The rusted golden age.

Art has no place in Saudi Arabia. It seems that we as Saudis have missed the chance to indicate our struggles, emotions and endeavours in a manner that is unique to us. “We do have a culture. It is Islam” is the answer I mostly get when I asked about that situation, however, reality cannot be farther. Saudi culture seemed to have taken a break and never recovered at the Bedwen days, while Islamic culture had been distorted, destroyed and left to rot in an alleyway occupied by cats. Throughout my stay in multiple metropolitan cities, I’ve realized that the voice of the unheard maintained its presence on the walls of their homes, and the homes of those who they might even hate. Graffiti and street art is an integral part of the rebellious youth’s culture in most parts of the civilized world. However, in Saudi Arabia, graffiti lacks a voice, it is simply names written in a kindergarten student’s handwriting, and blackberry pins, in the hopes of getting a ninja to present herself and show her ankles. This lack of inspiration, even in violent acts against society, is partially blamed on the canvas; a bleak rectangular wall, accompanied by more hopeless rectangular walls with no character. Architecture is lacking to say the least. Buildings are simply tall boxes with windows, and homes are more boxes with no character. True Saudi architecture seems to have halted at tents. It is important for one to revere their heritage, however, it is even more important to expand upon it. It seems like Saudi’s are more willing to imitate than innovate, as if all cultures have a certain charm to them that they lack. Some say Islamic culture is the one and only culture that Saudi’s can accept, however, it seems that they say that out of conviction rather than experience, and the experience is not one that they will be living through any time soon.


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