Artist Azza Al Qubaisi is part of the Art Amid Covid series
Artist Azza Al Qubaisi is part of the Art Amid Covid series. Image Credit: Supplied

Emirati and UAE-based artists are coming together for an Abu Dhabi Festival event to talk about the challenges they’ve faced in their profession during the pandemic and how they’re finding hope despite it all.

Art Amid Covid is part of the Festival’s annual Riwaq Al Fikr talks series and features interviews curated and directed by Jalal Luqman, Emirati artist and Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) Visual Arts Consultant. The first in the five-episode series is already out on YouTube, with new episodes streamed every Tuesday at 8pm until February 23.

Artist Obaid Al Budoor
Artist Obaid Al Budoor.

“We turned to artists in the Art Amid Covid series to better understand how the pandemic affected their work and aspirations; the series reflects ADMAF’s support for artists and commitment to the sustaining the arts to ensure a brighter and hopeful future for everyone,” Luqman said.

The talks will delve into the effects of the pandemic on the arts and how the global crisis has reshaped artists and the direction of their work, according to a statement.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all that culture and art are not optional but are an essential part of our human existence. We all have the responsibility to support the industry as a vital part of our society’s well-being,” said Huda I AlKhamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival.

“The resilience of artists in these difficult times has been admirable, providing inspiration and motivating us through lockdowns and isolation. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we commit to supporting artists, so that our society can endure and flourish,” she added.

In 2021, Abu Dhabi Festival will be held as a hybrid programme of digital and in-person performances and events throughout the year.

Who are the 10 artists?

Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, Mattar Bin Lahej, Saggaf Al Hashimi, Khulood Al Jabri, Obaid Al Budoor, Dr. Najat Makki, Patricia Millns, Azza Al Qubaisi, Dr Mohamed Yousif and Prof Michael Rice will speak during the course of the online series. Read more about them on the Abu Dhabi Festival website.