The following statement is to express my thanks for the support of International Fieldwork in the US between 21 June and 27 July.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival highlighted my work and the Mangroves from the Water in mangrove heritage, art making and conservation. My participation was based on esteem and my knowledge in the area of mangroves; I represented the United Arab Emirates in the Living Landscape | Living Memory program at the 56th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The program highlighted visions for a diverse and sustainable future. The second part of my fieldwork in the US was a 17 day residency at the Pilchuck Glass School where I gained glass techniques skills to support my doctoral research project.
I would like to thank Deakin University, the Pilchuck Glass School and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival curators and supporters for making the international fieldwork project a success.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival curators and supporters are:
- the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,
- the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth,
- the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC,
- co-curators Michele Bambling and Rebecca Fenton and
- Pablo Molinero Martinez, the program coordinator.
I would like to thank Deakin University for their support of my participation in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and for the financial assistance for my residency in Seattle at the Pilchuck Glass School.
Tangible benefits are as follows.
- These experiences will contribute to the practice led, autoethnographic research framework of my research and will directly support two written sections in my exegesis centring on art influences and art practice.
- The experiences will also influence a body of sculptural artwork using glass in multimedia art installation works.
The Mangroves from the Water research aims to highlight the plight of mangroves and wetlands globally and my experience in the US will add great benefit to the body of knowledge in this field. Artists can make an impact in finding ways to deliver scientifically factual messages that scientists may struggle to put across.
You can view my presentation on my experience in this document:
Zahidah Zeytoun Millie