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Games in the Courtyard Cafe

Come to the MIA Library Courtyard Café and enjoy playing chess, snakes and ladders, ludo or backgammon in this beautiful outdoor setting throughout the month of April.

Open during Museum hours.

Kings and Pawns: Board Games from India to Spain

19 March to 21 June 2014
Chess, backgammon and other board games are a vibrant part of everyday culture in the Gulf region, the Middle East, and the wider world; their roots, however, are much deeper than many realise. This exhibition uncovers the history of board games in the Islamic world, from India to Spain between the 7th and the 20th century.

The exhibition focuses heavily on chess, from its origins in India to its adoption by the Persian élite and its subsequent spread across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe following the rise of Islam. However, a significant part of Kings and Pawns will also examine other board games with Indian and Islamic connections such as ‘pachisi’ (ludo), and ‘gyan chaupar’ (snakes and ladders), bringing to life the spread of ideas and shared culture over the centuries.

Kings & Pawns features game boards, game pieces, Persian and Arabic chess manuals, paintings and illustrated manuscripts.
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24 April, 7pm in MIA Auditorium
Elena, a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with the same dream her mother had: to become a movie actress. She leaves behind a childhood spent in hiding during the years of military dictatorship. She also leaves Petra, her seven-year-old sister. Two decades later, Petra follows in Elena’s footsteps – she also becomes an actress and heads for New York in search of her sister. She has few clues about Elena’s whereabouts: home movies, newspaper clippings, a diary and some letters. At any moment, Petra expects to find Elena strolling through the streets in a silk blouse. Gradually, the features of the sisters are confused; we can no longer tell one from the other. When Petra finally finds Elena in an unexpected place, she must learn to let her go.
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