Haig Papazian is a Lebanese Armenian artist, composer, and architect born in Beirut and currently based out of New York. He is a founding member and violinist of Mashrou’ Leila, the Lebanese band whose electro-pop anthems about political freedom, race, gender and modern Arabic identity have challenged the status quo of the Middle-Eastern music industry.
Haig is a SHIM:NYC 2021 resident - a residency program created by Artistic Freedom Initiative, Tamizdat, and Westbeth Artist Housing, in partnership with Joe’s Pub NY Voices Commissioning program at the Public Theatre in New York, where he’s developing a new cross-disciplinary work titled “Space Time Tuning Machine.”
An architect by training (BArch, AUB 2009), Haig has participated in the inaugural edition of the Home Work-space program in Beirut (2011-12), and completed his graduate studies at the Bartlett (MAAH, UCL 2014). His visual work explores narratives of undocumented histories and reclaimed futures, and has been presented in Beirut, London, and New York. Some of his recently published writings include the NYT op-ed “The Cost of being Queer and Arab” and his essay “Beyrouth et Beyrouth” in France Culture.
Alongside Mashrou’ Leila (ML), Haig has performed at L’olympia, Roundhouse, Paradiso, Bowery Ballroom, 9:30 club and other iconic venues, collaborated with artists like Hercules and Love Affair, Yo-Yo Ma, and Joe Goddard from Hot Chip, and has played festivals around the world, from Montreux Jazz, Pop Montreal, All Points East, Rock en Seine, Byblos Festival to name a few. ML has held public talks at NYU, Columbia University, Concordia, Sciences Po, Dartmouth, and the Nobel Peace center in Oslo, and has been artist in residence at NYU Kevo Center (2017), campaigned with Greenpeace in an initiative to promote solar energy (2016), participated in the BLOCK 9 & BANKSY Creative Retreat alongside fellow musicians Brian Eno and Roisin Murphy (2018). Prior to the pandemic, ML performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as part of Oliver Beer’s Vessel Orchestra.