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The 2020 Global Art Forum considers the storytelling impulse, and how narratives shape our current reality. Entitled “Do You Story?” the 14th edition of the renowned transdisciplinary summit is programmed by Commissioner Shumon Basar, and takes place over 25th to 27th March 2020, at Art Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” wrote Joan Didion. But are there any universal stories left? Consensus based reality is being replaced by customisable beliefs. Technology empowers this extreme individuality. Does your life still feel like a story? Or do the Stories you post feel something like a life? The personal and the political, the economy and the nation, history and future—all arrive at us as narratives, vying for our attention. Perhaps right now, we live in order to tell ourselves stories.

“Do You Story?” will contain tales about astrology, television, gaming, fashion, The One Thousand and One Nights, venture capitalism, cities, museums, political fictions, performance, The Gulf, Instagram Stories, epic endings and more. Guests include: Ferran AdriàMunira Al Sayegh, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Yaminay Chaudhri, Rachel DedmanSimon Denny, Marina FokidisAsunción Molinos GordoDima HamadehCharlie Robin Jones, Charlie Koolhaas, Dr Adila Laïdi-Hanieh, John MenickMahan Moalemi, Ana Maria Nicolaescu, Prabhakar PachputeNataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Angelo Plessas, Ella Plevin, Khalil RabahManuel RabatéDr Noah Raford, Nora RazianGeorgia Sagri, Yasmine Seale, Sarah Shin, Jeremy StrickCharwei TsaiTod Wodicka, Lantian Xie, Tirdad Zolghadr and others.

Full programme coming soon.

Art Vandalay, ‘Signals I (Based on “Lascaux II, uploaded by Jack Versloot)’



Shumon Basar is a writer, curator and cultural critic. He is Commissioner of Global Art Forum in Dubai; Editor-at-large of TANK magazine; Contributing Editor at Bidoun; Adjunct Curator at Art Jameel; and a member of Fondazione Prada’s Thought Council. Together with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, he is co-author of The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, and co-curator of the exhibition Age of You, which was shown at MOCA Toronto, and is forthcoming at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.


Ferran Adrià is the former head chef of elBulli Restaurant, awarded the best in the world a record 5 times. Today he leads the elBulli Foundation, a research center into creativity and innovation based in Barcelona whose latest project is the Bullipedia: a 30-volume-encyclopaedia on the fine dining sector.

Munira Al Sayegh is an independent curator, whose practice points at the importance of none institutional thinking and rhetoric in order to refine the voice of what local and regional art looks like, organically. Al Sayegh has published various articles, and has participated in various panels and lectures around contemporary art in the Gulf Region.

Yaminay Chaudhri using a range of media including writing, video and site-specific performance to unravel architectures of aspiration in contemporary, South Asian cities, Yaminay moves across the personal and collective; house and city; juxtaposing the wants of upwardly mobile families with those of ambitious / anxious heads of state. Karachi, the beguiling djinn, never allows escape.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons has shown in the Venice Biennale and documenta, with works in the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Canada, and MoMA, among many others. She recently founded and directed Ríos Intermitentes for the Havana Biennial and is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University.

Rachel Dedman is a curator and writer. She was for six years an independent curator based in Beirut, where recent projects include exhibitions for the Palestinian Museum and Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works 8. She was recently appointed Jameel Curator of Contemporary Art from the Middle East at the V&A, London.

Simon Denny is an artist working with installation, sculpture and video. His work has appeared in solo exhibitions in institutions worldwide as well as in major group shows. In 2015, Denny represented New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale. He is a Professor for Time Based Media at the HFBK in Hamburg.

Marina Fokidis is a curator and writer based in Athens , Greece . She is the publisher and editor in chief of South as a State of Mind journal. She was also the Head of the Artistic Office , Athens and member of the curatorial team in documenta 14 ( 2014- 2017 ) and the founding and artistic director of Kunsthalle Athena ( 2010- 2015)

Asuncion Molinos Gordo is a research-based artist. The main focus of her work is contemporary peasantry. Her latest project IN TRANSIT: Botany of a Journey is currently on display at Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai). She won Sharjah Biennial Prize 2015 with her project WAM (World Agriculture Museum) and represented Spain official section at the 13th Havana Biennial 2019. Her work has been exhibited at venues including V&A Museum (London), Museo Carrillo Gil (Mexico) and ART BASEL Miami Beach (US).

