JEDDAH: More than 60 artists, architects, designers and thinkers will gather in Saudi Arabia this month for the seventh edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts.
This year, the Saudi Art Council event has been given the title “I Love You, Urgently,” as a call to action in response to the global environmental emergency. With Saudi society undergoing a rapid transformation, the council asked local and international figures from the worlds of art, architecture and design to seek tangible solutions to the crisis and come up with alternative and symbiotic ways of living on our planet.
“Saudi Contemporary artists have received unprecedented support to enable them to present their works in the best way and participate in creating artistic solutions to major environmental problems at the local level,” said event curator
She praised the “richness of imagination” displayed by the participating artists in their responses to the theme and added: “New perspectives are granted through object-oriented ontology and speculative fiction, meditative actions, social systems and structures mapping to better understand where problems and potential lie.”
The three-month event opens on Jan. 28. The main venues are the headquarters of the Saudi Art Council at Gold Moor Mall, and Beit Serti in Jeddah’s historic district, which has been specially prepared to host activities.
A wide range of Saudi, Arab and European artists and creators are taking part. They include Ayman Zedani, Aziz Jamal, Cristiana De Marchi, Daniah Al-Saleh, Duran Lantink, Fahad bin Naif & Alaa Tarabzouni, Farah K. Behbehani, Filwa Nazer, Maha Nasrallah, Manal Al-Dowayan, Marwah Al-Mugait, Mohammad Al-Faraj, Mohammed Kazem, Muhannad Shono, Obadah Aljefri, Omar Abduljawad, Nasser Al-Salem, Nojoud Al-Sudairi, Raja’a Khalid, Sultan Bin Fahd and Zahrah Al-Ghamdi.
El-Khalil said that this year’s event will include lectures, workshops and panel discussions, as well as discovery trips to the Jeddah’s historic district.
Princess Jawaher bint Majed, chairwoman of the Saudi Art Council, said: “The city of Jeddah has long been at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene, and we are excited to bring creative responses to environmental concerns to the table with the seventh edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts.
“As a culturally rich melting pot, Jeddah is a place of exchange for new ideas, and we look forward to presenting a multifaceted program that we hope will be the springboard for dialogue between local and international artists and audiences, and which will give voice to young people through an extensive educational outreach program.”