The SAFIR initiative relies on hosting or participating in key regional artist workshops in addition to its one-on-one mentorship program as tools for artist capacity building. During these workshops, young artists typically benefit from unique opportunities to meet and learn from key art experts and curators from the region. They also benefit from expanding their own art networks and from being exposed to the latest developments in the art world.
The workshops also aim to create opportunities for SAFIR artists to meet and form stronger supportive relationships with each other. This form of peer support is particularity important as they are able to share experiences, ideas, receive feedback and develop further.
The first SAFIR first workshop T A’AROF I took place in March 2017 as part of the Sharjah Art Biennial 2016/2017. A group of young artists from Syria visited the Sharjah Art Biennial 13 Tamawuj, in addition to attending workshop sessions relating to key aspects of their development and outreach by key curators and artists from the MENA region, and also visited Art Dubai 2017 and other art galleries in Dubai and Sharjah.
TA’AROF I was followed by TA’AROF II which took place in October 2017 also in conjunction with SB13 as part of the SB13’s Off-site Project: Upon a Shifting Plate at Ashkal Alwan in addition to SAFIR Workshop sessions for the artists.