Azerbaijan will hold the Nasimi Festival of Poetry, Arts, and
Spirituality for the first time on September 27-30.
The festival is dedicated to the work of Imadaddin Nasimi
(1369-1417), one of the brilliant poets and thinkers of the
The festival is being implemented under the organization of the
Heydar Aliyev Foundation and support of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of
The festival will be held under the slogans “Beyond the limited
self”, reflecting the philosophical views of the poet, and “I am a
particle, I am the sun” which are the poet’s lines.
The program of the large-scale event covers various types of art
and knowledge fields. During the festival, programs will be
organized in various places in Baku, as well as in Shamakhi, the
native city of the poet.
The festival's project is being implemented on an international
scale with the participation of world famous artists, philosophers,
scientists who write about spirituality in modern society, as well
as professionals, amateurs in this field and young people.
By the virtue of the Nasimi Festival, Baku will become center of
search for spirituality through art and poetry. At the same time,
the festival is aimed not only at glorifying and perpetuating the
poetry of Nasimi, the most urgent issues of spirituality in the
modern world can be reached through his work, through various kinds
of art and harmony.
The festival seeks to show the philosophical ideas of Nasimi
embodied in present time. After all, Nasimi’s poetry glorified the
beauty and mind of a person, served to liberate the individual from
all kinds of conventions and dogmas, by emphasizing the
understanding of the high destiny of a man and the limitlessness of
a person’s possibilities. Therefore, the festival will be of great
interest, because it is addressed to people of completely different
Jahangir Selimkhanov, the festival coordinator, said in an
interview with Trend that the author of the idea of the festival
is Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.
“The creativity of Nasimi is unique and all his poetry is
saturated with the philosophical sense of the universe’s creation,
life, the place of a person in the world, calling for evolution and
perfection,” Selimkhanov said. “That’s because man is the best
creation of God. The nature, beauty of the surrounding world,
kindness and mercy are the sources inspiring the poet on the way to
the knowledge of life and the universe.”
For the first time, such a grandiose festival will be held for
spectators not on tickets and invitations, but exclusively through
registration on the official website
www.nasimifestival.live, where it is also possible to find out
the details about the project.
“It is planned to make the festival traditional, with prizes and
competitions,” Jahangir Selimkhanov added. “So we would like to
know what the audience is really interested in. A very large influx
of spectators is expected, because it will be an incredible
festival that will leave a lot of impressions for the guests. It
will happen for the first time in Azerbaijan and all over the
The festival’s program
On the first day of the festival, participants will visit the
Shahendan cemetery in Shamakhi city, where Shahendan, the brother
of Imadaddin Nasimi, as well as outstanding poet Seyid Azim
Shirvani, were buried.
The participants will also visit the Juma Mosque built in 743,
one of the most ancient mosques in the Caucasus, the Pir Omar
temple in Avakhil village and the Shamakhi History and Local Lore
Poetical and musical gatherings will be held in Shamakhi before
Nasimi’s monument, as well as an event with the participation of
the winners of a literary contest dedicated to the memory of
Imadaddin Nasimi and held by the Ministry of Culture as part of
“The Word” literary project.
At the contest, young poets will present works inspired by the
genius of Nasimi. As part of the festival, Azerbaijani folk musical
compositions and musical works calling for spirituality will be
The opening of the International Ethical Design event -
“Sensitive Fashion” will also take place in the Meysari village in
The event created on the basis of content published
systematically during the last few years in the Baku magazine under
the heading “ECO. Fashion Route”, will carry out the functions of
informing and educating about environmental sensitivity in
production of clothing and interior items, reproduction,
restoration of forgotten and outdated traditional methods and
production technologies, and will also serve as the showroom and
the sales salon.
The works of Azerbaijani and foreign designers will be presented
there. The exhibition will showcase the styles of clothing that
were used in Azerbaijan for centuries, clothes decorated with
various national ornaments that were in vogue in different periods
Then, an evening of acoustic and electronic music called “Closer
to Stars” will be held at the Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory
named after Nasraddin Tusi of the Azerbaijan National Academy of
The program will be attended by Sahib Pashazade, Irshad Huseyn
(Azerbaijan), Ali Phi (Iran), Sati Kazanova (Russia), Rabih Beaini
(Lebanon/Germany), Abdel Karim Shaar (Lebanon), Nguyen Le and Ngo
Hong Quang from "Ha Noi Duo", Gorkem Sen (Turkey), the Ar Berd duet
On September 28, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku will host a
lecture talk by German scientist Michael Hess, entitled “Nasimi
legacy in contemporary contexts”.
On the same day, after demonstration in London, Paris, Berlin,
Moscow and Tbilisi, the exhibition “Live Life” will be presented at
the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, organized at the initiative of
vice president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the founder and the
head of IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action)
Public Association Leyla Aliyeva.
The exhibition is aimed at drawing attention to environmental
problems, nature protection, as well as educating the public about
the role of art in this field.
The “Hurufiyya” exhibition of the UAE-based Barjeel Art
Foundation in the Heydar Aliyev Center will consist of 26 paintings
and graphic works. These are works by contemporary artists living
in a number of Arab countries that represent a stream called
“hurufiyya” (images based on letters, calligraphy), widely spread
over the past 20 years. The exhibition will also feature several
works by Honored Artist of Azerbaijan Tarlan Gorchu.
