The Global Art Forum is known as a particularly innovative, leading platform for cultural debate, featuring live talks and presentations, plus commissioned research and projects. In 2015, the Forum begins for the first time in Kuwait (March 14-15), before continuing at Art Dubai (March 18-20). In Kuwait, the Global Art Forum is kindly hosted by Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Amricani Cultural Centre.
Titled ‘Download Update?’, the 2015 Forum takes on the theme of technologies, and their impact on the world of art, culture and beyond. Co-directed by Turi Munthe and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, with Shumon Basar as Director-at-Large, the Forum debates how technologies have transformed not only the way we work, but how we think, interact, learn and create.
“The 2015 Global Art Forum will alter the conversation about technology and the Middle East, and shed light on how the region’s culture in being influenced by the streams of communication innovations that have appeared in the past few decades,” says Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Global Art Forum Co-director.
Global Art Forum Kuwait is accompanied by special exhibitions and events across the city such as a special workshop devoted to debating and developing expertise in preserving and digitizing archives. The workshop is led by Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, together with Sultan Gallery, Kuwait. Other presenting organizations and individuals are to be announced over the coming weeks; researchers, curators and artists are invited to apply to attend via artdubai.ae.
“Having brought the Global Art Forum to Qatar for the last two years, we are thrilled to take the next step in its regional showcase by beginning the Forum in Kuwait. The support and great enthusiasm from our partners in Kuwait has been instrumental in making the Forum possible,” says Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai.
In Kuwait he Forum’s diverse talks and presentations include:
- A panel conducted in Arabic with former Al Arabi Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Sulaiman Al Askari on the impact of technologies on Kuwait’s cultural scene.
- A panel on the imposed and reclaimed representations of women in Gulf societies through an overload of media technologies.
- A discussion between critic and curator Murtaza Vali and artists’ collective GCC, many of whom are based in Kuwait on the struggle between heritage and futurism.
In Dubai, the Global Art Forum is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and supported by Dubai Design District (d3).
Global Art Forum Kuwait is supported by the Tamdeen Group and is held in association with Nuqat and Sultan Gallery. The Forum is kindly hosted by Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Amricani Cultural Centre.
The International New York Times is the international media partner of the Global Art Forum.
Global Art Forum Kuwait Partners:
The Tamdeen Group, Kuwait’s outstanding property developer and investor, is proud to support the Global Art Forum in Kuwait. One of the Tamdeen Group’s flagship developments, 360 MALL integrates retail, leisure and entertainment in a luxury environment; positioning it as the premier luxury shopping experience in Kuwait offering shoppers and visitors 82,000 sq.m of exciting leisure and shopping experiences. Amongst its stores are a mix of luxury brands, dining and entertainment which have been introduced for the first time in Kuwait. The mall’s elegant interiors include seven different experience zones. 360 MALL marks a milestone in the growth of the retail sector in Kuwait and is clearly setting benchmarks for the industry.
The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) was created to support the loan of objects from The al-Sabah Collection to the State of Kuwait and currently operates under the auspices of the National Council of Culture, Arts, and Letters. Over time the mission has grown to include promoting the fusion of people, cultures and ideas both in Kuwait and in countries hosting DAI exhibitions, which are drawn from the 30,000-piece al-Sabah Collection. The DAI’s cultural season programme, now in its 20th year, also foments the fusion of ideas, people and cultures. Throughout the cultural season, the DAI hosts activities and events that share aspects of the world around us, opening its doors to welcome all those who choose to enter and participate.
Sultan Gallery has played an important role over the last forty years in introducing Arab artists to broader audiences, and helping to establish a vital dialogue among artists and institutions working internationally. The Sultan Gallery was initially founded in Kuwait in 1969 by the late siblings Ghazi and Najat Sultan. Up until 1990 it operated thoroughly as a convergence point for not only artists and intellectuals exploring polemic issues on Arab society, but also the general public. The mission of Sultan Gallery has since been about propagating contemporary and secular movements through Arab art. Upon reopening its doors to the public in 2006, director of the space, Farida Sultan, has continued working avidly with a wide range of artists to advance a critical art discourse emerging in the country. The Gallery takes pride in supporting up-and-coming artists, and is highly receptive to experimental practices dealing with sound, video, performance, publications, as well as networks and the media.
