Complex Made Simple

Yasser Elsheshtawy to represent National Pavilion UAE

Applications for prestigious venice internship programme now open

The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) la Biennale di Venezia has appointed Yasser Elsheshtawy, Associate Professor of Architecture at the United Arab Emirates University, as the curator for the UAE’s participation in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), from May 28th to November 27th, 2016.

Applications for the 2016 Venice Internship program, which will run for the six-month duration of the exhibition, are now open to Emiratis and long-term residents aged 21 and above.

The National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

“We are very proud that the UAE will once again participate in the International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia, and that Yasser Elsheshtawy will be our curator”, said Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Founder of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. “This is one of the world’s most significant architectural moments and we feel confident that his exhibition will expertly represent our nation’s architectural identity, and further reinforce the emergence of the UAE as a global hub for arts and culture,” she added.

Yasser Elsheshtawy, a leading authority on urban planning and architecture in the region, said of his appointment, “It is an honor to be asked to represent the UAE at the Venice Biennale. The urban landscape of the UAE is notable for its humane aspect as well as unrivalled technical achievement, resulting in a truly memorable architectural environment. Developing a curatorial vision for the Biennale platform is both challenging and rewarding, and I hope to successfully share the unique characteristics of the UAE’s architecture and culture on the world stage.”

Selected interns will spend one month in Venice during the biennale, acting as custodians and docents of the National Pavilion UAE at la Biennale di Venezia, where they will get hands-on experience managing the exhibition. The internship starts in the UAE ahead of their deployment to Venice, where the interns undergo a comprehensive educational program based on partnerships with leading cultural institutions in the UAE.

“We are delighted to open applications for our 2016 internship program,” said Angela Migally, Executive Director and General Counsel at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. “The program is a unique platform for individuals who aspire to a career in arts and culture to hone their talents, experience cultural exchange, and work alongside leading figures in the local and international architecture communities on a renowned project. We are honored to provide this opportunity for these emerging art and architecture professionals who will go on to contribute so much to the UAE’s developing cultural scene,” she added.

Since its inaugural participation at la Biennale di Venezia in 2009 the National Pavilion UAE has worked with over 100 interns, many of who have pursued successful careers in the arts since their participation in the program.