Sophia Al Maria

Born 1983, Tacoma, USA
Lives and works in Doha, Qatar and London, UK

By Isabella Ellaheh Hughes
American-Qatari artist, writer and filmmaker, Sophia Al-Maria works across multiple mediums to explore and speculate on the future, with a fantastical slant. Her practice combines candid memoir with science fiction to reflect on her relationship to the places where she grew up: the Pacific Northwest and the GCC. Class A is part of a series based on one of Al Maria’s unrealised film projects, the rape-revenge thriller, Beretta, and operates as a love letter to the lead Egyptian actress who was jailed before filming. Set in contemporary Egypt, Beretta’s premise was to follow the mute protagonist, Suad as she ventures to murder all the men who have ever abused her after being pushed to her physical and psychological limits. Al Maria’s work often pays homage to cult cinema even as it provides sharp commentary on the contemporary experience of women. A graduate in Comparative Literature from the American University of Cairo, she later studied aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. She was included in the New Museum Triennial, New York, 2015, and had a solo show at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 2016.