Emirates Airline Festival of Literature promises a city-wide experience in 2021

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Image
An image from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2018

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the international literature festival, announced that it is joining forces with the Jameel Art Centre and Alserkal Avenue to extend the 2021 festival across the city over three weekends from 29 January to 13 February.

The Festival will be held under the theme ‘Change the Story’ embracing literature, art, film, food and performance. Beginning at the Jameel Arts Centre on 29 January, the festival will end at Alserkal Avenue on Saturday 13 February.

The first weekend of the Emirates LitFest at the Jameel Arts Centre, taking place between 29th and 30th January, will offer a weekend of talks, workshops, masterclasses and literary-themed exhibitions linking art, popular culture, and literature against the backdrop of Dubai’s contemporary arts museum and Sculpture Park.

This will be followed by the InterContinental Festival City’s big weekend, from 4 to 6th February, where audiences will enjoy more than 80 different sessions, workshops and performances featuring writers belonging to all genres from across the globe.

The third and final weekend of Emirates LitFest will conclude on 12-13 February at Alserkal Avenue. The last weekend will be a community celebration of film, food, creativity and all things literary .

Ahlam Bolooki Image
Ahlam Bolooki
Festival Director
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

“This has been a difficult year for all of us, particularly the creative sector, which is facing unprecedented challenges. We want to work with our partners and friends to ensure our creative communities continue to thrive. Bringing the LitFest magic to these three fantastic venues across Dubai allows them to reach new audiences while extending our Festival’s reach, bridging the gap between art, creativity and literature. Given our festival theme ‘Change the Story’, it’s particularly appropriate to widen our scope this year and change the narrative by joining hands with our friends in the cultural community to bring back live events in 2021. We have all missed the atmosphere and connection that can only be experienced by actually being physically present, and we are very eager and excited to welcome audiences back, safely.”

Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel, said, “Jameel Arts Centre is a contemporary arts museum but the written word has always been at its core through our publishing program, the Jameel Library, book clubs and research and writing commissions. Art Jameel’s approach has always been interdisciplinary and, by supporting the Literature Festival this year, we are able to bring to the forefront our shared interests in creative writing, reading and the Arabic language. We are so looking forward to bringing together the arts and literary communities to celebrate creativity in all its forms, at the Jameel and in the adjacent Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park.”

Vilma Jurkute, Director of Alserkal, said, “Alserkal’s long-standing commitment to scholarship, artistic production and research is grounded in collective thinking and the collaborative strength of our polyphonic communities to pioneer unconventional ways of thinking. As a catalyst for ideas for more than a decade, we have delivered our public promise through forward-thinking, year-round cultural productions that serve as a platform for creative expression in all its forms. We look forward to expanding our program to welcome a weekend of thought-provoking discussions and presentations in celebration of the spoken and written word, in partnership with Emirates Literature Festival.”

The festival will be completely compliant with all COVID-19 related precautionary measures and regulations. In addition to measures such as mandatory masks and temperature checks, observing social distancing measures across all three venues will be vital.

The Emirates Literature Foundation is the home of the award-winning Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. It is a not-for-profit organization which supports and nurtures literature in the UAE and the region through a program of varied cultural initiatives.

The Festival is being held with the support of the Emirates Airline Founding Partners and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the dedicated heritage, arts and culture authority of the Emirate.