The Women's Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, in partnership with Cartier, brought together three of its commissioned artists, eL Seed, Nadine Labaki and Mélanie Laurent, for a panel discussion on Monday to highlight the impact of the exhibition and the pavilion's programming.
The event was part of the Women's Pavilion's Outlier series, a programme of inspiring and bold discussions to promote women's causes.
Introducing the panel discussion, Hind Alowais, Vice President, International Participants Department, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "We need women at all levels. Integration is crucial and this is what we have done at Expo 2020 Dubai. We are committed to having a stand-alone Women's Pavilion and we have made sure that women's and girls' issues are present in everything we do, including the integral part of the Expo 2020 Dubai People and Planet Programme. There is much more for you to become familiar with when we close our doors, as we leave the world with an inherited report. I believe this pavilion will act as an example, hopefully, for other Expos, ensuring that women's issues are central to everything we do."
Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki, who created a video for the Women's Pavilion on the theme 'When women thrive, all of humanity thrives', agreed on the importance of the pavilion's impact and the power of art to drive change: "Art makes people identify more together. Through art, we can really change a lot. Through art, we can impact so many mindsets and change so many misconceptions".
Speaking virtually, French actress, screenwriter and director Mélanie Laurent shared the process behind the experiential art exhibition she procured for the Women's Pavilion, and discussed the experience of women sharing emotions: "Sharing and aligning ourselves with our emotions is extremely powerful because we are living in a crazy world. We need to deal with the fact that this is not easy for anybody, so we need to be connected to that".
International multidisciplinary artist eL Seed's artwork, or 'calligraffiti' (as he calls it), transformed the lower part of the pavilion's façade. He used this platform to tell a story and amplify the voice of women in Nepal: "Gender equality is also a men's struggle. We [men] have to talk about the need for equality to ensure balance on both sides.... My daughter has somehow pushed me and made me change the way I perceive certain things".
Celebrating the significant, and often overlooked, contributions of women, the Women's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, in partnership with Cartier, demonstrates that when women thrive, humanity thrives. It highlights the important contributions women have made in advancing societies, as well as the challenges women still face, especially as the world works towards a more sustainable future.
Text, photos and video: Expo Dubai 2020