Art Dubai Fellowship is a programme for exceptional curators and writers working in the Arab world and beyond, coming together for a week-long series of intensive workshops during Art Dubai.

Twenty-six fellows have participated since 2011; together, they form a dynamic alumni group, with several continuing to collaborate and support each other, beyond their experiences on the programme.

In 2014, the fellowship programme focused on curating and was led by writer and curator Tirdad Zolghadr. It was kindly supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).

The Forum Fellows endeavoured to formulate criteria, definitions and discourses pertaining to contemporary art curating. Curators take pride in the idea that their profession defies clear categorisation. And yet a certain number of historical developments, professional narratives and institutional prerogatives do point toward a surprisingly clear set of curatorial specificities. Our group discerned these traits and also aimed to understand why they are so arduously dissimulated. At the same time, the session attempted to account for conditions the fellows are facing as curators within their own respective contexts.


The Global Art Forum’s fellowship programme was led by writer and curator Tirdad Zolghadr. His writing includes novels, criticism and essays on contemporary art. Zolghadr curatorial work includes a number of discreet, durational projects as well as biennial settings in Taipei, Venice and Sharjah. As faculty member at the Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, he was the editor of Red Hook, an online journal for curatorial studies. The working title of his third novel is Headbanger.

Fellows selected for the 2014 programme were:

Amanda Abi Khalil

Azar Mahmoudian

Yasmina Reggad

Yara Saqfalhait

Ania Szremski