British Council Launches ‘Contemporary Collective’ For Saudi Women

The British Council is launching a new study programme for Saudi women called ‘Contemporary Collective’ focusing on contemporary curating and arts management. Launched on International Women’s Day and designed to inspire self-motivated, aspiring female curators and arts administrators, the six-month programme will start in August 2016.

Developed as part of the British Council’s ongoing commitment to supporting diverse opportunities for young people across the Kingdom and the GCC, and in response to the growing interest in contemporary art in KSA, the programme focuses on the selection and presentation of modern and contemporary art, with close attention to the specifics of presenting art in the MENA region.

“This exciting and interactive programme supports young women on the path to building a dynamic, resilient creative economy in Saudi Arabia, and ultimately forges new cultural connections between Saudi, the UK and the wider region.  With support, access and mentoring with expert cultural and artistic practitioners from the UK and the Middle East, our students will be able to improve their skills in a broad range of areas stretching from collection management to public outreach.  As events and exhibitions such as 21,39 Jeddah Arts further develop the visual arts industry in Jeddah, Riyadh and across Saudi Arabia, we are excited to support young people grow their careers in this fast paced industry,” Emma Dexter, Director of Visual Arts, British Council, UK said.

Five women will be enrolled on the programme which will cover the fundamentals of curatorial practice, critical thinking and writing, along with the practical elements of arts management such as planning art events and reaching diverse audiences. Throughout the course, participants will take part in a series of comprehensive learning modules, case studies and master-classes. In addition, successful participants will be able to take advantage of a valuable two weeks in London, encompassing a capsule curating course at The Whitechapel Gallery.  They will also visit key art spaces across the UAE to build useful networks, furthering the friendly exchange of knowledge and ideas between regional art scenes.

Participants will also get the opportunity to collaborate on an exhibition concept that will be developed and realised in Jeddah and Riyadh in 2017. They will have the British Council’s extensive art collection of more than 8500 artworks to choose from.

Originally published on Saudi Gazette