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Discussion Istikshaf How Do We Exchange and Encounter?

Discussion Istikshaf How Do We Exchange and Encounter?

Moderator: Maya El Khalil

Panellists: Badr Ali, Bashaer Hawsawi, Çağla Ilk and Larissa Fassler

Abstract: In June 2021 the Istikshaf programme, a digital and physical networking and capacity building scheme, was initiated by SAC, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Jeddah and the Goethe-Institut. The aim of the programme is to build networks, enhance hands-on capacities and exchange between artists and cultural practitioners from Saudi Arabia and Germany. The first edition of the programme concentrated around the topics of working in the public space and included virtual studio visits at the Studio Olafur Eliasson, ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, talks and mentoring sessions by artists and curators including Venetia Porter. The second part of the programme will be a study tour to Germany in June 2022 to visit the Berlin Biennale and documenta. Badr Ali and Bashaer Hawsawi were two of the Istkishaf artists whose work is featured in Amakin and the discussion will centre on the impact such a programme has had on their practice. Panellists will critically consider the connections that can be built both in the digital realm and in a physical exhibition, the importance of place and direct encounters with art.


Maya El Khalil

Maya El Khalil is an independent curator and art advisor, based in Oxford, UK. As founding director of Athr in Jeddah from 2009–2016 she pioneered exhibition approaches and cultural exchange making significant contributions to the establishment and development of the contemporary art scene in Saudi Arabia. For the last decade, she has continued to work locally, regionally and internationally with artists, collectors and institutions, focusing on progressive socially engaged, multidisciplinary exhibitions that address the environmental and climate emergency. In 2020, she curated the 7th edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts under the title I Love You, Urgently.

Badr Ali

Badr Ali was born in San Francisco in 1992 and has lived in the UK, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia. The act of drawing is deep-rooted within his practice as a painter. His  recent explorations into printmaking techniques have allowed him to experiment with transferring his ideas on paper to silkscreen, to create something entirely new.

Bashaer Hawsawi

Bashaer Hawsawi was born in 1992 and is based in Jeddah. Her artworks highlight the changing nature of our daily realities, researching and experimenting with materials which connect cultures, expressions, emotions and ideas. She participated in the 87th edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts in 20210, Secrets of the AlidadesI Love You, Urgently.

Çağla Ilk

Çağla Ilk is curator and director of the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden and an Istikshaf mentor, working in theory and practice at the interface of architecture, visual arts, sound and performance. She was born in Istanbul and studied architecture at the Technical University Berlin and the Mimar Sinan University Istanbul.

Larissa Fassler

Larissa Fassler is an artist based in Berlin and an Istiskhaf mentor. Her artistic practice reflects her interest in the architecture of cities and the symbiotic relationships between people and places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, but has lived and worked in Berlin, Germany for more than 20 years. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally, recently at Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, The Bröhan Museum, Berlin and The National Gallery of Canada. Her work was nominated for the 2018 MAC International Contemporary Art Prize, Belfast and the 2019 Berlin Art Prize.