Art Jameel’s global tie-up responds to climate crisis - GulfToday

Art Jameel’s global tie-up responds to climate crisis

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Art Jameel has put up a weather station in Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

In response to the global climate emergency, Art Jameel has joined 27 arts organisations across the world to form the World Weather Network (WWN), a constellation of ‘weather stations’ located across the world in oceans, deserts, mountains, farmland, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses and cities.

For a year starting June 21 and concluding on June 21, 2023, artists and writers are sharing ‘weather reports’ in the form of observations, stories, images and imaginings about local weather and shared climate, creating an archipelago of voices and viewpoints on the new global platform.

Art Jameel’s weather station, located in the desert gardens, library and public spaces of the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai’s contemporary museum, explores atmospheric humidity, which is a central climatic marker of the Arabian Gulf.

Offering different ways of looking at, listening to, and living with the weather, writers and artists’ weather reports will be shared on the WWN platform from each location: the Himalayas, the Mesopotamian marshes in Iraq and the desert of the Arabian peninsula; the Great Salt Lake in Utah; the ‘Great Ocean of Kiwa’ in the South Pacific; ‘iceberg alley’ off the coast of Newfoundland; the waters of the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Circle; a tropical rainforest in Guyana and farmland in Ijebu in Nigeria.

Artists and writers are working in observatories in Kanagawa in Japan and Manila in the Philippines; looking at cloud data in China and lichens in France; recording their impressions from lighthouses on the coast of Peru, the Basque Country and the Snaefellsness peninsula in Iceland; and monitoring cities including Dhaka, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London and Seoul. 


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The Dubai-based Art Jameel weather station is anchored physically in the Jameel Library, through special events, research and book displays, and in the Jameel’s desert gardens, through on-site air-to-water generators, providing visitors with fresh drinking water and insights into daily humidity and weather conditions.

Art Jameel station’s weather reports – featured on the central WWN platform and via listening posts at the Jameel Arts Centre – primarily take the form of narrative podcast episodes by artists and writers, released throughout the year, that explore themes including The Threshold, Sweat and Labour and Technofutures.

Contributors to the podcast series include Noush Anand, Saira Ansari, Nadim Choufi, Nadine Khalil, Nidhi Mahajan and Deepak Unnikrishnan, among others.

“There is no contemporary debate more urgent than the climate crisis, and we are delighted to be working with inspirational, like-minded partners in the World Weather Network to bring voices from the arts together with those of ecologists and scientists - mirroring our broader approach across all Jameel family philanthropies,” said Art Jameel Chair and Founder, Fady Jameel.

Throughout the year, across the 28 global weather stations, climate scientists, environmentalists and communities will participate in a wide-ranging programme of special events held in each location and online through the platform.

Through the course of the year, the London Review of Books (LRB) is also commissioning special reports from writers based in many of the locations in the World Weather Network.

In parallel with the WWN, every two weeks throughout the year, there will be a new dispatch from a LRB contributor covering an aspect of the climate or weather at one of the WWN locations, published as an LRB newsletter and on the LRB and WWN websites. These include Rosa Lyster on lightning in Johannesburg, Skye Arundhati Thomas on the heat in Delhi, Mimi Jiang on the air in Beijing, Izzy Finkel in Istanbul, and Adewale Maja-Pearce reporting from Lagos.

Founded and supported by the Jameel family philanthropies, Art Jameel is headquartered in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and works globally.

Its two institutions – Hayy Jameel, a dedicated complex for the arts and creativity in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai’s Jameel Arts Centre - are complemented by digital initiatives, plus collaborations with major institutional partners and a network of practitioners across the world. Founded in 1979 and published twice a month, LRB provides the space for many of the world’s best writers to explore a wide variety of subjects in exhilarating detail – from art and politics to science and technology via history and philosophy, fiction and poetry.

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