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Catch ‘Cartography’ live this weekend

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi marks World Refugee Day with a theatrical work on displacement streamed live on Facebook

To mark World Refugee Day, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will stream Cartography, a theatrical work that explores the journeys of four young migrants who leave their worlds behind, seeking a fresh start. Audiences from all over the world can experience the show on Friday, June 19 at 8pm on The Arts Center’s Facebook page.

Inspired by the stories of refugee youth, Cartography is the creation of director Kaneza Schaal and writer Christopher Myers. It draws on their experience in 2016, when the pair spent one month in Munich with a group of young asylum seekers. The challenges the young refugees described as they travelled to reach their new homes, and their desire to remain visible and connected, set the foundation of the work.

Part of Cartography’s power is the diversity of the actors, who come from El Salvador, Syria, Lebanon, and Rwanda. The performance incorporates the actors’ personal displacement histories.  The show uses an array of tools such as map-making and sound sensors that activate a virtual storm, developed in part by graduates from NYU Abu Dhabi’s Interactive Media Program in June 2018, integrating technology, performance, and sculpture to create a memorable audio and visual journey.

The creators, as well as Head of UNHCR Office in the UAE, Nadia Jbour, will also take part in a live Q&A session moderated by Director of Artistic Planning at The Arts Center Linsey Bostwick, following the performance.

Cartography returns as part of the Reconnect series, which has proved highly popular, with more than half a million total views.  The series was created by The Arts Center to use the power of the arts to connect, inspire, and entertain people in light of the physical distancing and isolation effects of COVID-19, while continuing to engage in urgent conversations facing the world.C

To learn more about The Arts Center’s programs, follow @NYUADArtsCenter on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit their website at


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