This Week’s Six Pillars – Art Dubai + Women Entrepreneurs in the Arab World at JAOU Tunis
This week’s show we delve into two conversations held during the JAOU Tunis conference this May in Tunis, Tunisia. Artist Chris Weaver speaks with the director of the largest art fair in the Middle East, Antonia Carver of Art Dubai. Carver we on a panel in the JAOU symposium called Future Imperfect: Art Institutions in the Middle East. Weaver also speaks to JAOU attendee and supporter Rahilla Zafar, author and business consultant about her new and forthcoming books on Arab women entrepreneurs.
Antonia Carver, Fair Director
Antonia Carver is Fair Director at Art Dubai. Based in the UAE since 2001, she has written extensively—and often on Middle Eastern art and film—as a correspondent for The Art Newspaper and Screen
International, among other publications, and edited books and journals. She joined Bidoun as an editor in 2004 and later became the director of the Middle Eastern arts organisation’s projects division, co-organising educational programmes, film and video series, the touring Bidoun Library, and artists’ commissions and talks, among other projects. Before moving to UAE, she was based in London and worked as an editor at Phaidon; in development and projects at the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva); and in publishing at G+B Arts International.
Rahilla Zafar is a writer and editor and currently a business development consultant for Wondros and contributes to The Economist’s GE Look Ahead, an award-winning series on global innovation trends. Rahilla has two graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics. She is the co-author of the book Arab Women Rising: 35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in the Arab World. She is currently working on a follow up book focusing on women in Saudi Arabia.
After the Bardo Museum attacks on tourists earlier this year, JAOU festival and symposium was more than ever set to hold its annual arts events again at the Tunis museum in Tunisia.
Sound artist Chris Weaver interviewed founder of the Barjeel Foundation, UAE and renowned Arab affairs commentator Sultan Al Qassemi about his participation in JAOU Tunis, from Dubai where they were both currently living. “Personally I’m very much intrigued by post-revolution art and culture in Tunisia. Tunisia is constantly now ranked as the only free country in the Arab world, what does that mean for art, does that mean there is a higher ceiling? What about the taboo subjects that we face in the gulf and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa, can you broach them? Can you approach them? This is a unique opportunity to witness first hand in Tunisia.”
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