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UAE-based contemporary visual artists Mays Albaik, Hamdan Buti Al Shamsi, Hind Mezaina and Nora Zeid have been selected for the 2020 Critical Practice Programme by Tashkeel, which consists of training, mentoring, critiques, studio visits, production support and studio access. Launched in 2014, the sought-after programme received more than 49 applications for its 2020 edition, the largest to date.

The Critical Practice Programme is customised to each artist, taking into consideration their practice and research area. Tashkeel identifies up to two mentors to guide each one as they conceive and create works to be presented in solo exhibitions during this year and in 2021.

Previous artists who have participated in the Critical Practice Programme include Afra Bin Dhaher (2016); Vikram Divecha (2016); Hadeyeh Badri (2017); Raja’a Khalid (2017), Lantian Xie (2017); Jalal Bin Thaneya (2018); Silvia Hernando Álvarez (2018) and Chafa Ghaddar (2018).


Ala Younis
Mentor to Mays Albaik

Ala Younis is an artist, trained as an architect in Amman. Research forms a big part of her practice, as do curating, collaboration, film and book projects. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at Darat al Funun (2009) and Delfina Foundation (2010 and 2018), MMAG Foundation in Amman (2017), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (2018), Art Jameel Projects Space (2018), and 17ESSEX in New York (2018).

Ala Younis curated the first Kuwaiti Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; and the Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence and its interventions in Algeria, Kuwait and Ramallah. She holds a B.Sc. in Architecture from University of Jordan, and a Masters of Research from Goldsmiths College. She is on the Advisory Board of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded, and Akademie der Kunst der Welt (Cologne). She co-edited "The Time Is Out Of Joint" published by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2016. Ala Younis and Maha Maamoun co-founded Kayfa ta, a non-profit publishing initiative that has published eight titles since its foundation in 2012. Together they co-organised three iterations of exhibitions on independent publishing and publishing as artistic practice, at Beirut Art Center (Beirut, 2019), Warehouse421 (Abu Dhabi, 2019-20), and MMAG Foundation (Amman, 2020).

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Mentor to Mays Albaik

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a “Private Ear”. His interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music. The artists audio investigations has been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International together with fellow researchers from Forensic Architecture. Abu Hamdan received his PhD in 2017 from Goldsmiths College London. In 2019 Abu Hamdan was one of the four artists who won the Turner Prize In 2017 his film Rubber Coated Steel won the Tiger short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival, The audience award at 25 FPS Festival in Zagreb, and the Dialog Award at European Media Art festival in Osnabruk. In 2016 he won the Nam June Paik Award for new media. Abu Hamdan is a fellow at the University of Chicago, was 2017/2018 guest of the DAAD Kunstler Program in Berlin and the 2015-17 fellow at the Vera List Centre for Art and Politics at the New School in New York. His solo presentations have taken place at Witte De With, Rotterdam (2019), Tate Modern Tanks & Chisenhale Gallery, London, Hammer Museum L.A (2018), Portikus Frankfurt (2016), Kunsthalle St Gallen (2015), Beirut in Cairo (2013), The Showroom, London (2012), Casco, Utrecht (2012). His works are part of collections at MoMA, Guggenheim, Van AbbeMuseum, Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern.

Peggy Sue Amison
Mentor to Hind Mezaina

Peggy Sue Amison (USA / IRE) is Artistic Director of East Wing, a platform for photography founded in Doha, Qatar in 2012. As a curator, writer, producer and photographic consultant, Peggy Sue collaborates with numerous emerging and established photographers, photography festivals and publications internationally. Prior to her work with East Wing, Peggy Sue headed Sirius Arts Centre, a multi-disciplinary arts organization and international artist residency programme in Cork, Ireland from 2001 – 2014.

Peggy Sue has curated exhibitions in Europe, China, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, she has also written for various photographic publications and artist catalogues, and is a past board member of Belfast Photo Festival in Northern Ireland. Originally from the United States, Peggy Sue has lived in Europe since 2000 and is presently based in Berlin, Germany.

Hala Al Ani
Mentor to Nora Zeid

Hala Al Ani was born in Iraq in 1986. She received her BSc in Visual Communication from the American University of Sharjah, going on to postgraduate studies in Graphic Design and Iconic Research from the University of Illinois, Chicago and the Basel School of Design, Switzerland. Her work has been shown in several internationally recognized exhibitions including the Sharjah Biennial, Istanbul Design Biennial, Amman Design Week, Jogja Biennial and Dubai Design Week. Al Ani is the co-founder of Möbius Design Studio (a Tashkeel member) and is currently a lecturer at the American University of Sharjah, Visual Communication Department.

Hind bin Demaithan
Mentor to Hamdan Buti Al Shamsi

Founder and Creative Director of “Hamzat Wasl Studio”, an art and design management studio (creative community collective); Director of Events at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, creative consultant, a curator and video composer. Previously held the position as Head Curator of Dubai Design District (d3). Was an Intern at the Disney Research and Development Department, California; a Cultural Consultant for RIVA Creatives, California, and an Assistant Professor at California Institute of the Arts.

As an artist and video composer her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally where video design for immersive performances was a focal point of her practice. Primarily in Los Angeles, California where she received her MFA in Theater and Integrated Media with a concentration in Video for Performance at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts). She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Zayed University.

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