Maraya Sharjah
Image Credit: SUpplied

The Maraya Art Centre, located in the cultural capital of the UAE, has announced a public online programme tailored around the current exhibitions to encourage digital participation by the community.

This programme comes in conjunction with the evolving global situation of Covid-19, and official guidelines around public gatherings. Digital tools have been developed to increase community engagement and to stay active through the current crisis with a programme full of digital activations. The community can stay up to date on all announcements and new releases through the organisation’s social media platforms.

Here's what is available on the online platform:

Take part in a Photography Competition

Al Maraya
Image Credit: Supplied

In collaboration with the British Council and Ffotogallery, Maraya Art Centre is hosting a photography competition addressing themes relating to the exhibition “The Place I Call Home”. The competition invites participants to re-evaluate the meaning of home, both near and far, through their own photographs and submit them via Instagram on a specifically created website.

The topic of the competition coincides with a time when staying at home has become vital for public health. Seeing one’s own place with different eyes is a means of engaging with own interpretations, but also to explore other people’s daily surroundings and feelings of what constitutes ‘home’. The competition will be open for entries until the closing of the exhibition on 31 May 2020. A selection committee that comprises members of the British Council, Ffotogallery and Maraya Art Centre will select the winners whose names will be announced in the first week of June 2020.

360 Degree Virtual Tours

Visitors are invited to step digitally into the centers current exhibitions. Visitors will be able to navigate themselves within the gallery space and zoom into the artworks, thereby getting the chance to read the Arabic and English captions and artwork descriptions as they move along. The tours aim to create online resources and interactions that can be accessed by the broadest possible range of users, delivering rich, and meaningful cultural experiences at everyone’s own pace.

Exhibition videos and short filmed artist’s portraits

The center has released two new videos about its current exhibitions “The Place I Call Home” and “Reaaranging the Riddle. New Works by Shaikha Al Mazrou” and four shorter filmed artist portraits, introducing four photographers from the exhibition. The films enable a deeper understanding of the exhibitions, their curatorial concepts and invite the viewers to get to know more about the artists and their practices through these filmed interviews. They are uploaded on the website and are promoted on social media platforms.

Different online programming

Cristiana de Marchi and Maraya Art Centre are initiating an online workshop that is inspired by the Edit-a-thon (an editing marathon) format, where a group of volunteers is gathered to compile Wikipedia pages dedicated to underrepresented categories of individuals.

Following a call for contributions to Wikipedia pages, with a subject matter focused on women artists in the UAE (both local and long-term residents), this initiative aims to improve the representation of regional women artists and practitioners on Wikipedia who are generally underrepresented. Remotely bringing together participants to create, share, and improve Wikipedia articles about women artists and makers in and from the region, the pages will be then edited to conform the Wikipedia standards and uploaded by Maraya Art Centre on the popular public encyclopedia.