Rashed Al Shashai

For more than a decade, Rashed has been investigating the Mecca Siege in his work both as a teacher and an artist. His motive is very personal: on November 20, 1979, when Juhayman and his rebels closed the doors after dawn prayer, his grandfather was one of the pilgrims-became-hostages, who only barely managed to escape through a star-shaped hole in the Mosque’s outer wall. That window has become the leitmotif for Rashed's art, which he adopts as a means of emotional support to his educational work. He focuses on extremism, escapism and the growing social apathy of Saudi society – and the abuse of "absolution and salvation" by religion.