Focal Point: Sharjah art book fair returns with new programme

The event, taking place from December 9 to 11, will include talks by artist Ala Younis and curator Omar Kholeif

Focal Point brings together publishers, artists and authors with more than 500 titles from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. Photo: Sharjah Art Foundation
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Focal Point, Sharjah's art book fair, returns for its fourth year running from December 9 to 11.

Taking place at Sharjah Art Foundation's Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, the event brings together publishers, artists and authors with more than 500 titles from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region including artist books, academic volumes and journals, zines and other non-traditional and experimental publications.

This year’s Focal Point features a number of music events and workshops. On its first day, the art fair will host a series of talks. Artist Ala Younis will discuss editing the foundation’s recent monograph on late Palestinian artist Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara.

Meanwhile, Egyptian artist and curator Omar Kholeif will reflect on his experience of co-curating Sharjah Biennial 14. He worked with curators Zoe Butt and Claire Tancons to put together three exhibitions for the event.

In describing the work he did for the Biennial, Kholeif said it was a "provocation". "It seeks to show how material culture can be reimagined through the lenses of artists whose political agency, activism and astute observations encourage us to extend the limits of our beliefs," he said.

The fair will also include the release of a number of publications including Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination, Creating Dangerously: A Postscript to Sharjah Biennial 14, Beirut Bereft: The Architecture of the Forsaken and Map of the Derelict and Corniche 3.

Releases will also include The Moment of Tarab and Omissions in the Official Narrative by the 2019 winners of the Sharjah Art Foundation Focal Point Publishing Grant.

Filmmaker Ali Essafi, Hakara Journal editors Noopur Desai and Ashutosh Podar, art and archaeology historian Ridha Moumni and art historian and curator Gabriella Nugent will share their ongoing research for their 2020 Focal Point Publishing Grant.

The winners of the third cycle of the foundation’s annual publishing grant will also be announced on Thursday.

Admission is free but booking is required. More information is available on the website

Updated: December 08, 2021, 7:37 AM