Curious Inbox

  • Natacha Atlas - 8 February, 2018 - London - Bush Hall -

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.

Showtime From The Frontline: A new play from award-winning comedian Mark Thomas, the production will be touring the UK before ending with a London run. Dodging cultural and literal bullets, Israeli incursions and religion, Thomas and his team had set out to run a comedy club and put on two nights in the Palestinian city of Jenin, but only to find that it is not so simple to celebrate freedom of speech in a place with so little freedom. The Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold for the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade during the Second Intifada, is not a place synonymous with laughs, yet it is home to the Jenin Freedom Theatre and people with a wealth of stories to tell. Thomas tells the story alongside Faisal Abualheja and Alaa Shehada, two performers, actors and now aspiring comics from the Jenin Club. Taking place 10 April–21 April, 2018 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN.

Perpetual Movement: Seven Arab women artists explore the relationship between migration and memory in connection to the Arab world and its diaspora, as part of the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival. Curated by Lizzy Vartanian Collier​, the exhibition looks into, for example, how the memory of a place changes once a person leaves and what happens if one is ethnically associated with a location but has never even been there. It also shows how memories can be inherited, alter from generation to generation, become fragmented, or create gaps that need to be filled. Considering that people have been moving to, from and through the Arab region for hundreds, even thousands of years, the works also address the multitude of reasons for migration and the impact on the collective consciousness. With roots in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the UAE, the seven artists all illustrate movement in various ways, creating a rich, multilayered picture of young women from the region. Taking place 1-25 March, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Ala Younis - Plan For Feminist Greater Baghdad: Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel present a solo exhibition by Ala Younis to be held simultaneously in London and Dubai. The exhibition includes a major new installation co-commissioned by the two organisations, 'Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad', that builds on Younis’s previous work that was included in the Central Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, and which will be shown alongside the new commission. In the newly commissioned work, the artist brings to the fore the significant contributions made by female artists, architects and other influential characters - including Balkis Sharara, Nuha al-Radi, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Iman Mersal and Zaha Hadid -​ to the development of Baghdad and its modern monuments. Typical of her practice, the work re-articulates archival material to bring about new narratives; which in this case is a reading that sees beyond the male dominance of the city’s architecture and politics, to reveal the female influence on Baghdad’s history. Taking place 1 February-24 March, 2018 at Delfina Foundation, 29-31 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY​.

Returning To Haifa (Theatre): The world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, 'Returning to Haifa', adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi and directed by Caitlin McLeod. A compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – who are forced by history into an intimacy they didn't choose. Set in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, the Palestinian couple - who fled their home in 1948 - return to Haifa after 20 years of being away. Although prepared to find someone else living where they once did, nothing could have prepared them for the encounter they both desired and dreaded: the son they had to leave behind, and what he has become. Coinciding with the 70-year anniversaries of both the Nakba and the foundation of the State of Israel, this is a deeply moving play of suspense and heartbreak, where humanity and vision combine with a frontline immediacy. Taking place 27 February-24 March, 2018 at the Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED​.

We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled, Voices From Syria: An event to launch Wendy Pearlman's book 'We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria'. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, the book features a collection of intimate wartime testimonies from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight. Pearlmam, who is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and holds the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professorship, will be joined in conversation with Malu Halasa, a Jordanian-Filipina American writer and editor based in London. ​A registration free event, taking place on 21 March, 2018 at Wolfson Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ​.

Rachid Gholam: Rachid Gholam's captivating 'Song of the Soul' is a nostalgic and unforgettable journey into the spellbinding history of Sufi poetry and music. A homage to the ‘saints of love’, revered Moroccan singer Gholam’s new project is inspired by the transcendence of the Sufi experience and the iconic poetry and symbolism of his spiritual forefathers. This is a spiritual and colorful journey, where his captivating voice invites masterful renditions of legendary Sufi figures such as Maulana Rumi and Sheikh Ibn Arabi. Ranging geographically from the Persian Mountains to the Andalusian coast, he covers the expansive reach of Sufi art and philosophy, uncovering the Iraqi maqam, Aleppo qadud and the Andulsian muwashahat on its way. Taking place 9 March, 2018 at the Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ.

Habibi Funk + Flamingods (DJ set): Jannis Stürtz heads record label 'Habibi Funk' which focuses on reissuing 60's-80's Arab funk and electronic records. His latest release is a bumper compilation titled ‘Habibi Funk 007: An Eclectic Selection of Music From the Arab World’. As seen on his recent Boiler Room set in Lebanon, he jumps between rare Arab 45’s, hip hop and disco during his DJ sets. Joining him are the rambunctious party starters Flamingods. Borne out of Bahrain and famed for their electric live shows, their music puts a focus on exploration and DJ experimentation, often taking influence from different cultures by use of an extensive collection of instruments from as far as Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan and Tanzania. Taking place 9 March, 2018 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG.

Arabs Are Not Funny (Comedy): Bringing some of comedy’s finest up and coming and established names from the Arab world and surrounding regions, this is a very popular night out with all acts in English. The line-up includes: MC Sarah Agha (half-Palestinian, half-Irish actress from London, she is a member of the comedy group SYC at the Soho Theatre and was semi-finalist in Dublin's 'Craic Attack'), Zahra Barri (with a unique Eastern and Kanye Western perspective on all of life’s big questions), Mohamed Omar (Somali-born, Cardiff-raised and London based comic who brings in his third culture kid way of thinking), Fatiha El-Ghorri (underneath her colourful hijab is a mind full of cutting observations and engaging witticism of the life and times of a British Muslim), and Marouen Mraihi (a versatile comedian and improviser from Tunisia, equally comfortable performing in English, French, Italian and Arabic). Taking place on 23 February, 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP. 

MAWEAF Multimedia Arts Festival (Algeria Edition): An exciting showcase of the underground art scene of Africa’s largest country, Algeria, comes in full force to London with a spellbinding contemporary showcase of theatre, photography, design, workshops and feature films. Little known in the UK, and significantly under-represented across British cultural scenes, this programming will take on Algeria’s multi-faceted reality in which the participating artists have grown and developed their work. Themed around the “Africanity” of Algeria, the festival celebrates and explores the African dimension of Algeria’s identity, whilst also confronting the burning issues of rising xenophobia, racial controversies and the lack of ties south of the Sahara. The festival is all free to attend except for the evening concert which is ticketed. Taking place on 10 February, 2018 at Rich MIx, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.


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.