In the educational realm, I inject critical thinking from my curatorial background, an unbounded imaginative approach from my artistic practice and a real sense of actual needs on the ground. Forsa School (2020) was a survival instinct and a rapid response to the momentous 2020 and a reason for me to support and collaborate with my community, and compile a report that focuses on the needs of the art community during such a vulnerable time.
Founded by Sharjah Art Foundation, Rania Jishi (Naqd Critique) and myself, this community school onboarded 25 brilliant mentors, hosted 19 public talks, 24 workshops, 75 one-on-one mentorship sessions, 3 studio visits and 20 toolkits over the span of 4 months.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan (2020), Rania Jishi, founder of Naqd Critique and I were invited by Warehouse421 to curate a social media takeover campaign called Jama’atna to showcase a vulnerable creative practitioner database compiled by Rania called Forsa.
It was by speaking to the 35 artists we commissioned that we began to see intersections in how various aspects of these participants’ lives were disrupted and felt both emotional and determined to address these difficult times. At the same time, a reflective conversation with my ex-colleagues, Directors of Sharjah Art Foundation; Nawar Al Qasimi and Noora Al Mualla, led us to combine forces and build this school.
Forsa School offers creative practitioners in-depth guidance and the tools to unpack themes around finance, project planning, story telling, and art law. Interpersonal challenges were also addressed including mental health, artist blocks, sustaining practices in disruptive times, and working closely with clients, galleries and institutions.
Photo Courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation (2020).