UAE: International artists perform at Sharjah Biennial

This year’s biennial features more than 300 artworks—including 70 new works

By Web Desk

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Aziza Brahim. — Supplied photo
Aziza Brahim. — Supplied photo

Published: Tue 21 Mar 2023, 12:08 AM

As part of the 15th edition of Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Art Foundation is presenting live performances by six celebrated international artists and ensembles. Audiences are being treated to a range of musical genres and sonic experiences rooted in older traditions yet connected to newer musical forms such as jazz, blues, rock and soul.

Conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor, the 15th edition and 30-year anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial is curated by the foundation’s Director Hoor Al Qasimi. This year’s biennial features more than 300 artworks—including 70 new works—critically centring the past within the present. The artworks as well as the music, film and learning programmes span 19 venues in 5 cities and towns across the emirate: Al Dhaid, Al Hamriyah, Kalba, Khor Fakkan and the city of Sharjah.

South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, considered the leading figure in the subgenre of Cape jazz, inaugurated the series of concerts on March 12.

On March 31, Tinariwen will merge traditional Tuareg melodies and rhythms with guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll in a style known as assouf among the Tuareg people and dubbed ‘desert blues’ by music critics. The concert features Ibrahim Ag Alhabib (vocals, guitar), Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni (vocals, guitar), Touhami Ag Alhassane (vocals, guitar), Tahar Khaldi (vocals, bass guitar), Elaga Ag Hamid (vocals, guitar) and Said Ag Ayad (vocals, percussion).

On April 6, collaborating with Senegalese Sufi singers, Youssou N’Dour will present a new performance that speaks to the theme of our shared humanity. The Grammy Award-winning singer has released more than 20 albums and is well known for mbalax, a popular genre of Senegalese music that has sacred origins in the Serer music njuup tradition and ndut initiation ceremonies. Both the performances will be held at Cultural Palace at 11pm.

On May 27, at 9pm, poet Aziza Brahim will feature in a concert at Africa Hall. Aziza Brahim was born and raised in the Saharawi refugee camps lining the frontier between Algeria and Western Sahara. One of her earliest cultural influences was her revolutionary grandmother, Al Khadra Mint Mabrook, known as ‘the poet of the rifle’. The concert features Aziza Brahim (lead vocals, tabal) alongside Ignasi Cussò (electric guitar), Guillem Aguilar (bass) and Andreu Moreno (percussion).

Tickets for the concerts are priced at Dh100 while for concerts happening at the Cultural Palace, balcony seats are availabale at Dh150. Book tickets at or on-site at the venues.

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