Then the program will continue with a musical and video art
installation called “77 million paintings” by the creator of the
ambient music genre, prominent UK composer Brian Eno. Prior to
this, this work was demonstrated in Tokyo, London, New York, Buenos
Aires, Barcelona, Sydney, Mexico City, Cape Town, Rome and other
The official opening of the event will take place in the Heydar
Aliyev Center. Thus, on the evening of September 28, as part of the
concert program, the Center will feature Nasimi poetry, excerpts
from Azerbaijani folk music.
Young and middle-aged composers will present their new versions
of the composition of outstanding Azerbaijani musician of the
13th-14th centuries Abdulgadir Maragayi for the ensemble of old
musical instruments “Echo of the Ages” under the Azerbaijan
National Conservatory, as well as “The Legend of Nasimi” by the
brilliant composer Fikrat Amirov, the song “Prayer” written to the
words of Nasimi by Honored Artist of Azerbaijan Tunzalya
Also, the famous UK singer and composer of Azerbaijani origin
Sami Yusuf will perform at the concert.
This day of the festival will end in the Chamber and Organ Music
Hall with the presentation of the “Cycle” music project of honored
artists of Azerbaijan Rain Sultanov and Isfar Sarabski, glorifying
spirituality and eternal values. In this project, Sarabski, along
with the piano, will perform jazz organ music.
On September 29, the “Artistic Yoga Session” with the famous
master of yoga Nandan Gautam will be held at the Heydar Aliyev
Center. Classes conducted by Nandan Gautam will be accompanied by
the music composed by the author himself.
Also on September 29, musicians from different countries in the
form of collective improvisation will perform the work “From the
Seven Days” (“Aus den sieben Tagen”) by the prominent German
composer Karlheinz Stockhausen in the Shirvanshahs’ Palace.
The composer, without writing a single note in the work,
considered it his task to write texts that inspire performers from
a spiritual point of view. Musicians, having read these texts,
freely improvise and get inspiration from both the author’s work
and from each other’s performances.
The placement of musicians not in one, but in different, remote
from each other corners of the palace personifies the knowledge of
truth in solitude. With the help of modern communication tools,
these individual performances will be combined, and will be
broadcast live online.
The project will be attended by musicians representing different
cultures and styles - honored artists of Azerbaijan Elchin Shirinov
and Shahriyar Imanov, violinist Osman Eyyublu, as well as Kudsi
Erguner (Turkey), Sefudi Kouyate (Guinea), Naomi Sato (Japan),
Christina Vantzou (US/Belgium), Elisabeth Harnik (Austria) and
Gianluca Iadema (Italy).
The Stone Chronicle Museum will host a video lecture titled
“Emphatic civilization and shared economy” by world-famous US
economist Jeremy Rifkin on September 29, and then a
question-and-answer session will be held.
The Stone Chronicle Museum will also feature the “Bahariyya”
music performance inspired by the works of the immortal Nasimi.
Thus, along with five performers of Azerbaijani folk music -
Teyyub Aslanov (folk singer), Aliaga Sadiyev (plays string
instrument), Elnur Mikayilov (plays bowed string instrument),
Shirzad Fataliyev (plays wind instruments), Kamran Karimov (plays
drums) - Farhad Farzaliyev (electronic music and sound design) will
also perform on the stage.
On the same day, the DanceAbility inclusive dance group will
perform at the Seaside National Park. During this performance,
which resulted from the three-week rehearsals of DanceAbility
Azerbaijan, dancers, which also include people with disabilities,
will share the joy of self-expression in their dance.
These dances will bring to the Baku Boulevard the spirit of
Nasimi’s philosophy, consisting in seeing a man as the highest and
September 30, an idle industrial warehouse in the Gala township
of Baku will host presentation of the urban art project titled “The
Expanding Wall.” About 10 Azerbaijani and foreign urban artists
will participate in the project and will create their works on the
walls of the building. They include artists from the US, South
Africa, Brazil, Belgium, Spain and France.
Children and adolescents, directly observing the process of the
works’ creation, will also draw under the guidance of masters of
fine arts. Students of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts
will subsequently portray these sketches on the walls of the
building on a large scale.
On the same day, the Gala Archeology and Ethnography Reserve
will host introduction with the works created as part of the
project “Waste - to Art” and “Music of Stone”, a concert program
consisting of children and teenagers of the famous Recycled
Orchestra of Paraguay (an orchestra of musical instruments created
as a result of waste recycling).
During the festival, the fusion of art and captivating charm of
Icheri sheher (Baku Old City) will allow guests to make a journey
through ancient Baku. Exhibitions, installations, video projections
will be showcased in Icheri sheher, poetry and music samples will
be heard, and theatrical performances will be shown.
Imitative poems written to Nasimi’s lines will be presented to
spectators in narrow streets and alleys of Icheri sheher in an
unusual way - for example, in the form of calligraphy on the walls,
or in the form of sound recording, and even being “animated” on
some landscape by using the QR code technology.
At the end of the festival, the winners of the poem contest
dedicated to the memory of Imadaddin Nasimi will be awarded in the
Baku Media Center as part of “The Word” literary project of
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture.
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