Alserkal’s summer: More Than Human

Alserkal Avenue has picked an interesting theme for its summer programme, running over three weekends in August: More Than Human looks at the interaction (or maybe intersection) between human and non-human lives.

The programming has been handed over to five young, emerging artists – Fatema Al Fardan, Zuhoor Al Sayegh, Lubnah Ansari, Arthur De Oiliveira, and Vamika Sinha. Their sessions include workshops, panel discussions, live interactive performances, an exhibition at Jossa by Alserkal, and film screenings, and an Alserkal Arts Foundation programme – a discussion group with former resident Iram Ghufran, and a screening of ‘The Outside In’ by Hansa Thapliyal.

The three weekends each address a different sub-theme: for 13-14 August it’s Under-Ground, the seeds and invisible networks of roots and mycelium that lie beneath the surface (programming by artists Fatema Al Fardan and Zuhoor Al Sayegh). Ground (20 and 21 August, programming by artist/researcher Lubnah Ansari and artist, filmmaker, poet, and theatre practitioner Arthur de Oliviera) looks at the structures and homes that humans and non-humans occupy. And Beyond-Ground (27 and 28 August, programmed by writer, poet, and photographer Vamika Sinha) escapes the earth’s limitations to explore new places on the ground and beyond.

All events are free but pre-registration is required for some (spaces may be limited). The schedule:


13 August 12-2pm Tracing Paper: Fatema Al Fardan & Zuhoor Al Sayegh. Paper making workshop utilising different elements of the palm tree. A4 Space

13 August 3-5pm Secret Underground Networks: conversation with Dima Al Srouri (lecturer in Urban Planning & Development at the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, director of the Biospheric City Lab sustainable development consultancy, and mushroom enthusiast). Jossa by Alserkal

13 August 5.30-7.30pm Amulets of Palm: Maitha AlSuwaidi & Reem Almenhali. Multimedia performance featuring “magical narratives surrounding palm trees and the people of the palm”. Jossa by Alserkal

13 August 4.30-5.30pm Tracing Paper Showcase: artworks produced in the Tracing Paper workshop. Jossa by Alserkal


20 August 12-2pm making room: Shama Nair and Zawyeh Gallery. Workshop using collage and found objects as a way to re-imagine space and “provide a visual vocabulary to the incommunicable”. Zawyeh Gallery

20 August 3-5pm Moving Mountains: sound artist Safeya Alblooshi collaborates with Joint Space in an experimental workshop that explores often-overlooked sensations of the ground. Joint Space (Warehouse 83)

20 August 6.30-8pm The Outside In (dir Hansa Thapliyal , 2019). Film documenting the art practices and impulses of two dollmakers and the worlds their dolls represent. The filmmaker joins Alserkal Arts Foundation resident Iram Ghufranfor a post-screening discussion. Alserkal Arts Foundation (warehouse 50/51)

20 August 7.30-8.30pm Narrated Liquid Contaminants: Safeya Alblooshi. Interactive multichannel sound installation, “a form of situated listening that addresses topics of contaminated waterbodies and the effect they play on the environment”. Jossa by Alserkal

21 August 12-1.30pm Sun + Water + Time: Gulf Photo Plus in collaboration with Ame Artistic Studio: cyanotype photography – image-making using the organic elements that were the cornerstone of all visual creation in the pre-digital world. Jossa by Alserkal

21 August 2.30pm Fata Morgana (dir Werner Herzog, 1971). Herzog spent a couple of years sporadically filming in in the Sahara, only subsequently editing the results into a 79-minute work that uses the desert as “the background for his own vision of man’s compulsion to corrupt and debase himself, as well as the world in which he lives”. Cinema Akil

21 August 4-6pm Narrated Liquid Contaminants: Safeya Alblooshi. A second session of the multichannel sound installation, “a form of situated listening that addresses topics of contaminated waterbodies and the effect they play on the environment”. Jossa by Alserkal


27 August 1.30-3pm Fiction writing workshop: Zoe Patterson in collaboration with CRANK. Participants will be encouraged to ideate and write a new character or alternative version of themselves using fiction, with the opportunity to workshop and submit their work to Postscript magazine and CRANK (Warehouse 43)

27 August 4-5.30pm Coffee Cup Reading Workshop: examines ritualised forms of reading earthly materials and symbols to access the future. KAVE (Warehouse 20)

27 August 6-7.30pm Generative Human: MORROW Collective and Vamika Sinha, with SIMA Dance Company. Performance, NFT exhibition and discussion that suggest how the body responds to and transcends encounters with digital art/NFTs. Sima Performing Arts

28 August 10am-12pm DNA Sound Healing Workshop. DNA Wellness (Warehouse 80)

28 August 2.30pm So What if the Goats Die(dir Sofia Alaoui, 2020). A 23-minute film with a lot of heft – a young shepherd is trapped by snow in the High Atlas and his animals are wasting away. He must go to find supplies at a market village – but when he gets there, he finds the village abandoned due to a strange supernatural event that has wreaked havoc on the lives of all believers. Cinema Akil

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