Over the past two decades, the field of Islamic art and architecture has been affected by the political developments and cultural destruction in the Islamic World, the rise of the new art world in the Gulf region, and finally, an increased recognition of interdisciplinary and transcultural approaches in the broader fields of art and architecture. Azra Akšamija who has a background in both fields will address how these factors pose new challenges and opportunities regarding the continuous use of the label “Islamic” dedicated to the study of very diverse aspects of art and architecture of highly heterogeneous and hybrid world cultures. She will outline an alternative perspective in her own work, which she calls “Transcultural Practice”, addressing the pressing concerns over the global societal polarisation around Islamic identity.
Azra Akšamija is the Class of 1922 Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor in the MIT Art, Culture and Technology Program. She holds graduate degrees from TU Graz, Princeton University and a Ph.D. from MIT. Her recent exhibitions include the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Queens Museum of Art in New York, and the 54th Venice Biennale. She is the recipient of the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
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