UAE pavilion's coordinating director Laila Binbrek: 'Our interns are the next generation of cultural practitioners'

Each year, the UAE pavilion’s Venice Biennale internship programme gets bigger and better, with 28 interns taking part this year. Ahead of the art festival, which runs from May to November, the UAE pavilion’s coordinating director, Laila Binbrek, reveals the newly introduced aspects of this year’s edition. What measures have you put in place to […]

Each year, the UAE pavilion’s Venice Biennale internship programme gets bigger and better, with 28 interns taking part this year. Ahead of the art festival, which runs from May to November, the UAE pavilion’s coordinating director, Laila Binbrek, reveals the newly introduced aspects of this year’s edition.

What measures have you put in place to ensure that the interns get the most out of the programme?

Each year, interns undergo an educational programme in the UAE ahead of their deployment to Venice. Notable cultural institutions and personalities contribute to the programme, which is designed to enhance the interns’ professional skills, and to enable them to engage fluently with the content of the exhibition and the UAE’s dynamic cultural scene. The programme continues in Venice where the interns attend lectures and workshops, and work on assignments based on the city’s cultural institutions and the exhibitions of the biennale.

How do you think it affects their career choices?

The internship aims to offer a taste of what working in arts and culture is like to young people with an interest in the field. During their month in Venice, they get hands-on experience overseeing the exhibition, working alongside the UAE National Pavilion staff. Our interns are the next generation of cultural practitioners and we are happy to see them progressing in their careers.

Success stories include: Alia Zaal Lootah (2011 internship), now a practising artist and a researcher for Louvre Abu Dhabi; Munira Al Sayegh (2013), a programme officer at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Moza Al Matrooshi (2013), a practising artist, designer and curator; Nasser Al Zayani (2014), a research assistant at Lest We Forget, run by Dr Michele Bambling, who curated the 2014 exhibition. Recently, Rawan Al Ramahi (2015) was accepted into the Peggy Guggenheim’s competitive three-month internship programme, and is in Italy to learn the language ahead of commencing in October.

How does the UAE’s reputation benefit from the internship programme?

Each year, these interns are a credit to the pavilion and to the country, demonstrating the UAE’s cultural diversity and the high calibre of talent it produces. The interns make a real contribution to the success of the UAE’s exhibitions at each edition of the biennale, engaging with visitors and making the most of their opportunity to share the arts and culture of their country with an international audience.

aseaman@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

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