Your friends at The Huntr are pleased to bring you our specially curated guide to what to see and do in the world of art and culture this November 2019. From art exhibitions to Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, book fairs and libraries of unread books, to the return of Galleries Night and the region’s largest design festival, there’s no shortage of art and culture happenings this month.
So what are you waiting for? Get stuck in…
Note: We will keep this guide regularly updated with any confirmed events as the month gets underway, stay tuned.
BE PART OF THE UAE’S FIRST-EVER CROWD SOURCED BOOK AT THE SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR, OCTOBER 30TH TO NOVEMBER 9TH
With over 400 literary events and an impressive line-up of authors, this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is reported to be one of the world’s largest book fairs.
Returning for its 37th year, the event will span the course of 11 days and will include writing workshops, poetry readings, book signings, cookery demonstrations, a wealth of children’s activities, a special guest appearance by American TV host and comedian, Steve Harvey.
And perhaps most interestingly, the UAE’s first-ever crowd sourced novel. Entitled ‘Once Upon a Time in Sharjah’, the book will encourage wannabe wordsmiths, aspiring authors and bright-minded bookworms to weave a fictional tale about the emirate of Sharjah.
Visitors to the SIBF will be able to offer their contribution to the crowd-sourced novel by visiting the Pulse 95 Radio pop-up studio at the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority. Once completed, the final story will be available to download as an e-book via the Pulse 95 Radio website.
When: October 30th to November 9th
Where: Expo Centre, Sharjah
EXPLORE 10,000 YEARS OF LUXURY AT THE LOUVRE ABU DHABI, OCTOBER 30TH TO FEBRUARY 18TH
This autumn/winter season, the Louvre Abu Dhabi invites visitors to explore the history of luxury through its latest exhibit, 10,000 Years of Luxury. Showcasing 350 extraordinary objects from the fields of fashion, jewellery, art, furniture, and design, the exhibit aims to extrapolate upon the ways in which luxury “has been interpreted by diverse cultures throughout history: from extravagant offerings for the divine, to golden furniture fit for royalty and the iconic couture of fashion houses and virtuoso objects of luxury houses […]”
Alongside the exhibition, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will work with artists and performers to create priceless experiences under the theme of “luxuries are what money can’t buy.” The museum will also present a curated film programme “featuring luxury in the world of fashion, in art and museums”.
When: October 30th to February 18th
Where: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
ALSERKAL AVENUE BRINGS TOGETHER SCHOLARS AND PRACTITIONERS FOR ITS ‘TEMPORARY SPACES: EXCHANGES IN ART, ARCHITECTURE AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE UAE’ SYMPOSIUM, NOVEMBER 1ST
This November, Alserkal Avenue, the city’s foremost art and culture hub, will host an intriguing symposium to discuss “critical perspectives on shared histories, ongoing exchanges and rich interconnections across cities in South Asia, the Gulf and the wider region”. The talk aims to explore the impact of rapid industrialisation on artistic pratice through the examination of the work of artists, architects, photographers, filmmakers, and scholars.
Participants will be invited to share personal perspectives in what is guaranteed to be an illuminating discussion on “the representation of urban space, particularly in the visual arts, and how these contribute to and reflect on the complex and on-going making of place and identity”.
When: November 1st, 10am-6pm
WATCH THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAY, ‘DINNER WITH FRIENDS’ AT THE JUNCTION, NOVEMBER 1ST TO NOVEMBER 2ND
Alserkal Avenue mainstay, the Junction, will debut a new play this November—the independent performing platform will play host to Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Dinner with Friends.
Written by American playwright Donald Margulies, the play follows the lives of four friends when they unexpectedly come across a shocking revelation that prompts them to take a closer look at their own lives, friendships, and relationships.
When: November 1st to November 2nd
WAREHOUSE421 EXHIBITS ‘STRUCTURES OF IMPERMANENCE’ BY SYRIAN ARTIST TALIN HAZBAR, NOVEMBER 2ND TO DECEMBER 29TH
Abu Dhabi’s Warehouse421 introduces a new addition to its programming this November with Structures of Impermanence by artist Talin Hazbar. The exhibition will focus on “the architectural and cultural significance of water features in traditional Syrian houses”. Through the unique setup of exhibit, which will include a water feature located within the courtyard of the “home”, the setting intends to further extrapolate upon how architectural forms interact symbiotically with their natural settings.
When: November 2nd to December 29th
EXPLORE FASHCULTIVATE, AN EXHIBITION OF COMMISSIONED DESIGN PIECES, NOVEMBER 2ND TO FEBRUARY 8TH
This November, don’t miss out on a chance to explore Fashcultivate, a unique exhibition organised by 1971 Design Space, celebrating the Phoenix Dactylifera (date palms) for their vital role in the development of the cultural and historical identity of the Gulf Region. The exhibition invites seven GCC-based designers to present commissioned pieces “within textile design, contemporary couture fashion and more in relation to the topic of the date palms – by referencing the trees’ various functions, fibres, compositions, colours, structures, nourishments, haptics and their sheer beauty as well as uniqueness at large in their creations.”
