On Nov. 8, the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center hosted Open Studios, an event that featured several exhibitions curated by both students and faculty. An above-ground DJ booth was erected over the East Plaza, where guests were welcomed by DJ sets from students from the Electronic Music Production class. Inside, each room had something to offer from across the various disciplines in the arts. The program included interactive installations, art exhibitions and capstone projects. Howler Radio broadcasted live from within the Arts Center during the event.
In the basement, student films from the Intermediate Filmmaking and Sound, Image and Story classes were projected on the big screen. Students' works, from a range of classes, were on display in various rooms and dotted along the hallways. Guests also had the chance to explore the costume shop or create their own shirt at the silkscreen workshop. An installation on the soundscapes of Sir Bani Yas Island featured ambisonic recordings of the animals inhabiting the island. In the co-working studio, the Pakistan Student Association held a Truck Art workshop, allowing visitors to simulate the art form that is popular in Pakistan and across South Asia, and is characterized by loud colors, floral patterns, animal paintings and poetry. The event concluded with an outdoor drone display in the East Plaza.
####Venezuela, Land of Contrasts
As a part of the Open Studios event across the Arts Center, the Latinoamérica SIG presented the exhibition Venezuela, Land of Contrasts. Curated by freshmen Carlos Paez and Sara Pan Algarra, the exhibition sought to create awareness about the current Venezuelan economic and social crisis.
The event had two main parts. In the first one, a photography exhibition showcased the works of prominent Venezuelan photographers. In the second space, Paez and Pan carried out a performance. A white wall was filled from top to bottom with the names of victims of the crisis, written in black paint. The curators had written names over their bodies, faces and T-shirts, so that when standing against the wall, the text merged with their background. The event also featured music and photos of Venezuela projected on the adjacent wall.
A Diwali celebration was hosted by TASHAN, a Student Interest Group representing South Asia, on Nov. 10 outside the Arts Center. The East Plaza was decorated for the event with rangolis, which are colorful floor patterns, as well as flower garlands. The event included music and dance performances organized by students, and South Asian food was served. Diwali is organized annually by TASHAN to celebrate the festival of lights, marking the beginning of the Hindu New Year in some parts of India.
####Humanity in Crisis: Forced Migration in a Global Context
On Nov. 11, a conference was held to improve student awareness of the refugee crisis and challenges facing displaced refugees. The event was a collaborative effort between NYU Abu Dhabi and the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. The event included roundtable discussions with experts in the field, including Toby Harward, Head of the UNHCR’s Abu Dhabi Office, and Brooke Bauer, CEO of Nurture Project International, a nonprofit that provides disaster relief. The event concluded with a displacement crisis simulation conducted by UNHCR representatives, to familiarize participants with the issue.
Priyanka Lakhiani is Deputy News Editor. Email her at email@example.com.