Expo 2020 Dubai: Stories of empowerment shine at Women’s Pavilion

Visitors explore the Women's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. — Photo by Neeraj Murali .
Visitors explore the Women's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. — Photo by Neeraj Murali .

Dubai - The Women’s Pavilion features five structures with different narratives curated by five female change-makers



by

Anjana Sankar

Published: Sun 10 Oct 2021, 9:05 PM

Inside a dark yet star-spangled hall, faces of known and unknown women shine through bright frames that adorn the wall: The Queen of Sheba who crossed the desert to present King Solomon with precious gifts; the 16th-century warrior queen Amina of Nigeria; Emmeline Pankhurst who led ‘The Suffragettes’ for women’s voting rights in the UK; Ruth Brader Ginsburg from the US; and Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak, the UAE’s Mother of the Nation and an icon of women empowerment.

The achiever’s section inside the Women’s Pavilion — the first one ever to be dedicated for the fairer sex at a world fair — turns the spotlight on their countless achievements throughout history. The galaxy of stars that surround them reminds visitors that these women are the star themselves.

Expo 2020 Dubai joined hands with Cartier to celebrate these change-makers around the globe and highlight their significant yet often forgotten contributions to the society. The focus on women empowerment and gender equality builds on the example of the UAE, whose women play crucial leadership roles.

The Women’s Pavilion features five structures with different narratives curated by five female change-makers.

French architect Laura Gonzalez designed the upper part of the façade, together with Dubai-born artist Kholoud Sharafi and French light designer Pauline David. International multidisciplinary artist El Seed, who was born in France to Tunisian parents, has lent his unique artwork to transform the lower part of the exterior.

Nadine Labaki — a Lebanese actress and the first female Arab director to be nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar — directed the pavilion’s introduction movie. She highlighted the manifesto “when women thrive, humanity thrives”.

French actress, screenwriter and director Mélanie Laurent takes over the second floor, curating an immersive exhibition that fosters dialogues across cultural, artistic, and social fields in three sections.

The first section highlights the universal link between women and their ecosystems through a sculpture and a series of exclusive photographs shot and selected by Mélanie. The second one invites visitors to discover a Virtual Reality film, showcasing stories of women from all over the world, as they navigate through their experiences.

The third and final section brings an exclusive audio-visual art piece to life, reflecting women’s voices across the globe.

Breaking stereotypes and deconstructing misconceptions, the pavilion tries to raise awareness by showcasing both female and male contributors to women’s empowerment, inspiring visitors of all ages to become change-makers within their own communities and beyond.

anjana@khaleejtimes.com


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