Inside Indie: 20/11/2021

This week’s Inside Indie is full of exciting things happening in the world of art and culture – read on to find out more!

  • The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Institut du Monde Arab in Paris sign cooperation agreement
  • Quincy Jones to revive Arabic charity single ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’
  • The Pontifex Carpet, UAE’s gift to Pope Francis, is being sold as an NFT for $150,000

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Institut du Monde Arab in Paris sign cooperation agreement

Arabic language lovers and enthusiasts rejoice!

A landmark agreement has been recently signed between the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Paris-based Institut du Monde Arabe, otherwise known as the Arab World Institute at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The partnership aims to increase co-operation and promote Arabic culture internationally through various cultural events, publications, and collaborations, including organising events to mark international occasions related to the Arabic language, such as World Arabic Language Day, which falls on December 18.

The two organisations will also launch or enhance various initiatives, such as strengthening the International Certificate of Proficiency in Arabic, which the Institut du Monde Arabe will strengthen through working with the Alliance Francaise, which administers the tests in Abu Dhabi and Dubai centres. This effort aims to endorse the certification and make a record of annual applicants – including proficiency levels – and share relevant learnings.

Quincy Jones to revive Arabic charity single ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’

Credit: The National

The region’s version of We Are The World, called Tomorrow/Bokra celebrated its 10th anniversary with an announcement that a new version of the upbeat and uplifting track.

When it was first released, the song aimed to inspire people to donate to the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, where it would then go towards educational programmes in music, arts and culture through various global humanitarian organisations, including the United Nations World Food Programme as well as the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation.

It was produced by Morocco’s RedOne and featured 24 Arab artist from 16 nations in MENA and featured celebrated Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir as well as Egyptian pop stars Tamer Hosny and Sherine Abdel Wahab, Lebanese singer Marwan Khoury and the UAE singer-songwriter Fayez Al Saeed.

US pop music producer Quincy Jones and Emirati entrepreneur Badr Jafar have reunited for the updated song, whose proceeds will be donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in aid of vulnerable, displaced communities across the MENA region.

Plans are also underway to raise additional funds through the sale of Tomorrow/Bokra-inspired NFT artwork through the online platform OneOf.

The Pontifex Carpet, UAE’s gift to Pope Francis, is being sold as an NFT for $150,000

The Pontifex Carpet, a gift originally given by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to Pope Francis on a visit to the Vatican in September 2016, was turned into an NFT (non-fungible token) that was unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art.

The carpet was woven by Afghan women as part of the Tolerance range by Zuleya, one of the retail arms of the Fatima Bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative, which sells handicrafts made in Afghanistan. Zuleya has partnered with the UAE’s MORROW collective to turn it into an artwork that is now on display in an ornate gold frame on a 165-centimetre digital canvas.

The digital artwork was created from the original design and is available for purchase for $150,000, with 80 per cent of the proceeds going towards the Afghan weavers and their families. The owner will also receive the only physical replica of The Pontifex Carpet, which at 185cm by 125cm, is a slightly smaller version of the original one, which measures 272 centimetres by 183cm.

You can find out more here

Upcoming Events

Abu Dhabi Art, Manarat Al Saadiyat, until Sunday November 21, tickets required

Don’t miss out on this highly-anticipated annual event, which features over 600 artworks in Manarat Al Saadiyat that being showcased by the fair’s 49 participating galleries. These include Beirut’s Agial Art Gallery, Galerie Le Violon Blue from Tunisia, and the Athr Gallery from Jeddah. The UAE’s art scene is represented just as vibrantly from selections available from galleries such as Carbon 12, The Third Line, Salwa Zeidan, and Green Art Gallery.

Homecoming | A space for you, Al Serkal Avenue, until December 31

The series, part of Al Serkal Avenue’s Art Week, is Curator Janine Gaëlle Dieudji’s (France/Cameroon) response to Alserkal Arts Foundation’s invitation to reinvigorate our public realm. The series, featuring works by Lakwena Maciver (UK), Kameelah Janan Rasheed (USA) and Augustine Paredes (Philippines/UAE), deploys the power of language through the capacity of text-based artworks to inhabit physical and psychological space, generating a collective experience while acknowledging the importance of identity and self-recognition.

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