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ARTISTS from across the globe are showcasing a range of paintings at the Bahrain Financial Harbour to promote peace through their work, writes Mai Al Khatib-Camille.
The Women in Art for Peace is a global movement bringing together leading, contemporary female artists from regions facing war and countries supporting peace.
The exhibition is being organised by the International Peace Institute (MENA) in collaboration with Europe’s Art, a Brussels-based gallery, and ArtWed Bahrain founded by Wedad Al Bakr, a Saudi Arabian artist and peace activist. The event is also sponsored by 1958 Projects Management & Marketing and The Domain Hotel, Bahrain.
Iana Stantieru, the executive director of Europe’s Art Gallery, said: “The message we want to spread is that women can come together for peace and friendship and spread the message of peace through their art.”
The project highlights the fact that between 1992 and 2011, only four per cent of signatories to peace agreements, and less than 10 per cent of negotiators at peace tables, were women.
In 2000, the UN Security Council passed a resolution which calls for more women to participate in peace building.
Iana said: “As countries in conflict strive to achieve peace and stability, it is essential that women, often excluded from peace and reconciliation processes, are empowered to build and sustain peace in their communities.”
The exhibition will feature more than 18 artists from Bahrain, the US, Slovenia, Syria, Norway, UAE, France, Yemen, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Belguim, Libya, Tunisia and the Republic of Moldova.
“We selected artists from regions of conflict and also artists that have a history of promoting peace through their artwork,” added Iana. “For example, Alexandra Nechita led a Global Arts Initiative involving more than 100 nations for the World Federation of United Nations Associations in 1999.”
The exhibition will run until Tuesday from 9am to 5pm, excluding weekends, at the International Peace Institute MENA in Bahrain Financial Harbour.
International artists including Norwegian Unni Askeland, Slovenian Miranda Rumina, Syrian Rehab Bitar, Libyan Karima Ben Otman and Tunisian Mouna Chouk attended the art fair launch last Monday and chatted with diplomats, fellow artists, civil society representatives and members of the media.
The event is being held under the patronage of H E Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Undersecretary for Nationality, Passports & Residence Affairs of the Ministry of Interior, and Honourary President of the Bahrain Arts Society.