Poets, musicians, spoken word artists and storytellers will convene at The Black Box on November 27 for an event that aims to exemplify the values of UAE National Day. The performers, who live in the UAE and come from a range of backgrounds, will examine how disparate cultures reflect upon the concept of home, whether in a geographical or familial context.
The event will be emceed by playwright Reem Almenhali, who is an NYUAD alumna, co-creator of play Al Raheel | Departure and Admaf Creativity Award winner. Musicians performing at Hekayah, The Story, include the pan-Arab Basma Choir, dream pop duo WYWY from the Philippines and Syrian oud musician Jad Al Kareem Tatou.
Pulitzer Prize-winning US poet and NYUAD faculty member Gregory Pardlo is among the spoken word artists taking part in the event, along with Iraqi-Canadian artist Rand Abdul Jabbar, Kuwaiti oral historian Rasha Alduwaisan, Lebanese writer Rawad Raidan, Emirati artist Shahad Alsaqqaf, as well as Emirati writer Salha Obaid Hassan, Palestinian writer Samar Abdel Jaber and Syrian composer Ali Zain.
The line-up was selected through discussions between cultural figures from creative communities across the UAE. The curatorial process included Bill Bragin, executive artistic director of The Arts Center; US poet Dorian Paul Rogers, producer of Abu Dhabi’s Rooftop Rhythms; Osama Mootassem, marketeer and founder of cl-u and the brand nvr frgttn; Palestinian poet Farah Chamma; and Safeya Alblooshi, a Dubai-born sound artist and research assistant with the Music and Sound Cultures Research Group at NYUAD under the Kawader Research Fellowship.
“Hekayah was one of the first events we created when The Arts Centre was founded, as an important opportunity for UAE residents of many backgrounds to share their art and cultural perspectives on the occasion of UAE National Day,” says Bragin.
“It’s a place for deep consideration of the many meanings of home, family and place, in all their complexity, expressed through word and song. Each year, Hekayah is curated collaboratively to allow for a collective sensibility that includes global award-winning artists and local community based artists sharing the same stage.”
Hekayah, The Story will take place at NYU Abu Dhabi’s The Arts Centre on November 27 at 7.30pm