REIMAGINE: Global Conversations


REIMAGINE: Global Conversations

Date: Last updated on October 8, 2021

In this new series of virtual talks, arts and culture leaders from around the world dive headlong into the big questions and challenging global issues of the day.


Visions of Belonging with Gohar Dashti


How does the natural world inform your ideas of home and belonging? Photographer Gohar Dashti offers her unique perspective on the question in a new instalment of the Museum’s REIMAGINE: Global Conversation series. In her wide-ranging discussion with Aga Khan Museum Special Projects Curator Marianne Fenton, the Iranian-born artist explores the inspiration behind the Museum exhibition Land/s, which features a selection of Dashti’s landscape photos. She also delves into her development as an artist, reflecting on the trajectory of her career and her interest in the relationship between humans, the natural world, and issues of identity and social justice.


Rebirth & Hope with Pouran Jinchi and Tammam Azzam


Two world-renowned contemporary artists contemplate the role of creative expression in sparking hope and healing. Joining the Museum’s Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip for this very special talk are New York-based Iranian-American artist Pouran Jinchi and Syria-born, Germany-based painter and printmaker Tammam Azzam. Both artists reflect on how they use their art to bring attention to global humanitarian crises and process trauma, both personal and collective. What’s more, Jinchi and Azzam reveal how they keep hope alive, and each offers a preview of new projects they have in the works.


Science, Art, and Spirituality with Radha Chaddah and Zarah Hussain


See the world from a new perspective with a thought-provoking discussion between two visual artists uncovering rich creative inspiration from science and nature. In the latest REIMAGINE: Global Conversation for the #MuseumWithoutWalls, Toronto-based artist Radha Chaddah and London-based artist Zarah Hussain explore the role of the arts in helping us better understand the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic — from the microscopic, to the communal, to the spiritual, all the way up to the interplanetary.


Recorded in early 2021, this conversation offers a preview of Chaddah’s new online performance exhibition for the Museum. A COVID-19 story told in dance and light, IAM: Dance of the Molecules will premiere on the Museum’s website on Friday, March 5, 2021.


Photography and Advocacy: Documenting the Refugee Crisis


How can the medium of photography shine a light on the human stories of refugees in Europe, Canada, and elsewhere? Two influential photographers share their experiences in a new REIMAGINE: Global Conversation for the #MuseumWithoutWalls. Joining Museum Curator Dr. Marika Sardar for the conversation are:

  • Ruth Kaplan, documentary-based photographer in Toronto and instructor at Ryerson University and OCAD University
  • Olga Stefatou, Athens-based artist and curatorial consultant and the photographer behind the Museum's 2020 Chrysalis exhibition

Click the video below to immerse yourself in these two compassionate creators' stories and ideas.


Global Perspectives on Museum Accessibility


In our latest REIMAGINE conversation for the #MuseumWithoutWalls, Curator Dr. Marika Sardar engages two global arts leaders breaking down barriers to museum accessibility in their home countries. Dig into their groundbreaking work to make arts and culture spaces more inclusive.


Her two guest speakers are:

  • Poulomi Das, Founder, Varnika Designs and the Museum Memories Project (India)
  • Goabaone Montsho, Curator – Ethnology Division, Botswana National Museum

Click the video below to watch this insightful conversation!


Converging Crises and the Sanctuary of Art with Ranu Mukherjee and Dr. Azra Akšamija


How does art deepen our collective understanding of the converging global crises we face in the 21st century? Can the arts provide sanctuary for people seeking opportunity in a new country or culture in the age of COVID-19?


Explore the interplay between contemporary art, migration, and rapid global change in this talk with two contributors to the Museum's Sanctuary exhibition, Ranu Mukherjee and Dr. Azra Akšamija. 



The Powers of Art with Wafaa Bilal


How does making art help a person escape adversity? How can it uplift a community, preserve a culture, counter injustice, or unite a people?


Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal has dedicated his career to exploring these questions in his provocative performance and installation art — including 168:01, which the Aga Khan Museum exhibited in 2018. A former refugee and current professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Bilal reflects on his origins in Iraq, art’s power to effect personal and social change, and significant works on his CV in this new, wide-ranging interview with the Museum’s Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip.

Arts and Culture: Converging Visions from the UAE


A fascinating history, rich cultural traditions, and a meteoric rise as a global centre for commerce and thought all make the United Arab Emirates an intriguing environment to create, consume, and curate art. And in a ranging discussion for the #MuseumWithoutWalls, two UAE-based arts leaders share their experiences encouraging artistic engagement and new ideas in such a dynamic, diverse cultural milieu.


Our guests for this instalment of our REIMAGINE: Global Conversation series are:

  • Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation and Visiting Instruction, Islamic Civilizations and Societies Program, Boston College
  • Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Direction, The Arts Center, New York University Abu Dhabi


Reshaping the Arts Experience during COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has turned almost everyone’s life upside down — and artists are no exception. As Chicago-based Canadian creator Brendan Fernandes explains, travel restrictions and physical-distancing measures have forced artists to reconsider how they create, present, and even think about their work. Joining Aga Khan Museum Curator Dr. Michael Chagnon for a REIMAGINE: Global Conversation, Fernandes also divulges the inspiration behind the carpet design he contributed to the Museum’s Sanctuary exhibition, and he delves into how the show has taken on new meanings since it debuted in San Francisco in 2017.


Ubuntu Love Challenge with Bodour Al Qasimi and Mamadou Kwidjim Toure


The guest speakers for the Museum’s latest REIMAGINE: Global Conversation want you (yes, you!) to accelerate a worldwide movement promoting harmony between peoples and effecting positive change in local communities. Joining the Museum’s Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis and Amirali Alibhai for a lively virtual discussion are Bodour Al Qasimi and Mamadou Kwidjim Toure, founders of the Ubuntu Love Challenge. Learn about the genesis of their imaginative new project, and discover how arts, culture, and community service can advance global mutual understanding — and even love — in an era of great uncertainty and rapid social change. 


Pluralism in a Changing World


When it opened in 2014, the Aga Khan Museum set out on its mission to promote pluralism through the arts. Nearly six years later, Henry S. Kim, the Museum’s Director and CEO, and Meredith Preston McGhie, the Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism, investigate why this work has become even more crucial and speak to the major barriers facing groups striving to connect cultures and foster dialogue between communities.


A Brave New World: Future Thinking in the Arts


Arts leaders in Canada and abroad reflect on our current moment of global upheaval and envision how the industry could emerge on the other side a more inclusive, equitable space.


Joining us for our latest REIMAGINE: Global Conversation are:

  • Simon Brault, CEO, Canada Council of the Arts
  • Nike Jonah, Executive Director, Pan-African Creative Exchange
  • Kristin Danielsen, Director, Arts Council Norway
  • Abid Hussain, Director, Arts Council England

Click the video below to the watch “A Brave New World: Future Thinking in the Arts.”


Family Love in the Time of COVID-19


How do intercultural families with members spread across the globe keep their traditions going in the age of COVID-19? Dubai-based PR exec Hanaan Al-Khamis and her mother, the Museum’s own Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis, share their family’s experiences in our latest REIMAGINE: Global Conversations talk for the #MuseumWithoutWalls.


Stories We Tell: Overcoming Crisis through Art, with guests Marlene Le Roux and Mohsin Mohi Ud Din


How can art and personal storytelling help us make sense of our rapidly changing world and build a brighter future for all?


Two changemakers working at the intersection of community empowerment and the arts share their vital perspectives in this powerful new talk for the #MuseumWithoutWalls.

Our special guests for the first instalment in our REIMAGINE: Global Conservations series are:

Click the video below to watch “Stories We Tell: Overcoming Crisis through Art.”




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