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Sharjah’s newly rebuilt Africa Hall will open on 25 September 2018. The hall will serve as a venue for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings and stage plays related to the activities of the Africa Institute and as a meeting place for the larger community of Sharjah and the UAE.
The name of Sharjah’s Africa Hall, inaugurated in 1976 and demolished in 2015 due to safety concerns, is a reference to the venue’s first cultural and political event, the Arab-African Symposium, which opened on 14 December 1976.
The new Africa Hall is located next to the site of the future building for the Africa Institute, which will be designed by Sir David Adjaye. The institute will be a globally oriented platform for humanities and social science research, documentation, study and teaching about Africa, which aims to train a new generation of critical thinkers in African and African diaspora studies.
The opening programme for Africa Hall (25–30 September 2018) will include performances by Zied Zouari, Youssou N’Dour and The Fathy Salama Orchestra (25 September), Youssou N’Dour and Le Super Etoile de Dakar (26 September), Oumou Sangare (27 September), Mulatu Astatke (28 September), Lisa Simone, DJ Peter Adjaye (29 September), Somi (30 September) as well as a screening of the film Opera of the World (2017), directed by Manthia Diawara (28 September).
Following the opening of Africa Hall, the venue will host 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction, a symposium organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in conjunction with the exhibition Frank Bowling: Mappa Mundi.
Sharjah Art Foundation presents 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction, a symposium that revisits the original 5-plus-1 exhibition curated by Frank Bowling in 1969. The symposium considers Bowling’s work and that of his contemporaries, who invested abstraction with social, cultural and personal meaning.