Sharjah Art Foundation: March Meeting 2016: Education, Engagement and Participation


Sharjah Art Foundation announces the 9th annual March Meeting, taking place 12-13 March, 2016. Over 40 speakers including artists and art practitioners from the UAE and around the world will gather to discuss important issues and questions around this year’s theme.
March Meeting 2016: Education, Engagement and Participation (MM 2016), considers how institutions, initiatives, curators and artists have increasingly prioritised their relationships with audiences and communities through current thinking around ideas of education, engagement and participation.
The two-day convening brings together local, regional and international practitioners to explore issues, concerns and initiatives surrounding this work in a series of programmed keynotes, case studies and panel discussions, as well as through informal conversations shared over the week of events.
Sharjah Art Foundation Director Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi stated, “More than forty speakers are taking part this year. We are delighted to be inviting back to Sharjah familiar colleagues, but also pleased to be introducing a considerable number of individuals who have never before visited the emirate to discuss this topic”.

She goes on to explain, “This year’s March Meeting addresses issues that we are grappling with as an organisation that has grown from beginnings as a small, regional Biennial event into a year-round institution with permanent infrastructure and increasingly specialised departments and programmes. These developments have allowed Sharjah Art Foundation to become more responsive to the needs of our communities and audiences, but at the same time have forced us to question and challenge the fundamental assumptions of our work”.

Panels will explore topics such as Institutional priorities in the face of evolution and expansion, looked at through the perspectives of organisations as diverse as Tate, London and Townhouse, Cairo. New models of curatorial practice are considered by a panel of practitioners who work with participatory communities outside of established institutional frameworks. Strategies for embedding education in the work of Biennials is the subject of a panel that will look at examples from Jogja, Kochi, Liverpool, Lubumbashi and Marrakech. Art education is explored both through panels looking at work in the UAE context as well as through a panel that considers what the regional priorities are for the education of artists and other practitioners.
Alongside the panels are ten presentations by speakers selected from the Open Call to present at MM 2016. The Open Call, a reoccurring feature of the March Meeting, was announced last December, welcoming proposals for presentations and case studies relevant to this year’s topic.
The Meeting concludes with presentations by four artists and collectives – Sandi Hilal representing Decolonizing Architecture from Palestine, Oscar Murillo from the United Kingdom, Farid Rakun from Ruangroupa in Indonesia and Rick Lowe from the United States. The work of these artists with and within communities offers thought provoking examples of collaborative and cooperative practices today.
MM 2016 takes place during a week of events from March 11–15 that includes exhibition openings, performances and other discursive programmes. For more information please visit our website

MM 2016 speakers include: Leeza Ahmady (Field Meeting, USA), Khulood Al Atiyat (Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, UAE), Hoor Al Qasimi (Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE), Manal Ataya (Sharjah Museums Department, UAE), Mohamed Bakr Taha from SCHS (Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, UAE), Yara Bamieh (Riwaq, Palestine), Stefan Benchoam (NuMu, Guatemala), Klaus Biesenbach (MoMA PS1, USA), Zoe Butt, (Sàn-Art, Vietnam), Susanna Chung (Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong), Anna Cutler (Tate, UK), Dr David Dibosa (University of the Arts, London, UK), Maha Elazar (Awladouna Centre for People with Disabilities, UAE), Aisha Deemas (Sharjah Museums Department, UAE), Ahmed El Attar (D-CAF Festival, See Foundation, Egypt), Reem Fadda (Marrakech Biennale, Morocco), Azadeh Fatehrad (Artist and Curator, Iran), Silvia Franceschini (School of Kyiv, Kyiv Biennial, Ukraine), Elizabeth Giorgis (Modern Art Museum: Gebre Kristos Desta Center, Ethiopia), Sandi Hilal (Decolonizing Architecture Artist Residency, Palestine), Thaier Helal (College of Fine Arts, University of Sharjah, UAE), Andria Hickey (Public Art Fund, USA), Mohammed Kazem (Artist, UAE), Melanie Keen (Iniva, UK), Nsenga Knight (Artist, USA), Riyas Komu (Kochi Biennale Foundation, India), Melissa Karmen Lee (Slought Foundation, USA), Rick Lowe (Artist, Project Row Houses, USA), Patrick Mudekereza (Centre d’art de Lubumbashi, Congo), Oscar Murillo (Artist, Frequencies Project, UK), Joe Namy (Artist, USA/Lebanon), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Galleries, UK), Prateek Raja (Experimenter Curator’s Hub, India), Farid Rakun (Ruangrupa, Indonesia), Ismail Al Rifaie (Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE), Zineb Sedira (aria, Algeria), Tina Sherwell (International Academy of Art, Palestine), Alia Swastika (Biennale Jogja 13, Indonesia); Sally Tallant (Liverpool Biennial, UK), Claire Tancons (Printemps de Septembre Biennial, France); Christine Tohmé (Ashkal Alwan, Lebanon), Toleen Touq (Spring Sessions, Jordan), Murtaza Vali (Writer and curator, UAE), and William Wells (Townhouse, Egypt).

About March Meeting
The March Meeting is an annual gathering of global art professionals and institutions concerned with the production and dissemination of art in the region. Launched in 2008, the Meeting was conceived as a forum to encourage regional art professionals to connect, to share ideas and expertise, to network and form partnerships for future projects. Each year the March Meeting changes to reflect the issues and concerns of both the Foundation and its communities.
About Sharjah Art Foundation
Since 2009 SAF has built on the history of cultural collaboration and exchange that began with the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993. Working with local and international partners, Sharjah Art Foundation creates opportunities for artists and artistic production through core initiatives that include Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, residencies, production grants, commissions, exhibitions, research, publications and a growing collection. Our education and public programmers focus on building recognition of the central role art can play in the life of a community by promoting public learning and a participatory approach to art.
Sharjah Art Foundation events are free and open to the public


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