The Curatorial Development Program is part of RAKFAF’s efforts to support young people and the next generation of creative talent in the UAE and the Al Qasimi Foundation’s mission to enhance educational and professional development opportunities in the Emirate. Recognizing the sparsity of opportunities for curatorial training and the need for a generation of UAE-based curators to herald the blossoming creative scene into the next 50 years, the Curatorial Development Program provided a four-month mentorship program to a young, prospective curator and an opportunity to host their exhibition as part of the 10th annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival. Following a competitive application process, the selected curator undertook weekly 1-1 sessions with the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery’s Curatorial Team alongside individual self-paced work to select and curate their exhibition’s artwork before working with the RAKFAF team on its installation and related logistical work. The RAKFAF Curatorial Development Program exhibition can be found in Bayt 8.
This program is presented in collaboration with The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.
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Where We Dwell

Reflecting on the relationship between the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival and Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village, Where We Dwell explores the transactional relationship between the individual and the environments they live with and within. Treating our spatial experiences and the body as landscapes through which we traverse, the show explores how our journeys through these landscapes shape our perception of the world.

The featured artists meditate on how their environments change them, the value they attach to that experience, and the meaning they derive from it, through works that revolve around themes of introspection, familiarity, ephemerality, and change. Where We Dwell asks: How does one express a metaphysical journey, in a landscape that changes quickly, during a time when the meaning of 'change' is changing rapidly?

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Abhirami Suresh

Born and raised in the UAE, Abhirami Suresh is an Indian creative researcher and designer. She holds a degree in Exhibition & Spatial Design from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India, and currently works as a Library Assistant at Jameel Arts Centre. Her work focuses on spatial and narrative systems that explore the nuances of human experiences. It seeks to understand what makes us 'us' through participatory art and design research, curatorial practices, documentation projects, and systems design. She also writes, photographs, and makes sketchbook collages. In 2019, Abhirami founded the White Lines Collective, a social design inquiry into narratives of youth mental health and ways to provoke conversation through creative practices.
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The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Established in 2014, The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery is the Gulf’s first and only university gallery with a program of scholarly and experimental museum exhibitions. The program seeks to map new territories and ideas through presenting exhibitions by internationally established artists, curators, and scholars at its main space. Its auxiliary venue, the Project Space, is an exhibition laboratory for the university community, and for emerging artists and curators. Situated within NYU Abu Dhabi, the community of which hails from over 115 countries, The Art Gallery organizes free public programs and guided tours in conjunction with its groundbreaking exhibitions. It also produces scholarly publications, which are a core part of its curatorial frame and reflect its academic mission. Collectively, with the Gallery’s Reading Room, these welcoming, intimate spaces open up artistic opportunities and initiate regional and international dialogue.