concept . we are all one
Jabbar Al Janabi

Tanya Evanson
ANU is an annual gathering of established and emerging, contemporary and traditional, multicultural Artists from the music, dance, spoken word and visual arts disciplines. Artists gather for a series of meetings that lead to a performance of guided improvisation.

In ANU, each Artist can perform only when the spotlight shines on them and must otherwise hold silence. They never know when the light will come or who else will have the light at that same moment. It is a live exercise in unity through spontaneous creation, artistic freedom, intense listening, exploration of a theme, group responsibility and trust.

ANU was founded by Iraqi-Canadian Visual Artist Jabbar Al Janabi in 2001 and was inspired by the story of the Sumerian Sky God, Anu, whose responsibility was to illuminate the other Gods’ creative powers to create the universe.

That idea evolved among the destructive flashes and residues of the Gulf War that Al Janabi experienced in his hometown of Baghdad in the 1990s. What if – in that moment of explosive light – the result could be pure creation, instead of pure destruction?

It was those experiences that guided his vision for ANU in the Middle East and Canada; a vision passed on to Tanya Evanson . Mother Tongue Media in Vancouver, 2008. Read an article
about ANU history (PDF) from Alsabah newspaper.