The 10th Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival will take place from February 4 to March 31.
To celebrate the festival’s first decade, this year’s programme will bring in more than 150 artists from at least 45 countries and will mark a number of new partnerships with local institutions. The festival's theme for 2022 will reflect another significant anniversary, the UAE's Golden Jubilee, and artists will showcase works that reflect ideas of ancestry, migration, national identity and individual growth.
The festival will be held at the Al Jazirah Al Hamra heritage village, a historic site, with satellite exhibitions at Jebel Jais and Open Park at Al Marjan Island.
As part of the programming, the festival will include exhibitions of art, photography and sculpture, as well as film screenings, workshops, guided tours and other events focused on creativity, throughout the emirate.
Festival organisers are also highlighting new partnerships this year with Cinema Akil and NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, as well as the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. For its film screenings, Cinema Akil will play Wajib, directed by Annemarie Jacir, Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard, Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) by Gianfranco Rosi, and Sabeel by Khalid Al Mahmood.
The fine arts festival is also launching a Curatorial Development Programme in collaboration with NYUAD Art Gallery, which seeks to bolster art education in the UAE, specifically curatorial training. The programme involves selecting a young curator to undergo a four-month membership that will result in an exhibition at the festival. This year, the chosen candidate is Abhirami Suresh, a creative researcher and designer from India who lives in the UAE.
In addition, the US Mission to the UAE will present a series of performances as part of its grand programme, which was established in 2016 and seeks to strengthen cultural ties between the US and the UAE. For this, the festival will be exhibiting the works of two American artists in the UAE – Kirsten Decker and Selma Catovic Hughes – to explore the country through their perspectives.
Meanwhile, Emirati photographer Yousef Al Zaabi, who specialises in portraiture and has been featured on National Geographic Arabia, will showcase an exhibition of his works in one of the village’s forts.
Al Qasimi Foundation is also unveiling a special exhibition titled Travel with Covid, which looks at how the pandemic has affected lives around the world. The show is curated by Suqrat Bin Bisher, Azza Al Nuaimi and Ji Young Kim, and will be on view at the AQF Villa surrounded by a speciality cafe. It will showcase an immersive art experience alongside mixed media photography and journal entries.
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is free and open to the public. More information is available at rakfinearts.ae