Abu Dhabi: Top political figures, culture experts, artists, and the world’s first humanoid artist will gather in the UAE capital next month to discuss the most recent issues and pressing challenges facing the culture sector worldwide, as part of the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi.
The fifth edition of the annual global conference organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi will be held between October 23 and 25 under the theme ‘A Living Culture’ at Manarat Al Saadiyat.
Attendees and speakers include Assistant Director General for Culture at UNESCO, Ernesto Ottone; Former President of Croatia Ivo Josipović, and the UAE Minister of Culture and Youth Noura Al Kaabi.
The sessions will cover a variety of topics that affect the industry regionally and globally.
The programme also includes ‘creative conversations,’ a segment led by veteran curator and broadcaster Tim Marlow, director of the Design Museum in London, featuring interesting guests like the world’s first humanoid artist ‘Ai-Da the robot’.
Preserving Afghan culture
During a panel discussion titled ‘Afghanistan Through a Culture Lens’, speakers will stress on the importance of preserving the country’s vibrant cultural scene and artistic expressions – factors that play an integral role in promoting stability in the country. UNESCO has been voicing its concerns over the deteriorating situation of Afghanistan’s culture professionals and artists, who have become targets of violence due to their work, driving many of them to flee the country.
A session titled ‘Hollywood and the Diversity of Cultural Expression’ highlights past criticisms of the industry — such as the lack of representation of women and people of colour on film, in comparison with new digital productions and platforms — such as Netflix, and the influence of such mediums in diversifying cultural expressions.
Creative Conversations will also host Dr Jos Boys, co-founder of The DisOrdinary Architectue Project, which explores, with disabled artists, creative ways for access and inclusion. The talk will focus on how disability and difference can be employed to generate creativity.
The event will include several film screenings and artist performances by renowned musicians, and a dance performance by choreographer Kader Attou, among others. Artists talking at the summit include Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh, among others.