Family Saturdays at the Jameel

Join us for an exciting and interactive day-long experience as we present Family Saturdays at the Jameel featuring a guided tour of the current exhibitions and a series of hands-on art making activities for all ages.

The tour, led by an arts education expert, involes an indepth exploration of the current exhibition; Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics. Following the tour, families are invited to participate in three immersive self-led activities inspired by the exhibition works of the artists: Ajlan Gharem, Golnar Adili, Hadeyeh Badri and Sofia Karim.

As children and families tour the ground-floor galleries, participants gain a deep engagement with artists’ themes, mediums, and processes. Through the self-led activities, participants learn various techniques such as constructing 3D structures, paper weaving and making street food packets. 

The activities are free-to-attend and run all day to encourage and support creativity and imagination by providing space for children to share stories and foster cultural awareness while exploring forms, patterns, writing, and drawing. 

Family Saturdays at the Jameel is suitable for all ages. All crafts and materials, step by step guides and instructional videos will be provided.

The tour will begin at 11 am and participants are welcome to drop by and enjoy the activities until 4 pm.

Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics

The Jameel Prize is a triennial award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. This iteration of the Prize is focused on design. ‘Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics’ presents the work of eight designers from India, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK. The finalists’ diverse practices span graphic design and fashion, typography and textiles, architecture and activism. Their work addresses the personal and the political, interpreting the past in creative and critical ways.  

The V&A houses one of the world’s most significant collections of Islamic art, which the museum began to assemble in the 1850s as part of its mission to invigorate and improve British design. The V&A’s founders believed that designers could learn from Islamic approaches to pattern and decoration. Building upon this historical collection, the Jameel Prize was inaugurated in 2009 in partnership with Art Jameel.

The Prize is open to artists and designers from around the world. Over 400 entries were received. Seeking works that fuse Islamic tradition and contemporary design, an international jury selected the finalists and the winner. 

About the artists:

Ajlan Gharem is an artist and mathematics teacher based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His practice explores how Saudi communities understand and articulate their culture amid globalisation and changing international power dynamics

Golnar Adili is an artist and designer based in New York. Growing up in Tehran after the 1979 Revolution, Adili’s early life was characterised by separation and uprootedness. Her practice explores aspects of her identity through Persian language and poetry. Her work on display in the Jameel Prize pays homage to her father, transforming one of his letters into an installation both monumental and delicate.

Hadeyeh Badri textiles offer a rich creative language – one that unites gesture, touch, memory, and ritual. She often incorporates poetry and writing into the body of her fabrics. Badri hints at the notion that weavings may act as personal monuments, ones that remain deliberately partial and under construction. Her works often feel unfinished and very delicate yet sturdy.

Sofia Karim work is centered on human rights, artists’ freedom of expression, and campaigns for political prisoners in India and Bangladesh. She is the founder of Turbine Bagh, a joint artists’ movement against fascism and the rise of far-right nationalism in India and beyond. She explores architecture as a language of struggle and resistance and her activism focuses on human rights across Bangladesh and India. She campaigns for the release of imprisoned artists and political prisoners.