FOCAL POINT Art Book Fair Returns to Sharjah Art Foundation  


The second edition of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual art book fair runs from 14 to 16 November 2019

Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual art book fair, FOCAL POINT, returns for its second edition from 14 to 16 November. With a focus on comics and zines this year, FOCAL POINT 2019 will present printed matter from over 150 independent publishers and artists from the region and across the world alongside publications from a select number of larger, more established publishing houses. FOCAL POINT caters to the interdisciplinary nature of art publishing by highlighting independent and alternative publishing practices, with many publications displayed in curated sections. FOCAL POINT 2019 also marks the foundation’s participation in this year’s celebration of Sharjah as the 2019 UNESCO World Book Capital.

Taking place in the historic Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, the 174-year-old heritage house that sits across from Sharjah’s port, FOCAL POINT 2019 also includes a variety of education workshops, ranging from Zine Making to How to Draw Manga.

Local music bands Adiga and Sways N Edges will perform live on Friday and Saturday, and a number of food and beverage vendors will also be on site.

Further information follows below.

Opening Hours 

  • Thursday, 14 November 2019

4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Friday, 15 November 2019

4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Saturday, 16 November 2019

2:00 pm–9:00 pm

Participants and Exhibitors

FOCAL POINT 2019 is curated across five sections: EDIT, INDEPENDENT, UAE, SAF PUBLICATIONS and MAGAZINES. The independent and alternative publishers, art collectives, artists and bookmakers participating in each section of the fair are listed below.

  • EDIT

The EDIT section features curated presentations by arts organisations, creatives, artists and publishers from various networks and regions. This year’s participants are African Art Book Fair, Ashkal Alwan, BAZAR Art Book Fair, Chimurenga, Singapore Art Book Fair, Terremoto, Vasl Artists’ Association, Ya Hala Studio Archive and Sharjah Art Foundation.

The section curated by Sharjah Art Foundation includes The 1961 Projects, Africa World Press, Arab comics, Art 21, Art Africa magazine, The Art of Boo, Asia Art Archive, ASJC Art Sonje Center, Barakunan, Black Dog Press, Café Royal Books, The Carton / Art and Then Some, Combined Academic Publishers, Dar Al Naim Art, Doubleshot Studios, Fanzeen Comics, Fantagraphics, follow the halo, Half Letter Press / Temporary Service, Illusion comics, Jabal Amman Publishers, Jaffat Alaqlam, Journal Safar, Kalimat Magazine, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Khatt Books, Khoj, Kitabi printing, KOTP Cartoon, Kuwait Poets Society / Ink and Oil zine, Lab 619, Le Port a jauni, LIE Design & Art Direction, Lifta Volumes, Locale, Marg, Mahrousa, Minaa Zine, Mizna, Moniker Press, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press), Paperheads, Prance Press, Qamise, Reliable Copy, Ruja Press, Shortt Editions, Third Culture, Tiny Splendor and Triple Canopy as well as Aala Sharfi, Abderrahman Hamad, Ahmed Abbas, Alya Al Hamadi, Amal Al Khaja, Ammar AlAttar, Ayesha Al Ali, Ayesha Thani, Ayman Zedani, Aysha Al Hamrani, Azim Al Ghussein, Eman Al Raeesi, Eman El Eghfeli, Enas Satir, Farid Nagy, Fatima Al Marzouqi, Hanan Al Karargy, Hassan Al Najjar, Hessa Al Ajmani, Hussain AlJabi, Ibrahim Souid, Iman Shaggag, Issa AlNoaimi, Khadija Al Saaidi, Khalid Mezaina, Khawla Al-Marri & Shahd AlShammari, Khawla AlMarzooqi, Lutfi Zayed, Maha Al-Asaker & Nada Faris, Manar Laham, Maryam Al Hosani, Maryam Al Saaidi, Maryam Al Zarooni, May Rashid, Mohammad Mohanna, Mohammed Al Shaibani, Moira Adel, Mouza Al Hamrani, Mustafa Abuzikra, Naima AbdulWahid, Nasir Nasrallah, OwaikeO, Philipe Nagy, Reem Al Marri, Ruba Al Araji, Sahla Jamal, Salha Obaid, Sana Haroon, Sara Ahmed, Shefa AlHammadi, Shihabaldeen Al Musharaf and Zahra Al-Mahdi.


This section includes independent publishers and distributors from across the world, including Afterall Publishing, Africa Institute, Blaft Publications, The Book Society/mediabus, Book Works, Darat Al Funun, Farside Collective, The Funambulist, Ikrek, Iniva, Islam Aly, Kaph Books, Kawkab ElRasameen, Kulte Editions, Lars Müller Publishers, Lendroit éditions, Maamoul Press, OOMK, The Palestinian Museum, Perimeter Books, Raking Leaves, Sharjah Architecture Triennial, Tara Books, TokTok magazine, Tosh Fesh, Ugly Duckling Presse and Valiz.

  • UAE

This section features publications by local institutions and art galleries from across the United Arab Emirates: 1×1 Gallery, Al Qasimi Publications, Art Jameel, Carbon 12, Emirates Fine Arts Society, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Green Art Gallery, Grey Noise, Gulf Photo Plus, Ishara Art Foundation, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Maraya Art Centre / 1971, Meem Gallery, NYUAD Art Gallery, Sharjah Department of Culture, Sharjah Museums, Tashkeel, The Third Line and Warehouse421


This section includes catalogues, monographs, artist projects, guidebooks and other printed matter published by Sharjah Art Foundation.

  • MAGAZINES (FOCAL POINT 2019 Media Partners)




Workshops and Courses

Running alongside the fair are free workshops and a course that are suitable for participants of all ages and abilities. These sessions take place at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi.

  • Workshop: Zine Making

Thursday, 14 November 2019

5:00 pm–8:00 pm

Ages: 16+

Create your own zine using photos, clip art, drawings or collages in this workshop led by an experienced artist.

  • Workshop: Freehand Drawing

Friday, 15 November 2019

4:00 pm–6:00 pm

Ages: 18+

Practise the art of freehand drawing using your memory and imagination while bearing in mind various aspects of composition, tone, proportion and scale.

  • Pop-Up Workshop: Making Bookmarks

Friday, 15 November 2019

6:00 pm–7:00 pm

All ages

Make your own bookmark using a range of materials such as cardboard, coloured paper, pins, crystals, ribbons, threads and colours.

  • Workshop: How to Draw Manga

Saturday, 16 November 2019

10:00 am–12:00 pm

Ages: 16+

Learn the art of manga and techniques for creating comic strips in this workshop dedicated to Japanese comics.

  • Short Course: Pen and Ink Illustration

Thursday, 14 November–Saturday, 16 November 2019

11:00 am–1:00 pm

Ages: 13+

During this three-day course, learn how to create pen and ink illustrations using a variety of tools and techniques.

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