Outside in: the jamjar view

thejamjar is running a good-looking summer program of “conversations, thinking, and films about art outside of its traditional boxes, with an eye to the ways that arts practice and the art industry in Dubai are uniquely marked by this community and context”.

That translates into a late-evening series of Wednesday events for arts professionals, artists, and arts fans in Dubai. The theme – “outside” – can apparently translate as outside the art historical canon, outside the museum, or outside traditional engagement strategies.

Or as the organisers put it, “we are interested in art that exists and occurs away from traditional spaces like museums, the ways that Dubai-based galleries institutions engage in public education and engagement that are atypical for their type of institution, what innovative arts education looks like and where that might transpire, and how radical policy in the arts might encourage and stimulate growth”.

Which sounds ambitious enough. The programme has been curated by Beth Derderian, a cultural anthropologist who has an Al Qasimi Foundation research grant to conduct research on contemporary arts practice in the UAE.


  • 15 June: outside the museum – urban and street art. The inevitable Banksy (or at least a screening of his short movie Exit Through the Gift Shop) is joined (in person) by Dubai’s own eL Seed for a discussion about urban art and a preview of eL Seed’s own film on his recent large-scale Cairo mural Perception.

  • 22 June: outside arts education and engagement in the UAE. A panel discussion (speakers not yet confirmed) that considers the role of commercial art galleries in educating the public about contemporary art in the absence of a public contemporary art museum in the UAE.

  • 29 June: outside the arts curriculum. Another panel chat with speakers to be announced at a later date, this one proposing a rethink of the arts curriculum that will be more representative of local students’ aesthetics and experience.

More details: info@thejamjardubai.com and 04 341 7303

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