Cultures in Conversation: Alserkal and Expo 2020 Dubai announce new cultural programme

A series of 10 events, including talks and performances, will take place throughout the Expo 2020 Dubai

Alserkal, the cultural enterprise behind Alserkal Avenue, and Expo 2020 have joined forces to present a new programme for the World Expo in October. Photo: Alserkal
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Alserkal, the cultural enterprise behind Alserkal Avenue, has joined forces with Expo 2020 Dubai to present a new programme for the World Expo.

Titled Cultures in Conversation, it comprises a series of 10 multidisciplinary events – from talks and performances to interactive experiences and artistic interventions.

The initiative, commissioned by Expo 2020 and programmed by Alserkal, is part of the Build Bridges track for Expo’s Programme for People and Planet.

Cultures in Conversation will begin in October and run until the end of the event in March.

Among those involved in the programme are Omar Ghobash, author and assistant minister for public and cultural diplomacy at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Charles Landry, an urban sociologist and advisor who popularised the concept of the "creative city", which upholds creativity and culture as markers of a livable city.

In addition, Lumumba Di-Aping, climate change expert and chair of the Rights of Future Generations Working Group, will also be participating. Artists and performers, including conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll, filmmaker and poet Nujoom Alghanem, Syrian contemporary dance company Sima, and art collecting and research platform Engage 101, will also take part.

Highlights include a discussion on climate and biodiversity led by Di-Aping, which will take place on Saturday, October 9, and explore how climate change can be tackled in schools, homes, communities and beyond.

In November, Landry will discuss how public spaces in cities can be foster cohesiveness and co-operation in urban communities. In addition, Ghobash will lead a town hall-style on tolerance and inclusivity that will include a panel of regional voices discussing cultural othering and community action. Audiences will be able to ask questions directly to the speakers as part of the format.

Tackling the issue of artificial intelligence (AI), Carroll will speak with AI ethicist Renee Cummings about the ethics of the technology, as well as the issues it raises about the idea of moral imagination. The discussion will also cover how blockchain, operating as a sovereign-less currency, can change the way we travel.

The rest of the Cultures in Conversations programme covers vast and diverse topics, including space, knowledge and learning, food and agriculture, and water, including maritime trade and current water conflicts existing in the world today.

Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, founder of Alserkal, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is a historic moment uniting the world and drawing attention to today’s challenges while imagining ambitious solutions. Alserkal is proud to help shape thinking around these urgent issues.”

Cultures in Conversations will take place every Saturday for each of Expo’s Theme Week from October to March. Attendance is free for all ticket-holding visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Details on the programme are available on

Updated: September 08, 2021, 10:05 AM