs commentator.
Notions of a national identity and nationalism comprise several interlinked layers of beliefs and cultural ideals, among them ethnicity, politics and shared perceptions of history that unite a group of people. Having a ‘national identity’ involves believing you are a member in a culturally distinct community that asserts ideological and geo-political legitimacy vis-a-vis other groups. In this panel discussion, we explore the relationship between art and national identity, as well as the role of contemporary artists in both perpetuating and destabilizing ideas of nationalism in our globalized world.