Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture, and Society in the Kingdom by Sean Foley
T. E. Lawrence once observed that Saudi Arabia had "so little art" that it could "be said to have no art at all." Whether that was once the case is arguable. But that it is not the case now is clear in Sean Foley's Changing Saudi Arabia. Exploring the contemporary arts movement in Saudi Arabia in the context of the kingdom's changing political realities, Foley finds that artists are expressing thoughts and feelings that the Saudi public typically has not felt safe to articulate. These artists are promoting discussions about the need for peaceful and progressive social reform―and they are doing it in ways that escape the wrath of the absolute monarchy. Without confronting the state or the political system, Foley argues, Saudi society is exercising significant agency through its cultural production.