Submission: 'fragility' by Saudi artist Khaled Al Qahtani
Today, and more than ever, cultural works about masculinity and the critique of gender stereotypes is more relevant than ever. With issues of gender-based violence have been more prevalent online and heard in institutions, it's important to explore the meanings of gender and how notions of "masculinity" through cultural production. Below we have a submission from Khaled Al Qahtani a Saudi artist challenging the notion of what it means to be a "man".
Toxic masculinity is enforced on males of all ages in a variety of cultures, thus males are obliged to hide their vulnerability, which makes them “humans.” This has a negative, ever-lasting impact on their lives and affects their journeys of self-exploration. Therefore, this project tries to defy this phenomenon in MENA, particularly in Saudi Arabia, as this is how I was raised and many other males, regardless of how they define themselves on the gender spectrum. Arabic synonyms of the English word “Fragile” where used in the photographs, highlighting the beauty and richness of Arabic, which is another objective of this project.
Khaled Alqahtani is an artist and storyteller in progress. He does not limit himself to a particular technique and tries to learn more about myself and the world through art. Nonetheless, He is captivated by STEM and endeavoring to complete his studies in a Biology-related field. Writing has and continues to heal him. Therefore, he curated Ehki, a platform that offers the opportunity to share stories that are unspeakable in MENA. It tries to discuss and spread the awareness about a variety of issues that are denied or rarely discussed in our communities, i.e. sexual harassment and depression. Additionally, he is currently collecting artworks by artists based in Saudi Arabia for the first issue of Ward, an e-mag for artists of all ages.
Instagram: @KhaledOAlq | Twitter: @KhaledOAlq