Curious Inbox

  • --------- Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane Exhibition - Somerset House - Until 7 January 2018 -----

Curious Inbox

Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.

Age of Terror - Art Since 9/11: The UK’s first major exhibition of artists’ responses to war and conflict since 9/11, including the works of Khaled Abdul Wahed, Mona Hatoum, Omer Fast, Hanaa Malallah, Jamal Penjweny and Hrair Sarkissian. Featuring more than 40 British and international creatives, they explore the issues surrounding the global response to 9/11, the nature of modern warfare and the continuing state of emergency in which we find ourselves. Their unique ways of communicating through their art provide different levels of understanding and the stories they tell, whether first or second-hand, come from alternative viewpoints not always reflected in the mainstream media. Through film, sculpture, painting, installations, photography and prints, the exhibition highlights the crucial role of artists in representing contemporary conflict. Taking place 26 October, 2017-28 May, 2018 at the Imperial War Museum London, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ.

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane: A homecoming exhibition for the British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, showcasing his vibrant fusion of contemporary cultures through new and celebrated works. Hajjaj's artworks reflect on his nomadic lifestyle and the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters along the way, from musicians to artists and athletes to street performers both in Morocco and the UK. These individuals inspire his diverse artworks from photographic portraits to video installations, sculpture, music, design and handcrafted objects. Infused with a bold palette, the materials Hajjaj uses include patterned textiles, furniture, clothes and props often made by the artist to influence our understanding of the person in the image. All of these elements, including the frames made out of everyday items in which his images sit, are chosen deliberately to highlight these individuals’ identities. Taking place 5 October, 2017-7 January, 2018 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

Dhikr Pictural: An exhibition that inspires to reconnect truthfully with the 'Self' and look beyond the unknown, to eventually reach out to what is 'Divine'. A solo for the Algerian visual artist Anissa Berkane, it aims to engage with all the senses and attract different audiences, be they art-lovers, rationale-geeks or the spiritually-curious. The fruit of nearly twenty year of artistic, intellectual and spiritual processes, Berkane's paintings take one on a journey of origins to remind us of the supreme message of love and tolerance, as highlighted through ornamental executions, numerical mysteries and metaphysical implications. Curated by Toufik Douib, there will also be a rich parallel programme of events that will mark the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, World Arabic Language Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The five-week show will be held 2 December, 2017-6 January, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Goats (Theatre): In a small town in Syria, soldiers are celebrated as heroes and grieving families are nourished on propaganda. As the coffins pile up, the local party leader decides on a radical compensation scheme: a goat for each son martyred. Questioning what is true and what is not, Goats is a major new work by Syrian playwright and documentary filmmaker Liwaa Yazji that has been developed as part of the Royal Court’s long term project with writers from Syria and Lebanon. Directed by the Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie and having been translated by Katharine Halls, the run will be from 24 November-30 December, 2017 at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS.

Oslo (Theatre): The Tony Award-winning play Oslo comes to London direct from its critically acclaimed Broadway run where it picked up every 'Best Play' accolade. By J T Rogers, Oslo presents the gripping true story of a young Norwegian couple who planned and carried out top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), culminating in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. After its sold-out run at the National Theatre, this political thriller arrives in the West End for a strictly limited season from 2 October-30 December 2017​ at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton St, London SW1Y 4DN​.

Arab-A-Dub: Presented by Arts Canteen, a night which will bring the best sounds of the Arabic Electronica underground sound system, performed by the finest of DJ producers and MCs from Palestine, Jordan and London. A night full of Dabkeh sounds and Shamstep style, warmed up by London's renowned Love Carnival DJs. Featuring DJ Cal Jader & DJ Madmax (Love Carnival), DJ-Producer Bruno Cruz & Performer-MC Walaa Sbait (Ministry of Dub-Key), and Producer Eljehaz well into the night. Taking place on 16 December, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

AWAN 2018 Festival Call For Submissions: The Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival is calling for submissions now for its fourth edition that will take place in London with events planned throughout the month of March to celebrate the work of Arab women. Organised by Arts Canteen, AWAN is a platform dedicated to new, emerging and mid-career female creatives originating from the MENA region and to enable them to share their talents across genres and to offer them new audiences. Arts Canteen is a London-based venture that explores the artistic relationships between the Middle East and Mediterranean regions with events delivered to diverse audiences across Europe with a focus on visual arts and music. The deadline for AWAN applications is 15 December, 2017 and you are advised to email:

Kahlil Gibran - An Unparalleled Guide For Our Times: A special talk by Paul-Gordon Chandler on the well known Lebanese poet, writer and visual artist Kahlil Gibran. Based on Chandler's new book, 'In Search of a Prophet: A Spiritual Journey with Kahlil Gibran’, he will take the listener on a fascinating journey through the all-embracing nature of Gibran. He will share how Gibran, a supreme East-West figure, can be a much-needed guide for our times as with the recurrent themes of peace, harmony and the building of bridges between the cultures of the Middle East and the Western world. Taking place on 7 December, 2017 at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

Suslov’s Daughter (Book Launch): A conversation with the Yemeni author Habib Abdulrab Sarori on his latest novel 'Suslov's Daughter'. Translated into English by Elisabeth Jaquette, it is the tale of the young man Imran growing up under communism in South Yemen, who finds himself drawn to Hawiya, the daughter of a high-ranking official in the ruling Marxist party. He departs Aden, the seaport city of his childhood, to study literature in Paris, hoping to ‘see the sunset of capitalism with his own eyes.’ Years later he returns to Yemen and meets Hawiya again – only to find that she is now a niqab-wearing Salafist, calling on people to join the conservative Islamist movement! Set against the backdrop of Yemeni history, Sarori’s Arabic Booker long-listed novel traces one man’s lifelong search for love and his own political ideology. Taking place on 7 December, 2017 at West End Lane Books, 277 West End Lane, London NW6 1QS.

The Other Side of Hope: Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival, this film interlaces the struggles of two men who have fled their homes. The first is Khaled, a Syrian asylum seeker who arrives in Helsinki as a stowaway on a coal freighter. The second escapee doesn’t undertake quite such a hazardous journey. Wikström walks out on his alcoholic wife, wins a fortune at poker and buys a failing restaurant called the Golden Pint. Despite the tragic situation it portrays, the film is full of humour and food-for-thought, making it a pure delight. Directed by Aki Kaurismäki, this screening is part of the London Migration Film Festival (LMFF) and will be followed by a panel Q+A session. Taking place on 2 December, 2017 at Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London E1 4UJ.


Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.