Emirati creatives have revealed how the country’s national pavilion at the Venice Biennale has broadened their careers and changed their lives.
In 2013, two years after the internship program was launched, the UAE became the first Arabian Gulf nation to have a permanent pavilion at La Biennale. Saudi Arabia inaugurated its permanent pavilion next to the UAE’s location in 2019.
Emirati artist Aliyah Al-Awadhi, currently working at a soon-to-open museum as an assistant curator, also completed an internship in Venice.
“Getting the opportunity to see any kind of art overseas and away from the context you’re used to is valuable, it opens creative doors in your mind,” Al-Awadhi told Arab News.
The internship marked the first time Al-Awadhi had ever traveled to Italy which she says was a life-changing experience.
“Seeing things like the architecture, the churches and castles with people I enjoyed being around was a wonderful and pretty significant experience for me,” she says.
“Having the freedom and autonomy to explore a uniquely significant place in the world, as well as the chance to see a slew of international artists was a ‘horizons broadened’ moment for me. Traveling to different places and seeing different things has always canonically, historically been part of the artists’ journey.”
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