Sharbaka: Entanglement/Attunement

Organized by Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought

This inaugural exhibition of al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art at New York University Abu Dhabi was commissioned by New York University’s 19 Washington Square North in New York.


May Al-Dabbagh, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy,  Principal Investigator, Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought


Farah Al Qasimi, Vikram Divecha, Monira Al Qadiri, Ala Younis, and Alaa Edris

Dates: December 6, 2021 - May 6, 2022
Location: 19 Washington Square, New York University, New York

“Sharbaka” is a kind of rhythmic clapping historically practiced by pearl divers in the Gulf region. The music emerges through a feeling of deep attunement to bodies in movement. Yet, it is also a word used to describe the feeling of entanglement in Arabic.
How might Sharbaka’s meanings inspire us to pay attention to a dual sense of entanglement/attunement as we emerge together from this global pandemic?

This exhibition, Sharbaka, features five artists whose works serve as archives of the United Arab Emirates, exploring themes of gender, globalization, capitalism, mobility and migration. Taken together, these archives illuminate the forms of entanglement and attunement that constitute the global flows of capital, ideas, and people within the Gulf, through the Indian Ocean and East Africa, and across the Arab region.

Sharbaka is conceived as a processual exhibition in which the art unfolds through a range of conversations that bring together the arts and social sciences: programs, workshops, and talks that take place through the New York University Global Network. The exhibition space becomes a portal through which to enter and move rather than marking the final destination.

How might we feel our way as we cross this threshold? How do we reconnect with our bodies and with one another as we emerge? What kind of conversations will we have along the way?

Clap. Clap.

Program Highlights