SHARJAH, 18th March, 2022 (WAM) — Sharjah will shine a light on the rich cultural and literary legacy of Emirati and Arab artists and authors as part of its diverse programming agenda as Guest of Honour at the upcoming 2022 edition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), from 21th to 24th March.
Through an exciting range of activities, events, and visits organised by cultural and heritage institutions in the emirate, Sharjah will showcase the diversity of Arab literature and culture with Italian, European, and global visitors at BCBF this year.
Twenty-five eminent authors, illustrators, artists and storytellers from the UAE and the Arab world will lead 21 creative workshops, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, theatre and more, during the four-day event. They will visit schools to introduce Emirati and Arab literature to Italian and Arab students.
Khawla Al Mujaini, Director of Exhibitions and Festivals at Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), commented, “As the entity responsible for overseeing the emirate’s Guest of Honour activities, SBA is keen on showcasing programmes that represent the Emirati and Arab cultural and creative movement in line with the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to build bridges of cross-cultural communication and open new prospects for collaboration and joint action between Arab cultures with nations around the world.”
Al Mujaini added, “Hosting Emirati and Arab authors and illustrators at BCBF 2022 stems from our goal of supporting children’s literature and honing the skills and expertise of professionals in this sector.
“In preparation for their participation at BCBF 2022, Emirati and Arab illustrators were upskilled through ‘Illustration Production Workshops’ in collaboration with global mentors from different cultural backgrounds. The practical, hands-on training has broadened their practice and opened a new window of opportunity for artists in Sharjah and the Arab world.”
On the opening day on 21st March, Kalimat Foundation for Children Empowerment (KF) will organise a session highlighting the “Pledge a Library” initiative, which will be presented by Amna Al Mazmi, Director of the Foundation; Veronica Cerruti, Director, Bologna Library, and Flavia Cristiano, President, Italian Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).
Illustration workshops organised on Day 1 include a freehand drawing workshop led by Nasser Nasrallah; a session hosted by Mimaster, a professional training centre, at the Illustrators Survival Corner, and an “Island World Building” workshop by artist Asmaa Al Hosani for participants aged 8 to 11.
Emirati artist, Abdullah Al Sharhan, will lead a storytelling and book-signing session for 4 to 6-year-olds, during a visit to an international school to encourage early readers to explore and learn their first words through pictures, shapes and colours.