Beirut and Tunis to host month-long Spring Festival

Published March 29th, 2016 - 01:28 GMT
This is the seventh year of the festival that features music, theatre, dance, visual arts, cinema, and literature from around the world. (Ahram)
This is the seventh year of the festival that features music, theatre, dance, visual arts, cinema, and literature from around the world. (Ahram)

Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy (Culture Resource) brings the global to the local in the seventh edition of its flagship festival, Spring, taking place between 28 April and running for a month. 

With a programme showcasing a globally diverse line-up, the events will take place simultaneously in Beirut and Tunis.

This year will feature artists from China, India, Palestine, Mali, Syria, Tunisia, and Lebanon.

Mawred’s biannual Spring festival started in 2004 as a means of celebrating their activities, and acting as a platform for audience and artists to engage and discuss important issues, such as artistic freedoms.

In past years, several editions of the Spring Festival also took place in Cairo, at the stage of El Genaina Theatre. This however has been halted when in November 2014 Al Mawred Al Thaqafy announced its suspension of activities in Egypt.

The festival particularly aims to reach out to artists who define art and lead change, presenting the creative and the unconventional.

In the past six editions of the festival, Spring has presented over 150 artists from more than 20 countries across all forms of arts.

Over the years the festival has grown to include international and contemporary artists across many fields- music, theatre, dance, visual arts, cinema, and literature.

The festival also acts as a space for international artists to gain exposure in the Arab region, and a space ripe for cross-cultural exchanges, connections and collaborations.

This edition is especially interesting to and unique for us, because we are introducing two new showcases within the festival’s program that will focus the spotlight on the achievements of the artists and organizations that have benefitted from our programs over the years,” said Rana Yazaji, the director of Culture Resource.

This year’s highlights will include four different showcases, Tazamon, Abbara, Red Zone and In Memory.

Tazamon is an initiative spotlighting the work of artists supported through Mawred’s grants.

Abbara will feature the cultural organisations in Mawred’s network, which have accomplished outstanding social interventions though their work.

Red Zone tackles the theme of overcoming barriers, freedom of expression, inclusion and dialogue, and showcases artists whose work deals with these subjects.

In Memory will honour Ezzedine Gannoun, an award-winning pioneer of Tunisian theatre and one of the founding members of Mawred, who passed away last year on 29 March.

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