A rich programme of talks, performances and workshops around the Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives exhibition will take place in a dedicated activation space within the exhibition, as well as in a hybrid digital format. The programme explores the artists, artworks and themes of the exhibition through panel discussions and performances, while a wide variety of workshops brings out creativity in all ages and artistic mediums.

Friday 21 Jan

Panel 1: The making of Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives: collaboration, place and the notion of home


The exhibition’s curators will discuss the ways in which the process of examining historical threads and personal narratives uniquely complemented each other in creating an exhibition that documents the visual art landscape in a rich, diverse, multivalent and polyphonic society built on porosity and exchange.


Maya El Khalil, Curator
Roxane Zand, Co-curator
Jad Melki, Scenographer

Moderator: Nadine Khalil

Panel 2: Christo and Jeanne-Claude – a relationship of mutual fascination


Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s relationship with the UAE has been a story of collaboration and partnership. Over decades, it grew into a relationship of exchange, personal engagement and education, far transcending the story of an artist seeking a place to execute a work. The late artist’s nephew, Vladimir Yavachev and HE Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF, examine aspects of the history of this relationship, the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award, and Christo’s support of young Emirati artists.


HE Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo
Vladimir Yavachev
Moderator: Maya Alisson

Saturday 22 Jan

Panel 3: Reclaiming/Reimagining Home: exploring notions of belonging


Home is a ‘mode’ that must be continually (re-)negotiated. For some, identity is experienced privately; elsewhere, it is subject to revision. A state of flux is at the centre of the conversation, and destablisation, mapping and situatedness will be discussed with artists who investigate these themes as a central concern of their practice.


Mays Albaik
Hashel Al Lamki
Moderator: Maya El Khalil