About Spring of Culture 2017


Each year at this time, we present you with a diverse range of family-friendly events and programs. This season, the Spring of Culture Festival brings with it  many surprises that will satisfy and please the art and culture community and audience.

Now in its 12th year, the Spring of Culture Festival is part of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities’ year-long celebration of the archaeological heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain held under the slogan “Our Year of Archaeology” in 2017. The festival’s kick-off date coincides with Arab Tourism Day, which was adopted when Manama was the Capital of Arab Tourism in 2013 and commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the famous Arab traveler Ibn Battuta.

The Audience will enjoy a diverse array of exceptional events and magical evenings that cover everything from archaeology to culture and art, starting with the timeless love story of “Antar and Abla” in a brilliant historical opera production at the Bahrain National Theatre which is produced by Opera Lebanon. The theatre’s lobby also houses stunning visual artworks taking part in the 43rd Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition.

A who’s-who lineup of Arab and international singers will also perform in the festival, including soprano trio Musica Scotto Le Stelle, Chelsey Green and the Green Project Ensemble, famous Mexican guitarist Paco Renteria, English Blues singer Dana Gillespie, and chart-topping English band UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue.

Featured Arab singers include Majed Al Muhandis and Waleed Al Shami, Palestinian artist Omar Kamal, Syrian artist Bashar Zarkan, and Mo Zowayed & Majaz Band. Moreover, the audience will be treated to a wholly unique audio experience featuring workers of the Bahrain National Quarry. Families are spoiled for choice with an array of international performances by professional artists in venues across the Kingdom of Bahrain. These include Groove Onkels, a percussion band that does not use actual musical instruments, as well as the amazing acrobatic lighthearted dance extravaganza of Tap Factory. Another not-to-miss show is the magic and slight of hand of Argentine Edgar Groll, and the Canadian theatrical production “Journey to the Planet of the Senses”. Moreover, the audience can enjoy the incredible Indian acrobatic art of Pole Mallakhamba, the marvelously diverse soundtracks of the contemporary circus Traces, and the fun interactive Bahraini children production, A Tale or Two for Alef.

The Spring of Culture Festival also features prominent Arab and international public figures in a series of talks held in cooperation with the Shaikh Ebrahim bin  Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research. The intellectuals, media and literary personalities include Saudi broadcaster and journalist Dawood Al-Shirian, Tunisia’s former Minister of Culture Sonia M’barek, Lebanese writer and editor Fares Youwakim, Lebanese writer Ivana Marchalian, Joshua David, Palestinian poet Ehab Bseiso, pioneering Palestinian artist and writer Raeda Taha, and American-Egyptian writer and Director of London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Middle East and Gulf Security program, Mamoun Fandy. In addition, a number of lectures and seminars about photography, food culture, and Ancient Tylos-Period statues will be held as part of the festival, as well as lectures by French archaeologist Dr. Pierre Lombard and Bahraini researcher and writer Dr. Abdullah Al-Madani.

The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities will also inaugurate a number of important cultural infrastructure projects such as Dar Al-Riffa Al-Oda in East Riffa and Al-Maktaba Al-Khalifiya in Muharraq. A number of sites of historical significance will also be highlighted, such as Al-Khamis Mosque, whose status as the most important Islamic archaeological site in the Gulf region will be highlighted as part of a major conference on Islamic archaeology to be held in the Bahrain National Museum, as well as celebrating the deep-rooted heritage of Bab Al-Bahrain’s gold industry. The festival will also showcase Bahrain’s intangible heritage of seafaring chants and folk music with weekly concerts by the Mohammed bin Faris Band and Fjiri music at Dar Al-Muharraq The slated art and culture exhibitions will open new horizons for visitors into different worlds and perspectives, such as the collaborative “Out Of Time” exhibit which brings together 20 artists from around the world, “Two Architects Two Visions” featuring the works of a Saudi-Italian pair of artists, and “The Selfless Holy Ground” exhibition which depicts the contradiction between the spiritual and religious connotations of sacred rituals and human nature, as well as an exhibition on the UNESCO World Heritage-inscribed “Pearling Path” and “Do You Trust Me?” photography exhibition.

Fans of the seventh art will enjoy a selection of films during the Japan Film Festival, a special event within Spring of Culture organized in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy and the Japan Foundation in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Moreover, the festival includes a showing of the film The Pearl Diver which chronicles the history of the natural pearl divers in the Arabian Gulf nations, as well as other memorable movies.

Opportunities abound for the public to participate in a large number of educational programs and workshops, such as the “How to Make Pearl Jewelry” workshop which follows the path of the pearl over a 3-kilometer open-air museum in Muharraq, and “My Dish, My Gift” cooking workshop, which precedes the launch of the second edition of the book Food is Culture. As part of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities’ year-long celebration of Bahrain’s archaeological heritage in 2017 under the slogan “Our Year of Archaeology”, the children-focused workshop entitled “Enkiru’s Journey Through the Ages” will help to foster the spirit of belonging and devotion through a historical account about the civilizations which once inhabited this land.

The workshop series also include a pair of workshops on the art of carpet making and silversmithing, with the objective of supporting the revival traditional crafts that were once widely practiced in Bahrain, as well as several other educational workshops.

To stay updated on the latest news about the activities taking place during the festival, please follow us on our official channel @springofculture on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Full details on the festival and its activities is available on this website. We look forward to all of your support and encourage  you to engage with us, for your presence is what gives our festival’s activities life and vibrancy.

Thank you and enjoy the celebrations!

Warm regards,
The Spring of Culture Festival Team




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