The Critical Practice Programme is made up of longer-term studio support, critique and production for practicing contemporary artists and curators living and working in Dubai. The programme generally culminates in an exhibition, publication and ongoing contributions to the Tashkeel website at key points in the programme. Each programme is carefully constructed and built around the individual candidates’ practices and/or area of research. Tashkeel works with the artist or curator to identify a key collaborator/mentor to build, challenge and work with them through the programme. This collaborator can be an artist, curator, critic or arts professional with whom the artist feels both comfortable working but also, whose own area of research and/or practice ties in with the proposed programme and focus areas.

The aim of the programme is to provide the artist/curator with sustained and empowering support to develop their work in an environment that encourages progressive experimentation, cross-discipline exchange and cross-cultural dialogue. The curation of the courses remain responsive to the social, cultural and political contexts inherent in Dubai and the wider Middle East. The programme feeds into Tashkeel’s exhibition programme, with the majority of the five yearly exhibitions being a result of the Critical Practice Programme.

Project updates


Debra Levine
Instructor - Vikram Divecha

Debra Levine is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance at NYU Abu Dhabi and is affiliated with The Hemispheric Institute for Politics and Performance, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Department of Undergraduate Drama. Her work explores the intersection between performance, politics and new media/digital humanities through the lens of feminist and queer theory, disability studies, and visual studies. Debra has written on Jérôme Bel’s collaboration with Theater Hora of Disabled Theater for Studia Dramatica, as well as contributed articles to GLQ, Women & Performance, e-misférica, Theatre Research International, and The Disability Studies Quarterly. She also has chapters in two new books published in 2016, Reading Contemporary Performance: Theatricality Across Genres and Burning Down the House: Downtown Film, Video and TV Culture: 1975-2001.

Tairone Bastien
Instructor - (past participant) Ammar Al Attar

As Programming Director for Alserkal Avenue, Tairone is responsible for developing the Avenue’s homegrown arts programme in support of artists working in performance, installation, public art and social practice. From 2011-2014 Tairone was Head of Public Engagement for TCA Abu Dhabi where he shaped the public engagement strategy and programs for the future museums of Saadiyat Island, in addition to programming talks, performances, artist interventions and projects for Abu Dhabi Art and exhibitions at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Before moving to the UAE Tairone was a Curator for Performa in New York from 2005-2010, where he organized performances, public artist commissions and interventions in the the city as part of a team that coordinated with over 30 leading arts institutions for three city-wide biennials. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Tairone has a BA in Art History from the University of British Columbia and an MA in Curating from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York.

Andrew Starner
Instructor - (past participant) Afra bin Dhaher

Andrew Starner is a performance theorist and theatre artist whose research and teaching interests include media and cultural studies, psychoanalysis, textual theory, postcolonial theory, and teleperformance. His writing has appeared in Theatre Survey, Scene, The New Inquiry, and The American Scholar. He is the recipient of several awards, including a fellowship at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, a grant from the Creative Arts Council, and a residency at the Bergmann Estate in Fårö, Sweden. Production credits include plays with undergraduate and graduate students in the Northeast (Production Workshop, 95 Empire Street Theatre) as well as professional theatre in the Mid-Atlantic region (LiveArts Theatre). He currently teaches courses on the writing of ritual and rituals of writing at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Current Participants

Opening Hours

Tashkeel Alserkal
Gallery, Unit 26, FN Designs, Alserkal Avenue
Sun-Thu 10am – 7pm, Fri 9am–12pm
(closed Saturdays & public holidays).

Makerspace, Unit 89, Alserkal Avenue
Sat-Thu 10am – 7pm
(closed Fridays & public holidays).

Tashkeel Nad Al Sheba
Nad Al Sheba 1
Temporarily closed for renovation

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