“Sometimes there’s a kind of portal that exists between our minds.”
The sisters Shadia and Raja Alem represent one of Saudi Arabia’s only collaborative double acts. Born in Makkah they divide their time between Jeddah and Paris. The inimitable and spiritual bond between the two has allowed them to work together to startling effect.
Of the two, Shadia is the visual artist. She graduated with a BA in Art & English Literature from King AbdulAziz Universty and since 1985 has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Saudi Arabia as well as Egypt, Morocco, Germany, Korea and Paris. Raja is the writer. Her work includes novels, plays and numerous collaborations with artists through which she has become one of the best-known writers in the Arab world. Between them they have been involved in many projects that seek to encourage creativity amongst the youth and women of Saudi Arabia. In this and all their work they’re inspired by female predecessors Safia bin Zagir and Mona Mosaly who exhibited in Jeddah during the 1960s.