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Alia Ali

Alia Ali (Arabic: عاليه علي // Sabean: ‎ 𐩲𐩱𐩡𐩺𐩲|𐩲𐩱𐩡) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-U.S. multimedia artist. A child of migrant linguists, Ali has traveled to sixty-seven countries, lived in and between seven, and grown up among five languages. Through her practice, Ali critiques linguistics and inherited political structures and narratives, while simultaneously attempting to counter the polarization that imperils communities across the world, encouraging viewers to confront their own prejudices.

Working between language, photography, video, textile, and installation, Ali’s work addresses the politicization of the body, histories of colonization, imperialism, sexism, and racism through projects that take pattern and textile as their primary motif. Textile, in particular, has been a constant in Ali’s practice. Her belief that textile is significant to all of us, reminds us that we are born into it, we sleep in it, we eat on it, we define ourselves by it, we shield ourselves with it, and eventually, we die in it. While it unites us, it also divides us physically and symbolically. Her work broadens into immersive installations utilizing light, pattern, and textile to move past language and offer an expansive, experiential understanding of self, culture, and nation.

Ali has been featured in the Financial Times, Le Monde, ELLE Italia, the NRC, the Guardian, Art Review, and Hyperallergic. Ali was recently announced by Artsy as one the top twenty emerging artists to watch in 2022. She is one of twenty global recipients of the prestigious Artsy Vanguard Prize  recognizing the most promising artists working today who are propelling contemporary art.

Ali is a graduate of Wellesley College and the California Institute of the Arts. She lives and works in New Orleans, Paris, and Marrakech.

Alia Ali's contributions: