Art Jameel’s global rapprochement responds to the climate crisis

Art Jameel has set up a weather station at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.

Mohammad Yusuf, Feature Writer

In response to the global climate emergency, Art Jameel joined 27 arts organizations around the world to form the World Weather Network (WWN), a constellation of “weather stations” located across the globe in oceans, deserts, mountains, farmlands, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses and cities.

For a year beginning June 21 and ending June 21, 2023, artists and writers share “weather reports” in the form of observations, stories, images, and imaginations about local weather and shared climate, creating an archipelago of voices and points of view on the new global platform.

Art Jameel’s Weather Station, located in the Desert Gardens, Library and Public Spaces of Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai’s Contemporary Museum, explores atmospheric humidity, which is a central climatic marker of the Arabian Gulf.

Offering different ways to watch, listen and live with the weather, weather reports from writers and artists will be shared on the WWN platform from every location: the Himalayas, the Mesopotamian marshes in Iraq and the desert of Arabian Peninsula ; the Great Salt Lake in Utah; the “Great Kiwa Ocean” in the South Pacific; ‘iceberg gone’ off Newfoundland; the waters of the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Circle; a tropical rainforest in Guyana and agricultural land in Ijebu, Nigeria.

Artists and writers work in observatories in Kanagawa in Japan and Manila in the Philippines; study cloud data in China and lichens in France; record their impressions from the lighthouses of the coast of Peru, the Basque Country and the Snaefellsness peninsula in Iceland; and monitor cities such as Dhaka, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London and Seoul.


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The Dubai-based Art Jameel Weather Station is physically anchored in the Jameel Library, through special events, research and book exhibits, and in the Jameel Desert Gardens, through on-site air-water generators , providing visitors with fresh drinking water and insight into daily humidity and weather conditions.

Art Station Jameel’s weather reports – presented on the central WWN platform and via listening posts at the Jameel Arts Center – primarily take the form of narrative podcast episodes from artists and writers, released throughout throughout the year, which explore themes such as The Threshold, Sweat and Labor and Technological Futures.

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 work with inspiring and like-minded partners from the World Weather Network to bring the voices of the arts together with those of environmentalists and scientists – reflecting our broader approach across all Jameel family philanthropies,” said Art Jameel President and Founder Fady Jameel.

Throughout the year, at the 28 global weather stations, climatologists, environmentalists and communities will participate in an extensive program of special events held in each location and online via the platform.

During the year, the London Review of Books (LRB) also commissions special reports from writers based in many World Weather Network locations.

Alongside the WWN, every two weeks throughout the year there will be a new dispatch from an LRB contributor covering some aspect of climate or weather at one of the WWN sites, published as a LRB newsletter and on the LRB and WWN websites. . These include Rosa Lyster on the lightning in Johannesburg, Skye Arundhati Thomas on the heat in Delhi, Mimi Jiang on the airwaves 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 United Arab Emirates and operates globally.

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

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