Misk Art Institute, Art Dubai pair up to celebrate contemporary Arab art

Misk Art Institute and Art Dubai set to boost contemporary Arab art scene with new partnership. (Courtesy Art Dubai)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Misk Art Institute, Art Dubai pair up to celebrate contemporary Arab art

RIYADH: Misk Art Institute and Art Dubai, the leading international art fair in the region, have begun a partnership to celebrate the flourishing Arab contemporary art scene.
The institute, directed by the celebrated Saudi artist Ahmed Mater, was set up last year.
This is one of the largest partnerships in the region for the institute, which has announced a series of collaborations with high-profile international organizations.
Misk Art Institute, established by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Misk Foundation, will be the main supporter of the fair’s modern section and the symposium, which was added last year.
The partners will organize exhibitions and talks documenting and celebrating the modern and contemporary art of the Arab world, Nada Al-Tuwaijri, Misk spokeswoman said.
The collaboration will include Misk Art Institute’s exclusive partnership of Art Dubai Modern, with a non-selling exhibition exploring significant modern art movements from the region entitled “That Feverish Leap into the Fierceness of Life.” The exhibition will be curated by Dr. Till Fellrath and Dr. Sam Bardaouil.
Elsewhere in the fair, Misk Art Institute will take a look into contemporary movements shaping Saudi Arabia through a limited-edition publication produced in partnership with Saudi Art Guide.
“Reframe Saudi,” a virtual reality film that takes a look inside the working studios of artists in the Kingdom, will be previewed at the fair.
Ahmed Mater commented: “It feels particularly fitting to forge this partnership through the presentation of Art Dubai Modern.
“When considered in the context of wider Arab visual arts narratives, both Misk Art Institute and Art Dubai are relatively young, yet it is through these historical channels that we have come together.
“Though we are newly inaugurated, our focus does not depart from the past. We embrace regional art histories and cultural archives as the substantial and essential foundations of sustainable future growth.
“In many ways, the very existence of our institution is predicated on the strength, understanding and preservation of these cultural narratives, and with them, we can build new, rooted stories for the future.”
Art Dubai Director Myrna Ayad commented: “We are delighted to partner with the MiSK Art Institute, an organization which shares our support for educational initiatives in the arts and culture sector.”
The partnership, and its physical manifestation at Art Dubai, aims to strengthen and celebrate some of the objectives that Misk Art Institute and the fair have in common — education on art from the region, creating a platform for the regional cultural scene, and acting as an ambassador for modern and contemporary art.
Art Dubai, a leading international art fair, is the preeminent place to interact with contemporary art from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
The 12th Art Dubai fair will be held from March 21-24 at Madinat Jumeirah. Art Dubai presents 105 galleries from 48 countries, presenting galleries from new markets rarely seen on the international stage alongside leading galleries from established art centers.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.