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The 11th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF) officially opens to the public on Friday, February 3rd, 2023, at 9pm, at the Al Jazeera Al Hamra Heritage Village – the historic home of the ancient Al Za’ab tribe and pearling village dating back to the 17th century.
The theme of RAKFAF 2023
Established under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, this year’s festival will showcase the talent of more than 120 local and international artists from over 35 countries under the theme of Nature. The 11th edition of RAKFAF is presented by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority (RAKTDA), supported by partners including Stevin Rock LLC, RAK Ports, RAK Economic Zone, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, VOX Cinemas, RAK Transportation Authority, RAK Hospitality Holding, Accenture Song and MonViso.
The 2023 theme pushes boundaries to display artists’ interpretations of nature conveyed through the senses emphasizing the creative minds of painters, sculptors, designers, filmmakers, and photographers to create an immersive experience for all.
Cultural and Creative experience
From art to heritage talks, pet-oriented events, thematic weekend programs, art workshops, musical performances, film screenings and much more, 2023 RAKFAF will engage the community through diverse cultural and creative experiences.
Festival Curator and Art Director for RAKFAF, Alfio Tommasini says: “The perception of nature around us always starts from a journey that begins inside of ourselves. In the case of those who transform it into artistic forms, a personal sensibility is shared with us to stimulate our curiosity and show us the many possibilities of representing it. Ras Al Khaimah as a region itself is an enchanting desert that includes the rich heritage of the Al Hamra Heritage village – a site carved out of clay, sand and coral. RAKFAF is a meaningful connecting point for global artists to come together, interact and showcase their unique art depicting nature in various forms.”
Exclusive culinary Journey at RAKFAF
Celebrating a new gastronomical adventure, RAKFAF is proud to host the first-ever Middle East culinary journey by Chef Paolo and Kelly Picarazzi from the award-winning Australian restaurant Antica Australis. Inspired by Ras Al Khaimah’s organic farms, and foraged natural flora, the team will curate a special four-course Italian/Emirati fusion menu. Cultural aficionados and food lovers can enjoy this once-in-a-life-time exclusive food and storytelling style of dining only for two days at the Al Jazeera Al Hamra Heritage Village from February 10th-11th and is one that is not to be missed!
Film screenings at RAKFAF
The festival will also host the Middle East premiere of The Chocolate War – a documentary by Miki Mistrati. The film will be followed by a panel discussion led by human rights lawyer, Terry Collingsworth, shedding light on the ethical sourcing of cocoa and production of chocolate. Attendees will also be able to enjoy other outdoor screenings of foreign film hosted by VOX Cinemas with films from the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai, Embassy and Consulate General of France in UAE, and Institut Français.
6 special exhibitions at RAKFAF
This year, RAKFAF will feature six special exhibitions in collaboration with their cultural partners including the Marinko Sudac Foundation, US Mission to the UAE, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Abu Dhabi, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai, Consulate General of France in Dubai, and FLICK Camera. To celebrate unity and diversity, each bayt (meaning ‘house’ in Arabic) will act as a dedicated space for these partners to interpret and define Nature in their own way.
A key highlight of the festival is the Avant-garde artworks from Central and Eastern Europe presented by Croatian curator and art collector, Marinko Sudac as a part of the Marinko Sudac Foundation and the Gorgona Group. Themed ‘The Solitude of Thought’, the exhibition will include works from variety of artists including renowned featured artists, Marko Pogacnik and David Nez.
A permanent installation created for the 2023 RAKFAF, Pogacnik’s ‘Portal of Peace’ represents his philosophical interpretation of the relationship between humans and the biosphere. This permanent installation is made possible by Stevin Rock LLC.
Speaking ahead of next week’s opening, Suqrat bin Bisher, Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival concludes, “We are extremely delighted to host the 11th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival reinforcing the presence of our Emirate at the heart of UAE’s art and cultural scene. This year’s festival inspired by our regional treasure, the Arabian Almond, challenges us to reconsider our own relationship with the natural environment, its influence on our lives and what can we do to preserve it for future generations. I’m proud to see the ingenuity of so many talented artists with their creative perceptions of nature through an array of modern art forms. We look forward to welcoming all visitors, locally and internationally, to this massive event”.
More information and Location
For more information on the public-free Festival or to register for any of the workshops, activities, tours, film screenings, visit www.rakfinearts.ae | have a look at the e-catalogue