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5th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art

The Hamad bin Khalifa biennial symposia are designed to address major themes in Islamic art and culture. Past symposia have focused on such subjects as water, color, and the art of the object. The 2013 symposium will investigate the topic of light from a wide range of perspectives, from the imagery of light in the Qur’an and in the literatures of the Islamic lands to light’s role in buildings, paintings, and other works of art. We are delighted that our keynote speaker will be the acclaimed visual artist, Iranian-born Shirin Neshat, whose photographic and videographic work is literally created with light. Neshat’s beautiful and provocative photographs and films explore issues of identity and gender in contemporary Islamic societies. She won the International Award of the LXVIII Venice Biennale in 1999 for two films, Turbulent and Rapture. In 2006 she was awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and in 2009 Neshat won the Silver Lion for best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival for Women without Men. She was born in Qazvin, Iran and lives in New York City.