Inside Indie: 01/05/2021

Welcome to another edition of Inside Indie

This week’s highlights:

  • Shortlist for $69,000 International Booker Prize 2021 announced
  • Filming begins on ‘The Swimmers’ about refugee sisters’ journey from Syria to Rio Olympics
  • DCT Abu Dhabi partners with TikTok to launch Visit Abu Dhabi channel

  • Shortlist for $69,000 International Booker Prize 2021 announced
  • Six books from Europe and Latin America have been shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize Award,

    The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 2, with the $69,000 prize money split between the winning book’s author and its translator.

    The shortlist contenders were selected from 125 submissions by a panel of judges, and include four authors who had never been published in English before as well as five books that were published by small presses.

    They are: The War of the Poor, a story of religion and revolution by France’s Eric Vuillard, In Memory of Memory by Russian writer Maria Stepanova, imaginative short-story collection The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Argentina’s Mariana Enriquez, war story At Night All Blood is Black, by France’s David Diop, science-themed story collection When We Cease to Understand the World by Chile’s Benjamin Labatut, and futuristic workplace novel The Employees by Danish writer Olga Ravn.

  • Filming begins on ‘The Swimmers’ about refugee sisters’ journey from Syria to Rio Olympics
  • Credit: Getty Images

    After a year-long delay triggered by the pandemic, production has officially begun on The Swimmers, Variety magazine has revealed.

    The film tells the true story of Syrian refugee sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini, who made international headlines in 2015 when the engine of their overcrowded dinghy failed 15 minutes into their trip from Turkey to Greece. They had to swim for three and a half hours in a bid to stop the boat from capsizing. One year later, Yusra went on to compete in swimming events in Rio as part of the Refugee Olympics Team.

    Egyptian-Welsh director Sally El Hosaini is directing the film, which is co-written with British screenwriter Jack Thorne, and produced by British production house Working Title Films and Netflix.

  • DCT Abu Dhabi partners with TikTok to launch Visit Abu Dhabi channel
  • The instagram caption says it all.

    It will be interesting to see how DCT Abu Dhabi’s TikTok channel’s going to evolve now that they’ve entered this official partnership, and what other arts and culture based organisations as well as creators might learn from observing DCT Abu Dhabi.

    You can check out their TikTok account here.

    Upcoming Events

    Only Time Will Tell. KAVE, Al Serkal Avenue. May 2, 2021.

    This one-day exhibition features works by 10 artists around the theme of ‘time’. Dh 20 booking required.

    ‘Abstraction and Calligraphy – Towards a Universal Language’. Louvre Abu Dhabi, until June 12. Tickets required.

    This exhibition is showcasing 101 artworks from 16 partner institution collections, including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Among the works on display are pieces by Dia Azzawi, Mona Hatoum, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lee Krasner, André Masson, Jackson Pollock, Anwar Jalal Shemza, and Cy Twombly, many for the first time in the region. It also includes two original artworks by contemporary artists eL Seed and Sanki King.

    Ramadan at MAS. Manarat Al Saadiyat. April 15 – May 12. 10am – 11pm. Passes available at Virgin Megastore.

    Manarat Al Saadiyat is offering visitors of all ages the opportunity to flex their creativity this Ramadan with a series of exhibitions, events, workshops, and more.

    Have an event or want to share some news for the indie community? Contact us at

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