Haig Papazian

Musician in Residence, 2021-2022

Haig Papazian is a Lebanese Armenian artist, composer, and architect born in Beirut, and a former musician in residence with SHIM:NYC. He is a founding member and violinist of Mashrou’ Leila, the Lebanese pop band whose electro-pop anthems about political freedoms, race, and modern Arabic identity have challenged the status quo of the Middle-Eastern music industry. Their politically-charged lyrics have led to the band experiencing censorship and persecution in many countries, brought on by religious and state authorities, as well as popular outcry. Many of the band’s appearances, including concerts and speaking engagements, have been forcibly canceled by the regulating authorities.

Alongside Mashrou’ Leila, Haig has performed at sold out venues and festivals across the Arab region, Europe, and North America. He’s been an artist in residence at NYU; has campaigned  with Greenpeace in an initiative to promote solar energy across the Mediterranean, and has participated in the BLOCK 9 & BANKSY Creative Retreat alongside Brian Eno, Roisin Murphy and more. He has held public talks at NYU, Columbia University, Concordia, Darmouth College, Sciences Po, and has recently performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as part of Oliver Beer’s Vessel Orchestra. Haig has recently published an op-Ed in the New York Times on the cost of being queer and Arab and for France Culture, a love letter in the form of an essay to “Beyrouth et Beyrouth, travail en cours.”