As one of the world’s greatest art events, we decided to devote this entire issue of Canvas to the Venice Biennale. It is heartening to see artists from the Middle East plying their creative trade right across the event. We found half a dozen National Pavilions from countries in the region which we review in this issue alongside our top five pavilions overall. We take a look at the main show, collateral events and the top five must-see videos in addition to discussing global conflicts highlighted through Iceland’s mosque pavilion, an exhibit on racism in South Africca and the bleak isolation and socio-economic crises from Syria to Japan and beyond. Last but not least, our new section Opinions shares thoughts by special contributors on a specific topic, this time with a focus on the biennale.