The exhibition will highlight work from regional and Emirati designers, including Khalid Mezaina, Asma Al Mazrouie, Maryam Omaira, Hessa Al Suwaidi, Faissal El Malak, Shahd Al Shehail and Hala Kaiksow.
When: November 2nd to February 8th
Where: 1971 Design Space, Sharjah
LEBANESE ARTIST MARWAN RECHMAOUI DEBUTS HIS LATEST EXHIBIT, ‘SLANTED SQUARES’ AT THE SHARJAH ART FOUNDATION, NOVEMBER 2ND TO FEBRUARY 2ND
The Sharjah Art Foundation’s latest addition to its cultural programming includes Lebanese artist Marwan Rechmaoui’s most recent solo exhibition entitled Slanted Squares. The exhibition will present two series of works – a Sharjah Art Foundation commission and a group of drawings revolving around the construction of buildings; “Rechmaoui documents history through physical construction sites and foundational structures, using these spaces to generate metaphors for urban archaeological processes such as digging, excavating, stabilising and possibly rebuilding.”
Rechmaoui’s show was previously held at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht as part of the Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art, which Rechmaoui received in 2019.
When: November 2nd to February 2nd
SEE SINATRA BROUGHT TO LIFE WITH ‘SINATRA: RAW’ AT WAREHOUSE FOUR, NOVEMBER 5TH
Written and performed by Richard Shelton, the Sinatra: Raw play will be staged in Dubai after garnering critical acclaim on London’s West End. The show opens on Palm Springs 1971 with Frank Sinatra preparing for his last performance before retirement. “The air is electric with anticipation. Sinatra drinks ‘One For My Baby’ too many and starts to reminisce. Then things take a turn…”
When: November 5th, 8:00pm
VISIT THE INAUGURAL EDITION OF THE SHARJAH ARCHITECTURE TRIENNIAL, NOVEMBER 9TH TO NOVEMBER 12TH
Coinciding with Dubai Design Week 2019, the Sharjah Architecture Triennial is set to premiere as the first major platform for architecture and urbanism in the MENASA region. The event aims to make architectural discourse accessible to a wider audience, including students and members of the public, all the while advancing the contemporary practice and preservation of the region’s rich modern heritage.
The inaugural edition will the triennial take on the theme of ‘Rights of Future Generations’, coming about to address the need for “architects, urban designers and planners to scope and rethink at a rudimentary level, exploring the power that architecture holds to create and sustain across generations, challenge the way we design societies and environments, and the consequences that come with decisions made in the present.”
When: November 9th to November 12th
DUBAI DESIGN WEEK MAKES ITS EAGERLY ANTICIPATED RETURN, NOVEMBER 11TH TO NOVEMBER 16TH
The region’s leading design festival is back and bigger than ever. The fifth iteration will include Downtown Design and the Global Grad Show, which will bring together projects from 100 of the most innovative universities across the world. Plus Abwab, an interactive project featuring original designs from the MENASA region as well as a varied programme of lectures and workshops.
When: November 11th to November 16th
CINEMA AKIL & WAREHOUSE421’S ARABS AND THE CITY SERIES PRESENTS A RIVETING DOUBLE-FEATURE WITH ‘HAJWALAH’ & ‘PHOTOCOPY’, NOVEMBER 13TH
Warehouse421, in collaboration with Cinema Akil, debuts a unique lineup of films revolving around the “Arab experience with the city.”
Tamer Ashry’s Photocopy, tells the story of Mahmoud who is “driven by a desire to change the depressing reality [of his life and starts] a journey that leads him to revolt against his traditional life.”
Directed by Rana Jarbou, Hajwalah explores the city of Riyadh and the dangerous fascination with “tafheet” (joyriding) from the viewpoint of Rakan, a young male joyrider.
When: November 13th
THE SHARJAH ART FOUNDATION’S FOCAL POINT ART BOOK FAIR RETURNS, NOVEMBER 14TH TO NOVEMBER 16TH
The second annual edition of the Focal Point Art Book Fair will present, engage, circulate, sell and distribute printed matter by artists and publishers in the region and across the world. The fair aims to “present a focus on independent and alternative publishing practices presented alongside a select number of larger, more established publishing houses.”
The three-day book fair will champion regional and international artists and publishers, all of whom will present their work individually or within the curated sections. Part of the broader collection will include a special focus on zines and comics.
The event is free and open to the public.
When: November 14th to November 16th
LEARN ABOUT A GREENER FUTURE WITH ALSERKAL’S PECHAKUCHA NIGHT: ‘GREEN VISION IS OUR POSSIBLE FUTURE’, NOVEMBER 15TH
Organised in collaboration with UAE Modern, Alserkal Avenue brings together architects, journalists, scientists, artists, writers, and designers for a PechaKucha Night with a purpose. Elaborating on the themes of a greener future, the contributors will aim to “construct a linguistic, and material, vocabulary associated with the notions of restorative and regenerative design”.
