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Inside Alserkal Avenue: The home of Dubai’s melting pot art community

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Art Classes at Alserkal Avenue.
Art Classes at Alserkal Avenue.   -   Copyright  Euronews
By Evan Bourke  & Sarah Hedley Hymers

Alserkal Avenue is home to Dubai’s multi-cultural art community. An inclusive space where Dubai’s 200 nationalities can come together, this block of streets – not a single avenue, as the name suggests – is lined with warehouses and units converted into galleries, cafes and even fitness centres.

Its annual programme of free events and exhibitions, beginning with January’s Quoz Arts Fest, is open to all. Upcoming highlights include Alserkal Art Week, running from 3 to 13 March 2022, which will begin with the launch of ‘A Slightly Curving Place’, showing at Concrete until 22 March.

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Art fans in a pet-friendly gallery in Alserkal AvenueEuronews

This audio play and a video installation from self-taught acoustic archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi brings together writers, choreographers, composers, actors, dancers, musicians, field recordists, and sound, light and graphic designers to create a connection with the past. The name, a translation of Prakrit phrase ‘Isipabbharabhumi’, refers to an area in the heavens described in Jain cosmology; this slightly curved space, shaped like a parasol, is where souls reside in eternal isolation.

The host gallery, Concrete, is itself a point of interest. Designed by Iyad Alsaka of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), and nominated for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, its flexible floor plan and four 8.10-metre pivoting and sliding walls can create multiple space configurations to accommodate various events, from fashion shows to performances.

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Food vendors in Alserkal Avenue.Euronews

Other events during Alserkal Art Week include Alserkal Lates. Taking place on 8 March, galleries stay open from 10am until 10pm allowing visitors more time to enjoy the exhibitions outside of standard operating hours from 10am to 6pm.

Majlis Talks will also return on 8 March from 5pm to 6.30pm. Majlis is the Arabic word for council, used to describe meeting places. Held in The Yard, an open square in front of Concrete gallery, the talks hosted by curators, artists and gallerists from multiple backgrounds will explore art in the region.

For more information, visit https://alserkal.online

Video editor • Evan Bourke