We’ve presented to you all kinds of inspiring talents, but what about the ones behind them, the ones who support them and promote them? This week, we are presenting you a different type of artist soul, one who is an an active philanthropist and contributor to the global contemporary art world, Alia Al-Senussi. She also happens to be a princess, part of the Libyan royalty. Talk about a fairytale come true!
In 1969, the dictator Muammar Gadaffi deposed her family from the Libyan throne, which it had held for 18 years. Her father, a young cousin of the queen consort, was just 12 when he was forced into exile. Growing up with an American mom and her middle eastern dad, she understood the power of cultural diversity and would further bring her on her path today as an active supporter of arts & culture.
In 2019, she was appointed the prestigious role of Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia. With a background in cultural strategy, she has earned her PhD degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. Before, she earned degrees from Brown University and the London School of Economics.
Her work concentrates on trying to get contemporary art from the Middle East recognized as being a part of the international art world ecosystem in a very sustainable and thoughtful way and making the world let go of the stereotypes surrounding it, as the middle eastern richness and soul are just as important as any other culture and a catalyst for good.
Alia’s philanthropic roles include being Chair of the Tate Young Patrons, and a founding member of the Tate’s acquisition committee for the Middle East and North Africa.
Alia holds board membership across international arts organisations, including: The Middle East Circle of The Guggenheim and the board of Patrons of Art Dubai, for which she serves an integral role in the founding of the Art Dubai fair itself.
She has also served on the board of trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Arts London, and is currently a member of the Tate Modern Advisory Council and the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Delfina Foundation.