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Alia Ali (Austria, 1985) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American multi-media artist. Having traveled to sixty-three countries, lived in seven and grown up among five languages, her most comfortable mode of communication is through image and multi-sensory mediums. Her extensive travels have led her to process the world through interactive experiences. As a child of two linguists, Alia believes that the interpretation of verbal and written language has dis-served particular communities and presents more of a threat than a means of understanding. 
It is for this reason that Alia’s aesthetic interests stem from people, place, and the processes which unite and divide us, all at once. Her work reflects on the politics and poetics of contested notions surrounding the topics of identity, physical borders, universality, mental/physical spaces of confinement, and the inherent dualism that exists in everything. Her work blurs the lines between what we claim to be objective and subjective, illusion and reality, truth and interpretation.
Alia has just completed working on two transglobal projects, the People of Pattern and BORDERLAND. She is exploring cultures and conflicts through the medium of textile and the processes of making them. Her projects have most recently taken her to Oaxaca, Mexico; Bokhara, Uzbekistan; Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Sapa, Vietnam; Kyoto, Japan; Udaipur, India; and Lagos, Nigeria. 
Alia is a graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic (UWCAC) and holds a BA in Studio Art and Middle Eastern Studies from Wellesley College. Her work has been featured at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Marrakech Biennale as part of the Swiss-Moroccan KE’CH Collective, Gulf Photo Plus Dubai during Art Week Dubai 2017. Her most recent series, BORDERLAND has been exhibited at Mondo Galeria in Madrid, Spain; Galerie Siniya 28 in Marrakech, Morocco; and Space Gallery in Portland, Maine. She has been awarded the Alice C. Cole ’42 Grant of Wellesley College, LensCulture’s Emerging Talent Awards 2016 and Gold Winner in a Fine Art Category of the Tokyo International Foto Awards. 


Solo Exhibitions

2017
BORDERLAND, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
BORDERLAND, Mondo Galeria, Madrid, Spain 
BORDERLAND, Galerie Siniya 28, Marrakech, Morocco 
+|-, Space Gallery, Portland, Maine, USA 
BORDERLAND, Emery Arts Center, Farmington, Maine, USA
BORDERLAND, Peter Sillem Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany 

2015 
REFLECT, Center for Government & International Studies Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA 
PROCESS, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, USA

Group Exhibitions

2017
Tokyo International Foto Awards Exhibition (TIFA), Tokyo, Japan 
Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN Festival), Arts Canteen, London, United Kingdom 
I AM, Caravan Arts, National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan 
I AM, Caravan Arts, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom
Ephemera Obscura curated by Aaron Levi Garvey, Group Show, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Alice C. Cole Alumnae Exhibition, Wellesley College, USA 
I AM, Caravan Arts, Katzen Arts Center (American University), Washington D.C., USA

2016 
Limitless ’n Infinite, Heritage Space, Hanoi, Vietnam
Red, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
Masks, SE Center of Photography, Greenville, South Carolina, USA
Collector’s Favorites, ROSEGALLERY, Los Angeles, California, USA
Stillness & Distance, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015, PhotoLONDON, Somerset House, London, UK
Laboratoire de la Mondialité, KE’CH Collective, Marrakech Biennale 6, Marrakech, Morocco

2015 
Currents 2015, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Shades of Inclusion, Open Door Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
+91, Le Dix Huit Espace d’Art, Marrakech, Morocco
Yo, la peor de todas (Nan Goldin paradigma), Mondo Galeria, Madrid, Spain

2014 
Féminin Pluriel: Haiti Project, Dar Bellarj, Marrakech, Morocco
I SPEAK IN IMAGE, Permanent virtual exhibition - http://ispeakinimage.com,(Tanzania/Kyrgyzstan/Mongolia/Nepal/India)


Residencies

2017
Space Gallery, Portland, Maine, USA
Pico de Refigio Artist Residency, Riberia Grande, Azores, Portugal

2016
Indochina Arts Partnership, Hanoi, Vietnam 
Paradise AiR, Matsudo, Japan 
Obracadobra Artist Residency, Oaxaca, Mexico
KE’CH Collective, Marrakech, Morocco

2015
Rising Artist Residency, Arts Connect International, New Orleans, USA
Le 18, Marrakech, Morocco


Awards & Grants

2017
Winner, Emerging Artist Competition (US Jury), Magenta Foundation, Toronto, Canada 
Finalist, Open Theme Award Judged by Loulou d’Aki. The Independent Photographer
Finalist, Siena International Photography Awards, Sienna, Italy

2016
Winner (Gold - Fine Art Category), Tokyo International Foto Awards 2016
Winner (Silver - Abstract Category), Tokyo International Foto Awards 2016
Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016
Winner, Alice C. Cole ’42 Alumnae Award, Wellesley College
Winner, Top 3 Select Juror's Awards, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards 2016
Finalist, International Emerging Artist Awards Art Fair Dubai ’16

2015
Finalist, LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015 
Rising Artist Award, Arts Connect International

2014
Travel & Documentary Photography Award, Colors of Saudi Forum under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Ben Selman

2009
Most Distinguished Artist Award, Wellesley College


Lecturas / Workshops

2017
In dialogue with Joud Halawani al-Tamimi, Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival, Rich Mix, London, United Kingdom
Speaking in Image, Workshop, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2016
Conversation with Nguyen Qui Duc, Tadioto, Hanoi, Vietnam
Artist Talk, Heritage Space of Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam
People of Pattern, Workshop, Heritage Space of Hanoi, Vietnam 
Artist Talk, Paradise AiR, Matsudo, Japan
Artist Talk, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Artist Talk, Obracadrobra Artist Residency, Oaxaca, Mexico

2015
I SPEAK IN IMAGE, Speaker, TEDxMarrakeshInto the Image, Speaker & Workshop, Harvard University

2014
Speaker & Panelist, Colors of Saudi Arabia Forum
Speaker, Diwan Artist Talk Series of Féminin Pluriel, Marrakech, Morocco
Speaker, Siddharta Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal
“Can Biennials Expand and Democratize Culture?” Panelist, Biennial Foundation, Marrakech, Morocco

Groups

Member, LensCulture
Member, New Orleans Photo Alliance
Artist Leader, Arts Connect International