This event is free and open to all, however, reservations are required.
When: November 15th, 6pm
EXPLORE THE JAMEEL ARTS CENTER’S LIVING REFERENCE LIBRARY, THE LIBRARY OF UNREAD BOOKS, NOVEMBER 16TH TO JANUARY 31ST
This month the Jameel Arts Center will play host to the ‘Library of Unread Books’. The decade-long collaboration between Singaporean artist Heman Chong and Renee Staal of the National Gallery of Singapore, is a series of individual libraries made up entirely of donated books that the original owners left unread. The project intends to reflect on the boundaries of knowledge and “notions of access, excess, and the politics of distribution.”
The exhibition will feature a talk from artist and co-founder, Heman Chong, along with free ongoing reading groups in English and Arabic.
When: November 16th to January 31st
GALLERIES NIGHT RETURNS TO ALSERKAL AVENUE, NOVEMBER 18TH
Alserkal Avenue will bring back its eagerly anticipated Galleries Night this month. At each celebration, all across the avenue, galleries and creative concepts stay open late for passersby to discover brand new art exhibitions.
The event invites friends, families, artists, and art enthusiasts from across the UAE to explore its warehouses and experience art under the stars. Expect plenty of entertainment and foodie concepts too.
Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue is free to attend and open to the public.
When: November 18th, 6-10pm
DIFC ART NIGHTS RETURNS FOR ITS AUTUMN EDITION, NOVEMBER 18TH TO NOVEMBER 21ST
Featuring a unique fusion of art, culture and entertainment, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) premiere cultural event, DIFC Art Nights, returns this season.
Set against the charming outdoor background of the Gate Village, this bi-annual community event will showcase art from over 50 artists from around the world. Attracting nearly 4,000 people with each edition, the event invites artists, enthusiasts, collectors and any interested to come experience a world of creativity and inspiration right in the heart of the financial centre.
When: November 18th to November 21st
TREAT YOUR LITTLE ONES TO ‘THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA’ AT THE DUBAI OPERA, NOVEMBER 18TH
Adapted from the bestselling children’s book of the same name, The Tiger Who Came to Tea stage show will be making its Dubai debut this November. Published over 30 years ago and loved by millions of children all over the world, the story of Sophie and her extraordinary tea-time guest is an enchanting tale, “celebrating childhood, imagination and fun.”
The show will also include audience participation, sing-alongs and several unexpected surprises.
When: November 18th, 9am & 11am
GET YOUR ART AND CULTURE FIX AT ABU DHABI ART, NOVEMBER 21ST TO NOVEMBER 23RD
Abu Dhabi Art returns this November to Manarat Al Saadiyat for its 11th edition. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, the fair will showcase a rich programme of installations, exhibitions, workshops, talks, community-driven projects and performances.
Presenting modern and contemporary art from over 40 leading and emerging galleries, the fair’s agenda will go beyond the annual four-day fair, with this year’s edition welcoming a number of exhibitions and commissions that will will remain open until January 2020.
When: November 21st to November 23rd
CELEBRATE UAE NATIONAL DAY WITH AN EVENING OF PERFORMANCES AT NYU ABU DHABI, NOVEMBER 26TH
This November, NYU Abu Dhabi brings together poets, singers and musicians for the fifth annual edition of Hekayah | The Story. Visitors are invited to relax under the stars in a majlis setting and enjoy an evening of unique performances in celebration of the UAE’s cultural diversity. The evening will be hosted by Salem Al Attas, an acclaimed Emirati spoken word artist and Rooftop Rhythms’ inaugural poetry slam champion.
Hekayah | The Story is free and open to all, though online ticket registration is required.
When: November 26th, 7pm
WAREHOUSE421’S ART & CINEMA SERIES PLACES THE SPOTLIGHT ON ‘GOYA’ BY ICONIC GERMAN DIRECTOR KONRAD WOLF, NOVEMBER 27TH
Over the coming months Abu Dhabi arts and culture hub, Warehouse421, will launch a programme of films revolving around the lives of artists in its Art & Cinema Series.
Directed by prominent German filmmaker Konrad Wolf, Goya or ‘The Hard Way to Enlightenment’ focuses on the life of famed Spanish Romantic painter Francisco Goya. Goya, himself, is portrayed during his time as a painter in the court of King Carlos IV – his role has earned him wealth and reputation. “He believes in King and Church, yet he is also a Spaniard who dearly loves his people […] this contradiction presents him with a dilemma.”
The film was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 1971 Moscow International Film Festival and is one of ten East German films originally shot in 70mm.
When: November 27th
Compiled by Mila Zafirovic exclusively for The Huntr