Charlie Robin Jones is a London-based editor and advisor interested in art, fashion and power. He has served as commissioning editor on the Guardian foreign desk, head of digital at 032c, and digital editor of Dazed.

Charlie Koolhaas has exhibited in Japan, Poland, Dubai, Bosnia, Italy, China, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, UK and the US including in The Venice Biennale, Italy, Get it Louder, China and TENT, Netherlands. She is the founder of UNIT magazine and author of the books Metabolism Trip (2012), What happened in Rotterdam (2017) and CITY LUST (2020).

Dr. Adila Laïdi-Hanieh developed the Museum’s first five-year program strategy. During her tenure, the Museum won the 2019 Agha Khan Award for Architecture.
As a writer, she published the artist biography “Fahrelnissa Zeid. Painter of Inner Worlds,“ and “Palestine. Rien ne nous manque ici,” a commissioned texts and art anthology of contemporary perspectives about Palestine.

John Menick’s artwork has been shown at dOCUMENTA (13); the International Film Festival, Rotterdam; and MoMA PS1. His writing has appeared in frieze, N+1 online, BOMB, Spike Art Quarterly, Mousse, and Art in America. His latest essay about driverless cars and film is forthcoming in the April/May issue of The Believer.

Mahan Moalemi is a writer and researcher from Tehran. He is co-editor of Ethnofuturisms (Berlin: Merve Verlag, 2018) and his writings have appeared in Art Agenda, Cabinet, Canvas, Domus, and Spike Art Quarterly, among other art journals, exhibition catalogues, literary publications, anthologies, and zines published in and outside Iran.

Ana Maria Nicolaescu was born in Romania and is currently based in London. Ana works with images and words across methods and scales as a way to explore the systems that shape the present moment. Her larger educational, curatorial and research projects focus on image production and vision systems, through notions of gamification, authorship and everyday life today.

Prabhakar Pachpute works in an array of mediums and materials including drawing, light, stop-motion animations, sound and sculptural forms. His use of charcoal has a direct connection to his subject matter and familial roots, coal mines and coal miners. Pachpute often creates immersive and dramatic environments in his site-specific works, using portraiture and landscape with surrealist tropes to critically tackle issues of mining labour and the effects of mining on the natural and human landscape. The artist is also a member of Shunya Collective. Prabhakar Pachpute is represented by Experimenter, Kolkata

Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Paris whose research interest spans situated curatorial practices, empathy, transnational feminism, slow institutions, degrowth, and performative practices. She was the curator of the Contour Biennale 9: Coltan as Cotton (Mechelen, Belgium, 2019) and, together with Giovanna Zapperi, of the exhibition Defiant Muses. Delphine Seyrig and Feminist Video Collectives in France in the 1970s and 1980s (LaM, Lille, and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, both 2019).

Manuel Rabaté has been Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi since 2016 and oversees all aspects of its operations and activity. The institution welcomed more than one million visitors in its first year, making it the 77th most visited museum worldwide in 2018. Rabaté has worked on the museum since its inception, joining Agence France-Muséums a year after the signature of the intergovernmental agreement between France and Abu Dhabi, first as CFO, then Secretary General and CEO (2008-2016). Rabaté was Deputy Director of Cultural Development (2005-2008) of musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac for its opening, managing the launch of the museum’s first touring exhibitions, notably Masques – Beauté des Esprits at the Bahrain National Museum. He was Deputy Director of the auditorium of musée du Louvre (2002-2006), where he participated in developing new programmes accompanying the creation of the Islamic Art department. He is a graduate of Sciences Po (1998) and HEC business school (2001), and a Knight of France’s National Order of Merit.

Dr. Noah Raford is the Futurist-in-Chief and Chief of Global Affairs for the Dubai Future Foundation. He is responsible for identifying emerging opportunities, strategic partnerships, and future initiatives for the Government of Dubai, as well as leading the Foundation’s thought leadership and partnerships activities. Previously, Noah was the Chief Operating Officer of the Dubai Future Foundation and Acting Executive Director of the Museum of the Future. He was also an advisor on futures, foresight, and innovation in the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, a senior strategy consultant at Monitor / GBN, CEO and co-founder of the technology foresight company Futurescaper, North American Director of Space Syntax Limited, and the Senior Research Advisor to Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.

Khalil Rabah is a visual artist and the artistic director of Riwaq Biennale (2005-, Ramallah, Palestine). With a background in and conceptual framework founded on art and architecture, Rabah’s works investigates politics of structures, spaces and spatial arrangements. Rabah’s works include the ongoing projects “The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind” (1995), and “ The 3rd edition of the 5th riwaq biennial” (2004) and most recently Scale Models Among other things

Nora Razian is Head of Exhibitions at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. She has curated several solo and group exhibitions, including Phantom Limb (2019) at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, I will return and I will be millions, at Ashkal Alwan’s Homeworks Forum 8, Beirut (2019), and Let’s Talk About the Weather: Art and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (2016/2018) at the Sursock Museum, Beirut and the Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou; Maha Maamoun: The Law of Existence (2017), Hrair Sarkissian: Homesick (2017), Ali Cherri: A Taxonomy of Fallacies (2016) and Adelita Husni-Bey: A wave in the well (2016). She is co-editor of Elements for A World and The Future Citizen Guide.

Georgia Sagri (1979, Athens, GR) is an artist; her works have been exhibited internationally in various group and solo exhibitions; She was a participant artist in documenta 14 (Athens/Kassel); in 2019 she was offered the Tenure position to create the first Performance studio at the School of Fine Arts in Athens; her monograph was published in 2018 by Sternberg press; currently she is developing her research practice IASI with the support of three institutional allies: Tavros in Athens, Mimosa House in London, and DeAppel in Amsterdam.

Yasmine Seale is working on a new translation of the Thousand and One Nights for W. W. Norton.

Sarah Shin is a publisher, curator and writer. She is the founder of New Suns, a curation and storytelling project, and co-founder and director of Ignota Books and Silver Press.

Jeremy Strick has been the director of the Nasher Sculpture Center since 2009, overseeing collections, exhibitions, and operations at the museum of modern and contemporary sculpture. He has organized ambitious exhibitions of sculpture, launched innovative new programming initiatives and, created the Nasher Prize, an international juried award dedicated exclusively to contemporary sculpture. Prior to the Nasher, Jeremy held positions at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, The National Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Museum of Art.

Charwei Tsai Highly personal yet universal concerns spur Tsai’s multi‐medium practice. Geographical, social, and spiritual motifs inform a body of work, which encourages viewer participation outside the confines of complacent contemplation. Preoccupied with the human‐nature relationship, Tsai meditates on the complexities among cultural beliefs, spirituality, and transience.

Tod Wodicka is the author of two novels, The Household Spirit and All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well. His work has appeared in Tank Magazine, Granta, South As A State of Mind, Art Papers, The Guardian and The New Statesman.

Lantian Xie makes images, objects, stories, jazz bands, motorcycles, books, and parties. Previous exhibitions include 57th Venice Biennial, 11th Shanghai Biennial, 3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennial, 14th Sharjah Biennial.

Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer. He is artistic director of the Summer Academy Paul Klee in Bern and associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin.


Global Art Forum is an annual, transdisciplinary summit, based in Dubai, which combines original thinking and contemporary themes in an intimate, live environment. Since 2007, the Forum has been a key part of Art Dubai’s extensive cultural programming. Featuring live talks guided by a curated theme, Global Art Forum has brought together over 500 global minds from pop culture to renowned academia: artists, curators, museum directors, filmmakers, novelists, historians, philosophers, technologists, entrepreneurs, musicians and performers. Central to Global Art Forum’s continuing success is the dialogue the platform fosters across disciplines, reporting from every part of the world to paint a truly 21st century portrait of how the globalised world thinks. The Forum has been invited to present special editions at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and the ArtScience Museum, Singapore.