Maraya Art Centre unveils its immersive online programme

With its partners the British Council and Ffotogallery goes everything online

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Newsgate360 – Sharjah: Maraya Art Centre, an initiative by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), together with the partners of its current exhibitions the British Council and Ffotogallery, has announced today a public online programme tailored around the current exhibitions to encourage digital participation by the community. This programme comes in conjunction with the evolving global situation of Covid-19, and official guidelines around public gatherings. Digital tools have been developed to increase community engagement and to stay active through the current crisis with a programme full of digital activations. The community can stay up to date on all announcements and new releases through the organisation’s social media platforms.

Exhibition Videos and Short Filmed Artists Portraits

Maraya Art Centre has released two new videos about its current exhibitions “The Place I Call Home” and “Rearranging the Riddle. New Works by Shaikha Al Mazrou” and four shorter filmed artist portraits, introducing four photographers from the exhibition “The Place I Call Home”, namely Ammar Al Attar (UAE), Ben Soedira (UK – based in UK), Gillian Robertson (UK – based in UAE) and Richard Allenby-Pratt (UK – based in UAE). The films enable a deeper understanding of the exhibitions, their curatorial concepts and invite the viewers to get to know more about the artists and their practices through these filmed interviews. They are uploaded on the website and are promoted on social media platforms.

360 Degree Virtual Tours

Furthermore, visitors are invited to step digitally into its current exhibitions: “Rearranging the Riddle. New Works by Shaikha Al Mazrou” as well as “The Place I Call Home” by means of 360 degree virtual experiences. Visitors will be able to navigate themselves within the gallery space and zoom into the artworks, thereby getting the chance to read the Arabic and English captions and artwork descriptions as they move along. The tours aim to create online resources and interactions that can be accessed by the broadest possible range of users, delivering rich, and meaningful cultural experiences at everyone’s own pace.

 Online Publishing of accompanying catalogues under Maraya Art Centre’s Publications

Among the interactive and participatory forms launched, Maraya Art Centre’s website offers the option to download bilingual Arabic and English catalogues that allow the audience to read more about the exhibition’s curatorial concepts, the artists and their practices. Richly illustrated with installation shots of the exhibitions as well as featuring curatorial essays, interviews and in-depth artwork descriptions, the catalogues are available online under, among previous publications. Physical copies are also made available upon request.

Online Programming – ‘Edit-A-Thon on Wikipedia’ and ‘All About the Colour Blue’ Playlists by Cristiana de Marchi and other invited professionals

 Cristiana de Marchi and Maraya Art Centre are initiating an online workshop that is inspired by the Edit-a-thon (an editing marathon) format, where a group of volunteers is gathered to compile Wikipedia pages dedicated to underrepresented categories of individuals. Following a call for contributions to Wikipedia pages, with a subject matter focused on women artists in the UAE (both local and long-term residents), this initiative aims to improve the representation of regional women artists and practitioners on Wikipedia who are generally underrepresented. Remotely bringing together participants to create, share, and improve Wikipedia articles about women artists and makers in and from the region, the pages will be then edited to conform the Wikipedia standards and uploaded by Maraya Art Centre on the popular public encyclopedia. Interested participants should please contact

Additionally, and in line with the significance of the colour blue in the present solo exhibition on Shaikha Al Mazrou, over the coming months, Cristiana de Marchi and other invited professionals from various cultural fields will share a compilation of their favourite lists of music, books and movies, that Maraya Art Centre will publish on its social media as a series of “playlists” and suggestions for further explorations on the theme of the colour blue.

Photography Competition for “The Place I Call Home”

In collaboration with the British Council and Ffotogallery, Maraya Art Centre concludes its online programming with a photography competition addressing themes relating to the exhibition “The Place I Call Home”. The competition invites participants to re-evaluate the meaning of home, both near and far, through their own photographs and submit them via Instagram on a specifically created website (see below).

The topic of the competition coincides with a time when staying at home has become vital for public health. Seeing one’s own place with different eyes is a means of engaging with own interpretations, but also to explore other people’s daily surroundings and feelings of what constitutes ‘home’. The competition will be open for entries until the closing of the exhibition on 31 May 2020. A selection committee that comprises members of the British Council, Ffotogallery and Maraya Art Centre will select the winners whose names will be announced in the first week of June 2020. Participants can win different prizes related to the field of photography. To join, please visit:

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