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Raving until all reason is lost has become the sad spectacle of our era. Grave and boundless outbursts of madness continue to assault the mind and spirit. The buffoons of this earth proclaim themselves caliphs in the place of the caliphs. Fanatics of Allah and zealots of nihilism compete in ingenuity to show the world the best of the worst, with barbaric dementia on one hand and just as bloodthirsty perversion and hypocrisy on the other. Passions are distilled into a mournful brew in an insane advance, like a devastating spectre. The absurdity of it all is spread through a universal epidemic of neurosis.

How can reason be retained with an entire era being lost? How is it possible to escape this blind and blinding hysteria with the appetites of carnivorous gods and the obsessions of insatiable men? These are the ludicrous and ill-conceived questions that Montréal’s 16th annual Festival du Monde Arabe poses and proposes. A wave of delirium carries all in its wake, in a cascade of insanities dubbed Hilarus Delirus in impertinent Latin. Our response is an onslaught of derision, free and joyful, psychedelic and provocative, fine and acerbic, never failing to delight.

Trapped in this anguished and treacherous world, the FMA calls once again upon Al-Maari, Rabia Al Adawiya, Aboû Noûwas, Rumi, Alhalaj, Omar Khayam, Oum Kalsoum, Adonis and Nizar Kabbani, not to mention bold creators from here and elsewhere, to give full measure to immodesty, sensuality, heresy, humour and burlesque art – in short, to joie de vivre!

Enjoy the festival!

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