Women creatives #InspireInclusion in the art world

Art is a powerful catalyst for change. Visual, visible and accessible, art can raise awareness, open conversation, educate individuals, and communicate important issues. 

Significantly, art is a tool to #InspireInclusion. A channel to express different perspectives and a mirror to reflect our diverse society, art can amplify underrepresented voices, challenge stigma and stereotypes, and encourage empathy for individuals and communities.

Visual communication is another language through which people can share their identity, culture, experiences, and issues that affect them - and hopefully expand the understanding of others.

Promoting the creative talent of women and girls

To inspire inclusion means to promote the creative and artistic talent of women and girls, while closing the gender gap felt by individuals across the art world - from curators and dealers and studio owners to the artists themselves.

"Contributions by women artists which are often overlooked need to be recognized as indispensable factors to the progression of the creative sector," says Dubai-based art incubator ZeeArts that helps #InspireInclusion throughout the year via its mission and jam-packed events program led by talented female artist, Zaahirah Muthy. 

For International Women's Day, ZeeArts is shining a spotlight on women artists from across the world as they share what the 2024 campaign theme #InspireInclusion means to them.

"#InspireInclusion sets the tone for the upcoming Art Connects Women event, aligning with the spirit of International Women’s Day 2024. Together, let’s strive to collectively create a more inclusive world for women through this empowering initiative," says ZeeArts founder, Zaahirah.

IWD ZeeArts Dubai

The award-winning face of Dubai’s art scene, Zaahirah campaigns for positive changes in the public arena while conveying compelling messages through her art initiatives and artworks across various mediums. As the helmsman of Art Connects Women and the brain behind two editions of the Women Artists around the World art book, Zaahirah has fostered a platform that aims to better the representation of women-artist in our modern world. 

Hear from talented creatives helping to #InspireInclusion through their art.

Inspiring inclusion means embracing diversity 

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"‏Inspire inclusion for me is to strive to include women around the world in all fields and embrace their diversity in terms of race, age, ability, and how to identify them through their work," explains award-winning Iraqi artist Abeer Al Edani

Based in Dubai, Abeer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Basra University. A self-taught artist, Abeer is inspired by her attraction towards the culture of homeland, customs, women, happiness and suffering. Her style ranges from impressionistic to abstract, usually on large canvases, working with all kinds of materials including oil, acrylic, pencil and mixed media. In Dubai, she has participated in several exhibitions, including World Art Dubai. Abeer has participated in previous ZeeArts International Women's Day exhibitions - as the sole representative of her home country in the IWD Better for Balance Exhibition with 88 other female artists from around the world and in the IWD Each for Equal Exhibition with 100 other female artists from different countries. 

Inspiring inclusion means creating opportunities 

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"Inclusion is not about trying to make everyone fit in, it’s about creating opportunities... it’s not about providing ‘a seat at the table’ for everyone but making the table bigger," says Graciela Noemi Ghirardosi from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Despite a strong background in painting in her early years, Graciela later pursued a career in science and graduated as a veterinarian in 2000. After working as a Veterinary Doctor for some years, Graciela moved to Abu Dhabi in 2009 and returned to painting, with mixed media as her favorite choice.

Graciela's artwork has been showcased across the UAE, including the Embassy of Argentina's International Women’s Day exhibition and the Sustainable Development Goals Through the Arts project organized by United Nations UAE and ZeeArts, exhibited at the UN Hub in Expo 2020 Dubai and kept as part of the permanent art collection of United Nations UAE.

Inspiring inclusion means removing barriers

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"Inclusion is removal of barriers embrace all people," says Seren Khalaf, a Syrian-born artist with a bachelor degree in English Literature who works at Estee Lauder Group.

In her day-to-day life, Seren thrives to make art the theme of her day and to add colors to things around her. While art to most people is beautiful scenery that they can gaze upon, for Seren it is far more than that. Art empowers her understanding of life and encompasses her creativity.

"It is like a stepping stone to another world where it can silence my thoughts and where it can set my soul to infinity," adds Seren.

Inspiring inclusion means valuing everyone

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"What does #InspireInclusion means for you? Making everyone feel welcome and valued," adds Lara Darwich, who works in many roles at ZeeArts.

A ZeeArts board member, Lara also supports underprivileged kids via ZeeArts' initiative SDG’s through Arts, under the United Nations’ patronage, and helps people manage high cortisol and stress through therapeutic art.

Inspiring inclusion means making the mix work

IWD ZeeArts Dubai

Hispanic contemporary artist MaJo Portilla shares the words of a fellow creative - filmmaker and video artist Andres Tapia: "Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work."

Now living in the Netherlands, MaJo translates color into original meaningful statements of art inspired by her travels. MaJo's work has been sold to art enthusiasts from all over the world, art fairs and in auctions to support charities. MaJo's first exhibition in the UAE was organized by ZeeArts, who now sell her work via their online gallery. In between trips, MaJo teaches acrylic and oil, wherever she finds herself based. 

Showcasing line-up of women artists 

A global art incubator based in Dubai with a branch in Mauritius, ZeeArts has a mission to connect, collaborate, and celebrate the arts through a line-up of artistic initiatives and projects. In a bid to better society, the group strongly advocates for gender parity in the art community as part of its mission to connect creatives with one another on an international level via various art initiatives and projects. ZeeArts runs an annual International Women's Day campaign, Art Connects Women, which is in its seventh edition, and includes an exhibition showcasing an extensive international line-up of women artists and their creations, led by artist-activist and founder of ZeeArts, Zaahirah Muthy. The exhibition challenges the ensemble of women artists to produce art that addresses the call-to-action to drive gender balance and women's empowerment, and to realign skewed perspectives of gendered narrations in the art world. 

Support women artists for IWD and beyond 

Groups around the world are getting very creative for their International Women's Day #InspireInclusion campaigns.

Support ZeeArts and further art organizations around the world, by taking part in their exciting events.



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