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Al-Mu’tamid, the Poet King of Al-Andalus

Special concert inspired by the figure of King Al Mu’tamid on February 22 in Madrid.

February 17, 2016
 The main objective of this audiovisual show is to cast light over a common cultural territory in the present time through the life and work of Al Mu’tamid, the Poet King. By updating the meaning of Al-Mu’tamid’s words, an ensemble of Portuguese, Spanish and Moroccan musicians interpret his poems in the languages of the three countries which have inherited the legacy of Al-Andalus. Filipe Raposo, Janita Salomé and Quiné Teles of Portugal; Eduardo Paniagua and César Carazo of Spain, and El Arabi Serghini and Jamal Ben Allal from Morocco. The concert, which will be held at the Teatro Bellas Artes on Monday, February 22 at 8:30 p.m., will be accompanied by a display of images which document a journey through the territory of the Poet King’s life, updating the entire imaginary of a territorial and secular cultural relationship.  

Al-Mu’tamid Ibn Abbâd is considered the most brilliant poet of Al-Andalus from the eleventh century. Born in Beja in 1040, he was the regent prince of Silves, two cities which are now located within Portuguese territory. From 1069 to 1090, he was the king of the “taifa” kingdom of Seville, having inherited the throne from his father, Al-Mu’tadid. After being removed from the throne in 1091 by the Almoravid dynasty, which then went on to control the entire southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, he was exiled to Tangier and taken to Aghmat, 18 km south of Marrakesh, Morocco. There he spent the final years of his life, banished and reviled, then dying in the greatest destitution in 1095.

His status as a poet king allowed him to write very freely about himself and the world in which he lived. He wrote all throughout his life, even after becoming dethroned and scorned, and he did so in such an open-minded, timeless way that he seems to be whispering to us in our contemporary ears about the most essential subjects related with existence. This is why his words still resonate with us deeply even today, ten centuries later, sharing with us the intimacy and presence of a spirit shrouded in sensitivity, sensuality and a passion for life.

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Al-Mu’tamid, the Poet King of Al-Andalus