Al Burda Festival

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

at Warehouse 421 from 10am

Al Burda Award

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

at 6pm at NYU Abu Dhabi

Shaping the Future of Islamic Art and Culture


About The Festival

“As a nation with a foundational belief in promoting cultural and artistic dialogue, the United Arab Emirates is launching the Al Burda Festival as a new platform to cultivate Islamic creativity. The Festival will introduce younger generations to the diverse disciplines of Islamic art and culture, establishing broad intergenerational links that will encourage its continued global development.”

Noura Al Kaabi

UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development

Wednesday November 14, 2018

Warehouse 421 at 10am and Award Ceremony at 6pm at NYU Abu Dhabi

The Al Burda Festival is an international platform for Islamic art and culture. Through a program of talks, performances and exhibitions, the Festival will gather creative leaders and personalities from around the globe to collaborate, exchange insights, and share ideas. The event seeks to engage and inspire younger generations with a deeper connection to their cultural identity, supporting the continued development of Islamic culture.

Learn More

“I believe that Islamic Art and Design - through the inherent nature of creative innovation - can play a positive role in presenting to the world a unique and progressive image of Islamic culture. I believe all world cultures are connected through their texts, their histories, their trading, and exchanges. They borrow and influence each other, but if we look closely we discover in each unique traits that should be celebrated.“

Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès

Founding Director, Khatt Foundation, Netherlands

“The Al Burda Festival offers a privileged perspective on the dynamic scene of Islamic Art and Architecture as an influencer for the debate on this subject-matter worldwide. I would like the Al Burda Festival to foster cultural and artistic knowledge about Islamic art and architecture.“

Giovanni Fontana Antonelli

Architect and Senior Consultant, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Italy

“My work focuses on using art and culture to promote tolerance and social impact. The Al Burda Festival embodies these same values. It is an honor to be part of such an esteemed gathering.“

Gabo Arora

Filmmaker and Co-founder/Creative Director, TomorrowNeverKnows, USA

“One of the biggest challenges we face today is that first-hand experience of traditional arts and cultures is increasingly rare. Although social media links people with new ideas and images, at the same time, it creates a distance from the actual hands-on experience of making art.“

Dr. Lisa DeLong

Outreach and Harmony Programme Manager, The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts, UK

“I would like the Al Burda Festival to enable a dialogue and mutual understanding between people of different horizons.“

Farrokh Derakhshani

Director, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Switzerland

“I believe in platforms that promote and support arts and culture. The Al Burda Festival has the potential and ability to do so on a large scale for Islamic arts and its cultural makers. One of the biggest challenges for Islamic art and culture is the lack of space for discussion, which is why spaces like the Al Burda Festival are so important.“

Touria El Glaoui

Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, UK

“I would like the Al Burda Festival to make Islamic culture and art better known to the outside world and as such, help project a positive image of the religion, its people and culture.“

Anissa Helou

Chef, Food Writer, Journalist, Broadcaster, Consultant and Blogger, UK

“The opportunity to join the incredible roster of change makers to speak at Al Burda Festival presents an optimism of the future, through thought provocation and idea exchange.“

Riyad Joucka

Architect, Entrepreneur, Researcher and Founder, Middle East Architecture Network (MEAN) and Middle East Architecture Lab (MEAL), UAE

“As Director of the Aga Khan Museum, I am pleased to be part of the Festival as its focus fits perfectly with the mission of our museum, which is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the arts and culture of the Muslim world. The development of the arts in the Emirates has been remarkable over the last generation, and we will continue to look the region for ideas and ways in which we can present the arts of the Muslim world to the public both regionally and globally.“

Dr. Henry S. Kim

Director and CEO, Aga Khan Museum, Canada

“The subject of Islamic art and culture is extremely important. It is crucial at this present time that we all understand the history, the richness and diversity of the cultures of the Islamic world. Study and engagement with the subject both from within and outside the region is not only highly rewarding but highlights the need to preserve the cultural heritage of the Islamic world in all its facets – both tangible and intangible.“

Dr. Venetia Porter

Assistant Keeper, Department of the Middle East, British Museum, UK

“The Al Burda Festival provides a timely opportunity to reassess the role of Islamic art and culture in lieu with the technological developments of the 21st century, providing an important forum to discuss the legacy of its rich past in the contemporary moment.“

Sara Raza

Curator and Critic, USA

“The Al Burda Festival offers scholarly investigation in the evolution of Islamic cultures and traditions around the world. With the changing times influenced by technology, pluralism, climate change, the Festival will be a unique platform to discuss the future of Art and Architecture.“

Marina Tabassum

Principal Architect and 2016 Aga Khan Award Winner for Architecture, Bangladesh

“New museums are being devoted to the glorious art, culture and heritage of Islam, and increasingly regional artists are drawing upon that legacy for creative and forward-looking artistic production. The biggest challenges include the slowness of the young generation to take interest, as well as the branding of Islamic art as a religious tool and defining it as something other than a rich category of art.“

Roxane Zand

Deputy Chairman, Middle East and Gulf Region, Sotheby’s, UK


Al Burda Festival Live Stream

Wednesday November 14, 2018


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