Over recent decades, the Persian Gulf has been one of the parts of the world that has experienced the greatest urban and economic development. Will careful observation of this reality provide us with a glimpse of the future of the world?
The future is the laboratory of the Qatari-American artist and writer Sophia Al-Maria (1983, USA). Using the concept of the "Futurism of the Gulf", a kind of trip to the future, based on analysis of the present, her work has focused on the cataclysmic effects of the mining industries, climate change and the proliferation of digital technologies in a region which, the artist suggests, projects the conditions towards which the rest of the world is now moving. For Sophia Al-Maria, both in the Gulf and in other regions, economic development has effects not only on land, but also on world-conceptions. Her work has focused on the effects on the female body of deferred violence from extraction of natural resources. In this conversation with the collective Pipi Colonial – who works on the relations between gender and colonialism – Sophia Al-Maria’s work will serve as a starting point for a reflection about emerging futures and the role of art as a territory of speculative inquiry.