Inside Indie: 10/04/2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside Indie!

Here’s our latest round-up:

‘World’s largest’ Banksy exhibition is coming to Mall of the Emirates

Universal Music Group launches label dedicated to Middle Eastern artists

New Abu Dhabi exhibition launched that explores literary traditions from Germany and the Arab world

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre launches Oyoon Al-She’er Al-Arabi (Eyes of Arab Poetry) series

The World of Banksy – The Immersive Experience Exhbition

Art lovers and Banksy enthusiasts! Here’s your chance to get up close to the elusive artist’s unique works at The Theatre in the Mall of the Emirates until Wednesday, June 30, although these dates are subject to change.

Dubbed “the largest Banksy exhibition on the planet” by its organisers, it is an unauthorized event that features 120 official reproductions of the artist’s celebrated pieces. Don’t worry though – Bansky never authorizes events of this kind, though he encourages anyone to ‘copy and borrow’ his art.

Tickets are Dh75 for adults and Dh45 for those under the age of 12

Universal Music Group launches Universal Arabic Music Label

via The National UAE

In a move that’s signalling growing interest in indie artists by the global mainstream community, Universal Music Group has launched a label, Universal Arabic Music (UAM), which aims to focus on supporting artists from around the MENA region.

The label was founded in partnership with Republic Records and music executive Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, whose company SalXCo manages The Weeknd, French Montana and Bleta Rexha. It launched with a bang during the inaugural National Arab-American Heritage month in the US by signing Issam Alnajjar.

The 17-year-old ordanian singer-songwriter became an international sensation after his debut single Hadal Ahbek topped Spotify’s Viral Global and US Charts, Shazam’s Top 200 Global Chart and raked in more than three billion views on TikTok.

UAM is building a team of Arabic-speaking experts who have a personal understanding of Arab music and culture to show that it’s serious about discovering new talents from around the region and the Arab diaspora, and bringing international attention to Arabic music and culture by creating new opportunities with partners, platforms and brands from around the world.

The team will work alongside Universal Music Group’s labels in the US, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Australia and Mexico as well as its existing operations in the MENA region.

New Abu Dhabi exhibition launched that explores literary traditions from Germany and the Arab world

How’s this for a fun day out?

‘From Cinderella to Sindbad: German and Arab Timeless Tales’, a fun literary exhibition that explores stories from ancient Egypt, the Arab world, and Germany is currently running at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi until Monday, September 20.

It’s organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Abu Dhabi, the Goethe-Institut and the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation as part of the the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The Fair will take place in May and will combine in-person and digital events.

Visitors can explore around 100 objects from facsimiles, archival material, books and games, with some items on loan from institutions such as the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and Kalima Project for Translation, both in-person and through a virtual gallery.

Adults and children alike can also enjoy exploring the different activities available, from live story readings and performances to workshops that including creating marionettes, and so much more!

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre launches Oyoon Al-She’er Al-Arabi (Eyes of Arab Poetry) series

The new series aims to encourage interest and appreciation among Arab readers about the “mysteries of their own poetic heritage, as well as celebrating the beauty of poetry and highlighting the changes that have taken place over the ages”, according to the Centre.

Topics include glory, harmony, pride, loyalty, ruins and tolerance in published works that date back as far as the pre-Islamic era up to the present day. It will be released in stages, starting with 30 subjects to be published in 30 books.

Leading professors of Arabic literature will be involved in its preparation, and they’ve already reviewed several books that discuss various topics, including nights, rain, women and illness.

The books will released in pocket books that are supported by audio and digital elements. Each book release will also be accompanied by cultural seminars and poetry evenings.

Upcoming Events

Warehouse421: Total Landscaping exhibition, April 10 – June 13. It investigates the ways in which plant life is commonly understood, encountered, represented and consumed in the Gulf, and within similar emergent urban formations across the global south. It focuses in on instances when the unruly vitality of flora is arrested in the service of capitalism and politics, a process that abstracts and reduces it to a color, a verb and an image. It takes place at Warehouse421 from 10:00am – 8:00pm

NYUAD: Disability Inclusive Culture with Fatma AlJassim and Sara Minkara Talk, April 11. This discussion will explore what it means to be “authentically inclusive” and how this can be fostered on individual, institutional, and global levels. It takes place on Zoom from 5:30 – 6:30pm and registration is required.

Foundry Downtown: Art conversation with Nadine Khalil – Stage, Script and Sculpture in the work of Maitha Abdullah. Join art writer and researcher Nadine Khalil as she hosts an art conversation about the nature of storytelling, masked characters, performative installations and the process of moving from 2D paintings to 3D stage sets with artist Maitha Abdalla at Foundry Downtown on April 11 at 6pm.

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