The festival is aimed at exploring and promoting the creativity of brilliant Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi (1369-1417), as well as exploring his thoughts and ideas in modern life. The festival was held for the first time in 2018. The current festival has coincided with the 650th anniversary of Nasimi.
According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s decree, 2019 was declared the Year of Nasimi.
A small planet, previously called 1995 UN2 in the asteroid belt, was named Nasimi in 2019.
Nasimi played a significant role in the development of national poetry. He is considered the father of the Azerbaijani "diwan" (literary genre in the Near and Middle East). While writing he used such genres as gazelle, rubai and tuyuq. Nasimi created the first masterpieces of Azerbaijani poetry by laying the foundations of the Azerbaijani literary language.
He was also the first poet in the history of Azerbaijani literature who wrote love lyric poems - gazelles in the Azerbaijani language. Nasimi was a follower of Hurufism, one of the branches of Sufism. Nasimi’s poetic legacy contains a number of lyrical and philosophical poems. Nature and the beauty of the world were a source of inspiration of the poet on his path to the knowledge of life and the universe.
Nasimi’s humanism is connected with his understanding of the high purpose of man, a feeling of the limitlessness of his possibilities. His poems glorified the beauty and reason of man, served to free the person from all kinds of conventions, the rejection of asceticism, fanaticism and dogma. Nasimi's creativity became widely known in the Middle East and Central Asia and subsequently throughout the world.
About 30 events will be held during the festival in Baku, as well as in Shamakhi city, where the poet was born. The festival will be distinguished by a number of innovations, interesting projects, presentations, compositions, performances.
For the first time during the festival, scholars and experts in poetry will voice their comments and discuss their vision of Nasimi’s gazelles. More than ten authors from Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Egypt will read Nasimi’s gazelles.
During the festival, world-famous scholars who studied Nasimi’s creativity, as well as poets and philosophers will deliver speeches.
Also, books by German scholar Michael Hess who studied Nasimi’s poetry and researcher Orkhan Mirgasimov living in the UK who studied Nasimi’s poetry and Hurufism, will be presented within the festival.
The films which received the well-known international SIGNIS awards for inter-religious dialog in cinema art will be demonstrated during the festival. For instance, the film by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki “The Other Side of Hope” tells about the communication and friendship of representatives of different cultures, speaking different languages and having different lifestyles.
As part of a series of events on Sept. 28, with the joint organization of the Office of the Icherisheher State Historical and Architectural Reserve and the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), the 1st Baku International Traditional Craftsmanship Festival “Folk Art” will take place.
A social and cultural project called “Formation of Hope” will also be implemented as part of the festival this year, with participation of inhabitants and graduates of children’s homes and boarding schools. Some 30 participants involved in the design courses within the project expressed their dreams through pictures, and then their works were copied onto T-shirts.
Demonstration and sale of these T-shirts will be arranged in the framework of the project. The project aims at developing creative abilities of inhabitants and graduates of children’s homes and boarding schools and ensure their employment.
A series of exhibitions are going to take place in the festival days in Baku and Shamakhi city. Works by 10 artists and sculptors from Azerbaijan, Turkey, France and Uzbekistan will be displayed at the exhibition “Irfani secrets” to be inaugurated on September 28 at the Shirvanshahs Palace in Baku. Examples of video art, graphics, installation and kinetic objects dedicated to spiritual life and evolution of spirit will be presented in an exposition covering the palace’s territory.
On September 30, the 4th International Sculpture Symposium “Music in Stone” will be launched at the Gala Archaeology and Ethnography Museum Complex, while the 8th International Exhibition “From Waste to Art” will be inaugurated at Gala State History and Ethnography Reserve.
Open presentation of the art project “Talking Walls”, comprised of paintings on the walls of the abandoned industrial warehouse in Gala settlement, will take place. As part of this project, works created in the genre of “urban/street art” by artists from Azerbaijan, Brazil, South Africa, Netherlands and France, and a wall picture based on pictures of creative children from Buzovna and Mardakan settlements will also be demonstrated.
A personal exhibition of renowned Turkish artist Ahmet Gunestekin will be arranged in the framework of the festival. The artist’s famous work “Immortality Room” too will be demonstrated at the exhibition. To be inaugurated on October 1, the exhibition will continue until March 31, 2020.
An exhibition will open in Shamakhi, where miniatures from the manuscript “Shamakhi Anthology” (1468, British Museum, London) will be presented in various techniques and styles. This masterpiece of Azerbaijani miniature art proves that in the 15th century, Shamakhi city was a cultural center, and there was a high book culture there.
Shamakhi will also host the opening of the installation of contemporary art dedicated to Imadaddin Nasimi.
The results of a number of contests announced as part of the Nasimi Festival will also be announced.
The final exhibition of the carpet design contest of the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, dedicated to Nasimi, will also open. The exposition will feature carpets woven based on the poet’s three works and which became the winners of the competition, as well as carpet sketches selected by the jury from the presented works will be demonstrated.
The results of a competition for the best poetic work in the spirit of Nasimi or in imitation of his poetry, held among young poets participating in the SOZ project of the Ministry of Culture, will also be announced.
As part of the festival, music programs and performances will be presented by artists and groups from various countries. These programs will feature samples of spiritual and modern music, a joint dance program will be demonstrated with the participation of persons with disabilities along with other participants, personifying equality and community.
The ensemble “Horizonte” (Germany), the orchestra “Zahra” (Afghanistan), the dance group “Clara Furey” (Canada), the dance groups “Candoco” and “LostDog” (UK), “Tallinn Boys Choir” (Estonia), as well as group “Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis” (Israel) will present interesting programs.
On Sept. 29, in the village of Meysari in Shamakhi region, people’s artist Nazakat Teymurova will perform a concert from mughams (folk musical compositions) to Nasimi’s poems.
On this day, as part of the project by famous Azerbaijani jazz musician Salman Gambarov, joint performances of France’s serpentist Michel Godard, German singer Margriet Buchberger (baroque repertoire) and Chinese musician Wu Wei will be presented in the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall.
As part of the festival, on Sept. 30, a staged evening of poetry will be held at the Maksud Ibrahimbeyov Creativity Centre.
On the same day, the play “Agonizing Heart” by Huijin Theatre of China’s Anhui province will be shown in the Azerbaijani State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. The performance in the traditions of the 18th century combines theatrical art and music, elements of acrobatics and pantomime.
The closing ceremony of the festival will be held Oct. 1 at the Heydar Aliyev Center. The program will feature artists from Azerbaijan, as well as musicians from the US, Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Morocco.
The program of the Nasimi Festival can be found here .
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