Curious Inbox

  • The Cr The Craft - Monira Al Qadiri - Gasworks Gallery - 13 July-10 September, 2017

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.

Comics and Cartoon Art from the Arab World: This display is a chance to explore the art, history and significance of Arab comics from the 19th Century Egyptian satirical press and children’s comics of the mid-20th Century, to the contemporary graphic novel and comics scene. This small display highlights a vibrant visual archive that illustrates and engages with issues concerning everyday life, politics and society across the Arab world and beyond. Part of the 'Treasures' of the British Library' exhibition, these works can be viewed up until 29 October, 2017 at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.

Living Histories, Contemporary Arab Art: A display highlighting recent acquisitions of posters, prints, drawings, photographs and artists’ books by contemporary Arab artists, with a focus on Syria. Much of the work has been produced following the uprisings that began in 2011 that have since resulted in full scale civil war. Forming a part of the British Museum collections in keeping with its role as a museum of history, these pieces speak of their time and invite the viewer to look at the troubled politics of the Middle East today through a lens that is different from the world of the immediacy of media reports. Taking place 5 June- 22 October, 2017 at the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

47Soul 'Balfron Promise' Launch: Blasting and dancing their way through the Arabic music scene, the four members of the 47Soul have electrically reshaped the boundaries of contemporary underground music. Their infectious take on dabke, with piercing synthesisers, ‘Mijwez’ melodies, dance drums and resonating vocals has rapidly amassed them fans around the world. The product of a three year residency in London, the 'Balfron Promise' is their first full-length album and an elaboration on the highly successful debut EP the 'Sham Step'. Expanding on the band’s pioneering genre and revisiting the traditional music omnipresent in Levant area of the Arab world, the album is inspired equally by modern-day London and the 100 year-old politics still influencing their story today. Taking place on 9 October, 2017 at the Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, London EC2A 3PQ.

(UN)Covered Performance: Made between the UK and Egypt, (Un)Covered is a solo dance theatre action by contemporary dance artist and choreographer Zosia Jo as she explores women inside their clothes. It considers how to embody empowerment against the politicization, violence and control society imposes on women's bodies via the clothes they wear. This issue connects all people, across borders and transcending cultural difference. The freedom is not in what one wears or doesn't wear - it is in the choice. This is her reaction and solution with a Q+A after the show. Taking place on 30 September, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. 

Flamenco Evolution, Baghdad to Seville: A night of outstanding music, flamenco dance breaking down long-standing cultural and historical barriers. Iraqi Oud player Attab Haddad has had an interest in flamenco more or less since he started playing the oud. Flamenco's forms, rhythms and melodies have influenced a large part of his work and he is still fascinated by the connections between flamenco and Middle Eastern music. This show aims to highlight this connection and build on it with original compositions and renditions of melodies from Andalucian times and the Middle East that shows the common thread that runs through these traditions al the way to Iraq. Described as a ‘virtuoso’ by The Guardian, Haddad's playing has featured in independent cinema and Hollywood films and he has performed in the UK, Europe, the USA and India. Taking place on 28 September, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. 

Lowkey - Live At The Coronet: Lowkey is one of the UK's most potent and electrifying rappers who is now a towering figure of the conscious hip-hop scene. Renewing the tradition of activism and astute social commentary, he will be on on a UK tour that will end in no other than London's renowned live-music venue, the Coronet. Fusing politically charged lyrics and deft dissection of topics such as race, war, global poverty and politics with anthemic choruses and unrelentingly energetic performance, Lowkey commands a keen and growing legion of followers - still treading new ground and generating fresh interest 14 years after beginning his career. To be joined by special guests, the concert will be on 28 September, 2017 at The Coronet Theatre, Elephant & Castle, 28 New Kent Rd, London SE1 6TJ.

Letters from Baghdad (Screening): Directed by Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum, this documentary film tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day. She shaped the destiny of Iraq after World War I in ways that still reverberate today. More influential than her friend and colleague Lawrence of Arabia, why has she been written out of the history she helped make? Hosted by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, all proceeds will support their 'Visiting Iraqi Scholars' programme that fosters scholarly exchange between Iraq and the rest of the world. Taking place on 13 September, 2017 at The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH.

The Craft (Exhibition): The first UK solo exhibition by Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri, it comprises sculptures, videos and sound works that envisage international diplomacy as an alien conspiracy. Shown in two distinct environments – a mysterious, pitch black anteroom and an American diner – these semi-autobiographical works of science fiction unearth the unlikely stories lurking in the shadows of the artist’s childhood in Kuwait. Revisiting the fantasies that she and her sister elaborated during these early years, they depict the culture and rituals of diplomacy by which they were then surrounded as literally otherworldly to the current rise of nationalism and political populism. Hinting at pop culture, futuristic architecture, junk food, dream readings, alien abductions, war and peace: all of the once solid staples of modern life become tainted by a sense of distrust that overshadows everything and reaches a crescendo when the protagonist discovers that the ‘American Century’ has finally ended. Taking place 13 July-10 September, 2017 at the Gasworks Gallery, Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, London SE11 5RH​.

Spectres Are Haunting Europe (Screening): The Idomeni refugee camp on the border of Greece and Macedonia housed over 8,000 people from the Middle East who were trying to cross the border into Europe. When Greek police closed the camp in 2016, the refugees resisted and blocked a railway line used to deliver goods into the country. Comprised of three parts and shot on a combination of HD Video and 16mm, Maria Kourkouta and Niki Giannari’s minimalist documentary observes these events in a series of carefully modelled static images that open up the space within and without of the frame, and in the closing black-and-white sequence offers a poetic commentary. The result is a bleak portrait of a place where endless lines of refugees try to preserve the final remnants of their individual freedoms. Showing on  9 September, 2017 at the Regent Street Cinema, 307 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW.

Gaza Surf Club Screening: Trapped in “the world’s largest open-air prison” and ruled by war, a new generation of Gazans is drawn to the beaches. Sick of occupation and political gridlock, they find joy in the waves of the Mediterranean. As the surfers of Gaza they form a tight community wherein the boards give them an opportunity to experience a small slice of freedom - between the coastal reminder of a depressing reality and the Israel-controlled three-mile marine border. Taking four years to complete, this is an engaging and enlightening story directed by Philip Gnadt and co-directed and produced by Mickey Yamine who will both be present post-screening for a Q&A with the audience. Taking place 8 September, 2017 at the Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ​.


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.