Sharjah Art Foundation announces the programme and exhibitors for FOCAL POINT, the region’s largest and most diverse art book fair. Returning for its fourth edition, the fair brings together printed matter from the MEASA (Middle East, Africa, South Asia) region, including artist books, academic volumes and journals, zines and other non-traditional and experimental publications from more than 120 publishers, magazines, artists, editors, authors and makers from the UAE and MEASA region. FOCAL POINT takes place from 9 to 11 December 2021 in Sharjah Art Foundation’s Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, Arts Square.

For the first time this year, FOCAL POINT will feature a day-long talks programme at the iconic Flying Saucer about new books released from the Foundation, The Africa Institute and publications supported and made possible by the FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant. The event will bring together publishers, distributors, art professionals, knowledge producers, graphic designers, writers, journalists and editors to learn about these publications.

FOCAL POINT’s public programme extends throughout the art book fair with children and community workshops, music events and more.

A number of major publications and artist monographs will launch during FOCAL POINT 2021. These include:

Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination, published by Sharjah Art Foundation, The Africa Institute and Skira, a significant monograph discussing the places, people, texts, ideas and materials that have shaped the unique practice of the New York–based Egyptian artist Ahmed Morsi.

Creating Dangerously: A Postscript to Sharjah Biennial 14, a collection of essays, poems and thoughts representing an extension of the SB14 platform, Making New Time, edited by Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation.

The second edition of Beirut Bereft: The Architecture of the Forsaken and Map of the Derelict, a collaborative publication and exhibition project by Rasha Salti and Ziad Antar, which was originally commissioned, published and produced for Sharjah Biennial 9 (2009).

Corniche 3, a SAF Community publication project which brings together artists specialised in comics and illustrations based in the UAE and broader region.

The Africa Institute will launch Selene Wendt’s latest book Beyond the Door of No Return: Confronting Hidden Colonial Histories through Contemporary Art which explores the legacies of colonialism in contemporary art as well as the memoirs of Ibrahim El-Salahi, At Home in the World, tracing his life and career from Khartoum to Doha to São Paulo to New York.

Ma3azef, in collaboration with SHFRA studios and Barzakh, will release The Moment of Tarab, which takes an intimate look into the lives of singing legends such as Fayrouz and Abu Bakr Salem, and Omissions in the Official Narrative, an anthology of the Golden Age of Arabic music. These two publications are produced as a result of the 2019 FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant, awarded to Ma3azef.


9–11 December 2021

 Talks Programme: The Flying Saucer

10:00 am–4:00 pm, 9 December

 Art Book Fair: Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, Arts Square

4:00 pm–10:00 pm, 9–11 December