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Largest showcase to date for Sikka 2013

This year’s edition to focus on music, film and performing arts

Gulf News

Dubai: Sikka is coming back with much more in store for art aficionados, with this year’s edition focusing on other art forms, such as music, film, performing arts and the spoken word.

Khalil Abdul Wahid, Visual Arts Manager at Dubai Culture, said that what makes this edition different is that in the previous editions, visual arts took most of the focus, but this year they have added more disciplines.

Sikka 2013, which will run from March 14-24 concurrently with Art Week, will boast new commissioned work from over 70 Emirati and UAE-based artists, and 14 multi-disciplinary initiatives and collectives, as well as a number of special projects, panel discussions, live music and entertainment, film screenings, performances, and a child-centric educational programme.

During the fair, the houses, courtyards and alleyways of Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood will come alive with a showcase of art projects and programmes, which were specially commissioned for the fair.

Sikka is Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture)’s contemporary art fair and is held under the patronage of Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture.

Selected artists include some 48 visual artists working across a variety of traditional and contemporary art mediums, including six filmmakers who will shed light on the city’s growing cinematic industry with films varying from animation to short film and experimental documentary.

Under the direction of well-known fusion guitarist, Kamal Musallam, 15 musicians will be developing a music CD, as well as performing live. Kamal Musallam, who was appointed music producer for this Sikka’s edition, said that usually he takes Arabic music to countries around the world, but this project will bring the music of the world to Dubai.

Mussallam said that they “are merging 15 different musical cultures in one product and it will be a very rich record that should appeal to a bigger audience and represent the true spirit of this cosmopolitan city”. The CD wil have 15 different tracks from 15 different artists that play their own genre and music.

This edition also has three performing art collectives, that will present fresh performances in theatre, the spoken word and live art. Dorian “Paul D” Rogers, founder of Rooftop Rhythms - Abu Dhabi’s first poetry open mike, who is part of Sikka, said that Sikka is a great channel for him to express his art. He said that poetry has a great audience in the UAE because it is part of the country’s traditions.

Abdul Wahid said that Sikka aims to showcase the talent that is available in the UAE. Sikka is a place where people can experience home-grown creativity at its liveliest and best, in the heart of Dubai.

Mark Pilkington, professor of photography at the American University of Sharjah and one of the participants, said, “One of the most important things about Sikka is that it is commissioning new works and we are not just looking at old work or established work.”

Mohammad Jumairy, a first year student at Zayed University who plans to study art and psychology, said for him Sikka is fun and he learned a lot from the entire process, especially as he was also interning at Sikka.