Paris developed educational projects that encourage light-hearted and familiar experiences. The workshops functioned as contemplative platforms for critical re-examinations and self-reflections of our position in the world. At Art Dubai, Paris’ UNLEARNING workshops were situated through-out the fair’s grounds, and shaped the site-specificity of “exercises” in relation to the selection of the surrounding works and projects. Both children and apprentice artists (un)learnt pre-established assumptions and generated new ways for making and interpreting art. In its third year, the programme also grew to include artist-led workshops in schools in the lead up to Art Dubai. The workshops took place in Jumeirah Model School and Al Ittihad Private School with children in grades 1 to 7.
Paris also worked with UAE-based artists, designers, architects and teachers including Sofia Chatzisaranti, Khalda El Jack, Tulip Hazbar and Malda Smadi who are interested in developing their skills in children’s art education and pursuing experimental practices.
2015 also featured Discovery Tours (ages 5-7, 8-12, and 13-17), led by UAE-based art practitioners, including Noor Alé, Layan Attari, Hind Bin Demaithan, Alia Dawood, Rania Jishi, Sara Masinaei, Nadine Nour el Din and Melissa Paul. These tours enabled young people to discover the fair, with the works brought alive via maps and the story-telling of the guides. Children’s Programme Coordinator and visual artist Basil AlZeri created maps that explore thematic educational ventures focusing on the idea of “looking closer” at art.