AIWF proudly supports the ‘I Am’ East-West peace building art initiative and exhibition held in London in July and August 2017

AIWF proudly supports the ‘I Am’ East-West peace building art initiative and exhibition held in London in July and August 2017 1 July 2017

AIWF is delighted to announce that it is a Programme Sponsor of the I AM exhibition in London (03 July – 20 August 2017), following the initiative’s successful premiere in Jordan at the National Gallery of Fine Arts and before its international tour continues to the US.

I AM exhibition, a large-scale strategic East-West peacebuilding exhibition that premiered in Jordan under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, celebrates 31 premier and emerging Middle Eastern contemporary women artists from 12 countries. I AM premiered at the National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, Jordan and was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi on 03 May, where it ran until 14 June 2017, before travelling to London to St Martin- in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square where it will run for the months of July and August (03 July – 20 August 2017). After that, it will tour the USA for 18 months (from the fall of 2017 through 2018), premiering first in Washington DC at the renowned Katzen Arts Center of the American University.

Designed to address stereotypes and change misconceptions of the “other,” the I AM exhibition focuses on the crucial role that Middle Eastern women play as guardians of peace, and visually highlights what women contribute toward healing our world, because of their inherent connection to the sanctity of life, and their ability to nurture and protect it, thereby inspiring a legacy of harmony.

The I AM exhibition is guest curated by Janet Rady, a specialist in Middle Eastern contemporary art, and a selection of 31 acclaimed women artists of Middle Eastern heritage (including some important emerging artists) from 12 countries are participating in this unique East-West peacebuilding exhibition. While I AM is an art exhibition, the organisers see it as the catalyst for a variety of events and programs planned around the exhibition to stimulate dialogue and education, such as talks, forms, lectures, music, literary readings, film screenings, and discussion panels.

The Opening VIP Programme and Reception of I AM in London took place at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square on 03 July, and was co-hosted by the Embassy of Jordan in London and His Excellency Mazen Kemal Homoud, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. AIWF members, partners and key contacts in London attended the Opening Reception, which featured distinguished guest speakers including Ambassador Homoud; Sheikha Lulwa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, one of the acclaimed participating artists; Vanessa Branson, Founder of the acclaimed Marrakech Art Biennale; and Sir Derek Plumbly, Chairman of the Arab British Centre.

The evening’s programme included spectacular performances by sopranos Dima Bawab and Margo Arsane of The Peace and Prosperity Trust, AIWF’s valued partner on its 15th Anniversary Gala Concert held at Kensington Palace in April 2016. Through the universal language of music and performing arts, and by promoting young artists from the Middle East and the Western world, the Peace and Prosperity Trust raises awareness and funds for charitable projects in the Middle East and for its young artists. AIWF was especially delighted to continue its close association with the Trust for this very special occasion.

“AIWF’s sponsorship of the I AM exhibition is a unique opportunity to highlight the cultural and humanitarian involvement of our organisation and its long-term commitment to the critical role of Arab women as peacemakers and change agents in the region,” said Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman of AIWF. “We are delighted to lend our support to this important initiative and its message of intercultural understanding and harmony around the world.”

“With all that is happening in our world at this time, we believe this strategic artistic peacebuilding initiative focused positively on Middle Eastern women couldn’t be timelier,” said Rev Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler, Founder of CARAVAN. “We are very excited about partnering with AIWF on the I AM exhibition tour to London and cannot imagine a more natural and logical partner than AIWF in this strategic artistic initiative celebrating the unique role of Middle Eastern women.”

As the world’s attention is focused anew on women’s equality, and on the critical need for enhancing Middle East – West relations, it is estimated that 120,000-130,000 people will visit the I AM exhibition over an 18-month period in eight venues. For more information, please visit www.oncaravan. org/i-am-exhibition.