Inside Indie: 31/07/2021

It’s the final Inside Indie for July!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

‘The Gesture’: new Beirut sculpture to honour victims of port explosion

Booker Prize 2021 longlist announced

20 new shows announced for Dubai Opera and Coca-Cola Arena

‘The Gesture’: new Beirut sculpture to honour victims of port explosion

Credit: Wael Hamzeh/EPA

A 25-metre high sculpture, made from reclaimed construction steel that were once part of the port’s hangars, towers over the site of a devastating explosion that ripped through the Beirut port last year.

Designed and conceived by celebrated artist and architect Nadim Karam, The Gesture will serve as a memorial to victims as well as serve as a sign of hope for survivors. Twenty seven individuals and organisations, including designers, arts institutions, logistics companies and public sector bodies, contributed to the project as volunteers. The project was also supported by the Lebanese Army, with permits supplied by Lebanon’s Home Security and the Port Authority.

The finished project will also include a light and water installation, in time for Lebanon’s national day of mourning on August 4.

Booker Prize 2021 longlist announced

Kazuo Ishiguro, laureate in literature delivers a speech, during the Nobel banquet in the City Hall, in Stockholm, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency via AP)

The prestigious Booker Prize has announced its 2021 longlist, which features13 works by Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers, which will then vie for a place on the shortlist ahead of the official ceremony for the £50,000 ($69,000) prize.

Ishiguro’s nominated work, Klara and the Sun, is a novel about love and humanity, narrated by a solar-powered android, while Powers is nominated for Bewilderment, about an astrobiologist and his neurodivergent son.

Two American first novels are also among this year’s contenders: Patricia Lockwood’s social media-saturated story No One is Talking About This and Nathan Harris’ bestseller The Sweetness of Water, set in the American South at the end of the Civil War.

The list also includes Great Circle by American writer Maggie Shipstead, British novelist Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual, British-Somali author Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune Men, British-Canadian writer Rachel Cusk’s Second Place, South African novelist Karen Jennings’s An Island and A Passage North by Sri Lankan writer Anuk Arudpragasam.

A six-book shortlist will be announced Tuesday, September 14, and the winner will be crowned Wednesday, November 3, at a ceremony in London.

Here’s the official Booker Longlist:

A Passage North,Anuk Arudpragasam
Second Place,Rachel Cusk
The Promise, Damon Galgut
The Sweetness of Water, Nathan Harris
Klara and the Sun,Kazuo Ishiguro
An Island,Karen Jennings
A Town Called Solace,Mary Lawson
No One is Talking About This,Patricia Lockwood
The Fortune Men,Nadifa Mohamed
Bewilderment,Richard Powers
China Room,Sunjeev Sahota
Great Circle,Maggie Shipstead
Light Perpetual,Francis Spufford

20 new shows announced for Dubai Opera and Coca-Cola Arena

Dubai’s cultural scene is set for a vibrant comeback with over 20 new shows lined up for Dubai Opera and the Coca Cola Arena that include seventeen orchestral performances, two ballets, and an operatic masterpiece.

Kicking things off is the InClassica International Music Festival, which will feature for the first time in the UAE 17 concerts, 21 performers, eight conductors and five symphonic orchestras hailing from Jerusalem, Malta, Germany and Russia. It will take place from Friday to Sunday, September 10 to 26 at the Coca-Cola Arena.

The baton will then be handed off to Dubai Opera, where the St Petersburg Chamber Opera will performe Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto. The plot stems from Victor Hugo’s The King Amuses Himself where the main character is traditionally an old hunchback court jester. In this reinterpretation, directed by Yuri Alexandrov, however, the protagonist is a sarcastic, witty and angry young man with a clownish appearance. It will be performed on Monday and Tuesday, October 11 and 12.

The performances contine wiith the Astana Ballet all set to perform two separate shows in October starting with The Legend of Love on Wednesday and Thursday, October 27 and 28. A poetic interpretation of the history of Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet by choreographer Yuri Grigorovich, it tells the tale of Queen Mekhmene Banu who sacrifices her beauty to heal sister Shirin, making the destinies of the two inseparable until both hearts fall in love with one man, Ferkhad.

On Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30, the ballet will perform Sultan Baybars, choreographed by Mukaram Avakhri, a tale of a boy captured from his homeland Kypchak steppe and sold into slavery. He then rises to become one of the most revered army commanders in 13th-century Middle East and is catapulted onto the throne to become Sultan Baybars of Egypt and Syria. Yet he still craves for a land to call home. All performances will take place nightly from 8pm.

Upcoming Events

Aura Art Fair

Alserkal Avenue, Warehouse 46, Friday and Saturday, July 30 and 31

Aura Art Fair is a small-scale event showcasing local talent in the UAE, including artists, musicians, poets, performers, designers and more. The programme includes live performances by bands and musicians in Dubai, including the K-pop inspired dance group thepixiesdance and singer Elliee.

There will also be an open mic session for poets, singers and musicians, as well as stalls for artists to sell their works.

Sharjapan 3 – Remain Calm: Solitude and Connectivity in Japanese Architecture

Sharjah Art Foundation, until Friday, October 1. Tickets required.

Reflecting on the intimate role architecture plays in our lives, Remain Calm explores the work of notable Japanese architects and an artist who use traditional concepts to create physical spaces with both modern and contemporary resonance. The exhibiton will include sculptural models, multimedia installations, drawings and photographs of various architectural projects in Japan.

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