Nuqat, first known as “Nuqat Ala Al Huroof,” started off with one objective in mind – to develop Arab creativity on all levels, encompassing design, advertising, architecture, fashion, production and all other pertinent social and cultural fields. Established out of frustration with the lack of spirited exchange in the Middle East, the Nuqat team is made up of like-minded cultural visionaries from Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Dubai who have a growing optimism about fueling creative dialogue in the region. Nuqat’s mission as growing cultural force is to advance creativity and enrich society. It aims to establish Nuqat institutes in different cities across the Middle East and to develop a specialized educational curriculum, in addition to organizing the ongoing annual Nuqat conferences for tackling a variety of pressing topics in the creative realm. Since 2009, Nuqat has hosted a yearly conference and a wide range of activities including workshops, exhibitions and design competitions.
Global Art Forum speakers in Kuwait and Dubai
Global Art Forum 2015 features 50 contributors, including:
- Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Artist, London
- Georgina Adam, Author and art market Editor-at-Large, The Art Newspaper, art market columnist, The Financial Times, London
- Sabih Ahmed, Senior Researcher, Asia Art Archive, New Delhi
- Taleb Alrefai, Writer and journalist, Kuwait City
- Sulaiman Al Askari, Writer and journalist, former Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabi magazine and former Secretary General of the National Council for Culture and Arts in Kuwait, Kuwait City
- May Al-Dabbagh, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
- Manal Al Dowayan, Artist, Dubai
- Joumana Al Jabri, Co-founder and Co-director, Visualizing Impact, Dubai/Beirut
- Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Artist, New York
- Dr. Saoud Al Mulla, Director, Higher Colleges of Technology – Dubai Colleges, Dubai
- Mai Al-Nakib, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Kuwait University, Kuwait City
- Hessa Al Ossaily, General Supervisor of Programmes at Al Oula radio, Dubai
- Al Anoud Al Sharekh, Consultant Researcher on Gender and Citizenship, SCPD, Kuwait
- Ayssar Arida, Urbatect and author, Co-Creator of urbacraft City Crafting System, Beirut/Paris/London
- Amar Bakshi, Founder and Lead Artist, Shared Studios, JD Candidate at Yale University, New York
- Gala Berger, Artist and co-founder of Museo La Ene, Galería Inmigrante and Urgente platform, Buenos Aires
- Christopher Bevans, Design Director for M3/Relativity, and Director’s Fellow at MIT Media Lab, New York
- James Bridle, Writer and artist, London
- Simon Castets, Director and curator, Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art (SI), New York
- Sebastian Cwilich, President and COO, Artsy, New York
- Roland Daher, Head of Business Development, Wamda, Dubai
- Cécile B. Evans, Artist, Berlin/London
- Kate Fowle, Chief Curator, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
- Thomas Galbraith, Managing Director, Paddle8, New York
- GCC, artist collective, Beirut/Dubai/Kuwait/London/New York
- Lara Khaldi, Independent curator and 2015 Curator of Art Dubai Projects and A.i.R Dubai, Dubai, Amsterdam/Jerusalem
- Ayesha Khanna, CEO, Technology Quotient, Singapore
- Parag Khanna, Managing Partner, Hybrid Reality Pte Ltd, Singapore
- Omar Kholeif, Writer, curator and editor, London
- Kristine Khouri, Researcher and writer, Beirut
- Nuqat, non-profit organization for the development of art, culture and society, Kuwait City
- Hans Ulrich Obrist, Curator, co-director of exhibitions and programmes and director of international projects, Serpentine Gallery, London
- Dan O’Hara, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, New College of the Humanities, London
- The Otolith Group, Co-founders Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar, London
- Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Director and Chief Curator, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York/Caracas
- Jack Persekian, Director and Head Curator, Palestinian Museum, Jerusalem
- Anders Petterson, Founder and Managing Director, ArtTactic, London
- Noah Raford, Advisor, Special Projects, UAE Prime Minister’s Office, Dubai
- Lana Shamma, Events and Outreach Executive, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP), Doha
- Amit Sood, Director of Cultural Institute, Google UK LT Google, London
- Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator, Architecture and Digital Initiatives Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, New York
- Murtaza Vali, Critic, curator, editor and Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn/Sharjah
Further information about Global Art Forum 9 and the participants’ biographies is available here: