Curated by Munira Al Sayegh, UAE NOW was a new segment of Art Dubai 2019 which explored the country’s independent local artist-run platforms. These collectives and community groups offer a crucial counterpoint to the public and commercial sectors and add an essential layer to the local contemporary art ecosystem. UAE NOW highlighted the depth in these organisations and their place in the evolving landscape, and brought to the fore the important contribution of grassroots platforms and the underground in creating new ways of thinking, theory and artistic movements.
The participating platforms included, Bait 15, Banat Collective, Jaffat el Aqlam, PAC (Public Art Collective) and Daftar Asfar. These platforms were invited to showcase their respective institutions in their way of choice and their introduction to the fair acted as a counter narrative, which created a symbiotic push and pull between institutional and non-institutional thinking and action.