Posted on March 02, 2014

Art Dubai, the leading international art fair in the Middle East and South Asia, has announced that the Global Art Forum 2014 will be held in partnership with the Office of Strategic Cultural Relations at Qatar Museums Authority through their Years of Culture annual initiative.

Featuring a host of influential speakers, Global Art Forum takes place on March 15-16 at Katara Art Center in Doha as part of the activities of Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture. The Forum is known as the leading regional platform for cultural debate and one of the most innovative of arts conferences worldwide. Global Art Forum 2014 features participants from the worlds of art, architecture, film, literature, history, theatre and commentary. Following the two days in Doha, the Forum then moves to Art Dubai from March 19-21 and is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

In 2014, the Forum sets out to create an imagined timeline of turning points in history—significant decades, years or days that shifted an understanding of the world. Titled Meanwhile…History, the Forum also reflects on the philosophy and fiction of making history matter: each interview, discussion, presentation or commissioned project at Global Art Forum 8 is a point on this imagined timeline. As a whole, the Forum becomes a journey through known and unknown histories, of critical change and seismic moments. Meanwhile…History has been programmed by writer Shumon Basar; curator-translator Omar Berrada; and artist and curator Ala Younis.

The Global Art Forum opens in Doha on Saturday March 15, with an evening session themed around architecture – specifically Doha’s first city master-plans of the 1970s and early 1980s, and features the building of the Sheraton as an example. Renowned Doha-based architect Hisham Qaddumi will be joined in discussion with leading international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and Qatari artist and writer Sophia Al Maria, among others.

On Sunday March 16, the discussions at Katara Art Center continue with a focus on the rich history of pearling in Qatar, led by Hubert Bari, director of the Pearl and Jewellery Museum in Doha, and Rolf Killius, an expert in the music and songs of Gulf pearl-divers and fishermen. A third strand of debate dwells on the relationship between Brazil and the Arab world, and the cultural impact on those who made the ‘Atlantic leap’.

Last Minute Deals from Bahrain

The Forum is free and open to all; its accessible and innovative format encourages debate and conversation.

Global Art Forum 8 in Doha features contributors, including:

  • Hubert Bari, Pearl and Jewellery Museum Director, Doha
  • Shumon Basar, Writer and commissioner of Global Art Forum 8, Berlin
  • Sheyma Buali,  Independent culture journalist, essayist and researcher, London
  • Rolf Killius, ethnomusicologist (MMus SOAS, London University) and curator for oral and musical cultures at the British Library – Qatar Foundation Partnership based in London, UK
  • Sophia Al Maria, Artist and writer, Doha/London
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist, Curator, co-director of exhibitions and programmes and director of international projects, Serpentine Gallery, London
  • Hisham Qaddumi, Founder, The Arab Architects and HQA Consulting, Doha

Free, and open to all, this year’s Global Art Forum will be simultaneously translated into Arabic/English, and will be live-streamed globally, thanks to the support of Ibraaz/Kamel Lazaar Foundation, the online partner of the Global Art Forum in 2014.

The Global Art Forum’s fellowship programme Forum Fellows returns this year with a focus on curating, led by writer and curator Tirdad Zolghadr. This intensive programme of workshops enables exceptional upcoming curators from the Middle East to exchange ideas and experience is kindly supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).

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