Publication details

Corniche
2019
Comic Anthology
Paperback
202 pages
21.0 x 29.7 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation

Overview

As part of its annual programming, the Publications department at Sharjah Art Foundation organises the FOCAL POINT art book fair. Unlike other formats accessible to the UAE audiences, the fair provides a platform to independent publishers from across the world, with a special focus on the MEASA region as well as the Global South. By bringing together both established and newer initiatives in an intensive three-day format, the fair hopes to catalyse new dialogue and collaborations as well as encourage dissemination and distribution of media that do not make their way to the UAE through the usual commercial means.

In the lead-up to the fair, and throughout the three-day event, the Foundation’s Learning department offers free-of-cost workshops and learning opportunities for different age groups and abilities. Each year, the content is designed to reflect the thematic engagements of the fair.

The 2019 edition of FOCAL POINT focused a spotlight on the production, content and dissemination of zines and comics in contemporary independent publishing. In addition to a large number of zines and comics, invited publishers brought critical texts that examine the zine and comic subculture and its variations across different countries and social structures. The Foundation used its own curated section, EDIT, as a platform for handpicked material that was sourced directly from artists, studios and printing presses from across the world.

To complement the thematic direction, the Learning department organised several zine and comic workshops and meet-ups with UAE-based artists and illustrators. The workshop Comic
Makers, held from 24 to 26 September, provided one of the first platforms in the UAE for participants to engage with local comic makers in story building, peer collaborations and book arts. What started as an opportunity to connect and create soon gained momentum, and a draft for the first anthology of local comics was proposed. Led by local artist Nasir Nasrullah, the 15 artists who conducted the workshops came together to create new content—in English and in Arabic—that was put together in a book format in only two weeks, ready in time to be launched on the first day of the fair.

Corniche is a unique entry into the minds of artists living in the UAE and the first anthology of comics in the country. The publication includes the work of artists Ruba Al Araji, Azim Al Ghussein, Alya Al Hammadi, Aysha AlHamrani, Mouza AlHamrani (also the designer), Reem Al Marri, Khawla AlMarzooqi, Mohammed Al Mohanna, Shihabaldeen Al Musharaf, Issa AlNoaimi, Mohammed Al Shaibani, Manar Laham, Khalid Mezaina, Ibrahim Swaid, and Ayesha Thani. Each story carries the mark of its maker, complete with the artist’s signature tools, which range from traditional ink and pencil to new media electronic tablets.

The cover, designed by Nasrallah, pays homage to the Sharjah Corniche, which is located near many of the Foundation venues. The Corniche was also the view the collaborators could see through the windows of Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, where they sat together to produce the content. In another personal touch, the cover art features the International Space Station, a nod to the destination of the first Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori. The Corniche collaborators watched his milestone journey together on a laptop from the workshop space. These, and other personal experiences of shared diversity, are what truly enrich the stories in Corniche.

Corniche would normally be available at the Sharjah Art Shops in Al Mureijah Art Spaces, Al Mureijah Square, and in Arts Square, but the shops are currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the shops again when the crisis has passed.

Artwork Images

Corniche
2019
Comic Anthology
202 pages
21.0 x 29.7 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation

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 Image

Corniche
2019
Comic Anthology
202 pages
21.0 x 29.7 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation

 Image

Corniche (detail of artwork by Khalid Mezaina)
2019
Comic Anthology
202 pages
21.0 x 29.7 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation

 Image

Corniche (detail of artwork by Azim Al Ghussein)
2019
Comic Anthology
202 pages
21.0 x 29.7 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation

 Image

Corniche (detail of artwork by Issa Al Noaimi)
2019
Comic Anthology
202 pages
21.0 x 29.7 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation

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