National Pavilion UAE selects interns for 2018 Venice Biennale architecture exhibition, “Lifescapes Beyond Bigness”

calendar-iconWednesday, 18 April, 2018

18 April 2018, Abu Dhabi: The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) – La Biennale di Venezia has selected 21 interns from the UAE and 7 interns from Italy for the 2018 cycle of its Venice Internship program.

The annual internship offers hands-on experience, where interns will spend one month in Venice overseeing the daily operations of the UAE’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale, one of the most significant cultural events in the world.

Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, says: “As the UAE’s cultural and creative industries continue to thrive, demand is rising for skilled young professionals. The National Pavilion UAE’s Venice Internship is a standout example of a program that nurtures the immense potential of our nation’s youth, instilling the training they need to become the leaders of tomorrow. I congratulate this year’s selected interns, and urge others to apply for this unique opportunity in future editions.”

“As they staff the National Pavilion UAE’s exhibitions in Venice, our interns represent the UAE to a diverse international audience. Each year their passion, dedication and knowledge of their fields are impressive and testament to the homegrown wealth of talent in the nation,” says Laila Binbrek, Co-ordinating Director of the National Pavilion UAE. “Since 2009, the National Pavilion UAE has worked with over 180 interns, many of whom have gone on to make invaluable contributions to arts, architecture, international relations and diplomacy in the region.”

“The Venice Internship is an incredible opportunity to expand your horizons and gain new skills through a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Venice. It’s an honor to represent the UAE at such an exciting global moment,” says Reem Hantoush Al Ali, Associate – Chairman’s Office, Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities in Abu Dhabi, who completed the Venice Internship in 2014. “The program provides really valuable training and mentoring, and fellow alumni are now working across many of the UAE’s leading cultural institutions. As I’ve grown in my career, my Venice Internship experience has continually inspired me.”

The Venice Internship is open to Emiratis and long-term UAE residents with an interest in arts, architecture, diplomacy, international relations or representing the UAE on a significant global platform. Rotated on a monthly basis throughout the six months of the biennale, the different intern groups will undergo an educational program, in partnership with notable cultural institutions in the UAE and in Venice, including workshops, lectures, assignments and studio visits, enabling interns to engage with the content of the exhibition and the dynamic cultural scene of the UAE.

Through the National Pavilion UAE’s ongoing partnership with Venice’s Ca’ Foscari University, a select number of Italian interns work alongside the UAE interns at the pavilion, supporting cultural diversity and exchange throughout the Biennale.

The selected interns for 2018 from the UAE are: Aisha El Hajeri, Alya Al Ghfeli, Amena Al Shehhi, Asma Al Khoori, Ghanim Mubarak, Hessa Al Fahim, Joud Dakheel, Khalid Al Blooshi, Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Khawla Bawazir, Maitha Al Ameri, Mariam Al Kaabi, Marieh Sharaf, Meera Al Yabhouni, Mohammed Abualhuda, Mohammed Mhaisen, Naser Al Nachas, Rasha Saffarini, Salama Al Omaira, Sarah Al Matrooshi, Shamsa Al Ahbabi; and from Italy: Alessia Lorenzon, Andrea Pizzinato, Giulia Palumbo, Giulia Laudenzi, Jacopo Fratusco, Marta Veronese, Roberta Desantis.

Each year, the National Pavilion UAE participates in the Venice Biennale with an exhibition exploring the arts or architectural practices of the UAE. The Biennale is one of the world’s most significant cultural events, with over 615,000 visitors attending in 2017. The 2018 edition of the International Architecture Exhibition will run from May 26 to November 25 2018 under the theme of ‘Freespace’.

The UAE’s exhibition is curated by Dr. Khaled Alawadi, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology. Titled ‘Lifescapes Beyond Bigness’, it aims to highlight the role of human-scale architecture and urban design in forming the choreography of people’s daily routines, and investigates the role of ‘quotidian’ (everyday) landscapes in social activities across different places in the UAE, from agrarian to urban.

Currently on view at the Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi until 24 June, Untold Stories Retold: Recent Exhibitions from the UAE’s National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale’ brings together two of the National Pavilion UAE’s exhibitions, ‘Transformations: The Emirati National House’, featured at the Biennale’s 15th International Architecture Exhibition in 2016, and ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’, presented at the 57th International Art Exhibition in 2017.

The National Pavilion UAE is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.