Curious Inbox

  • Rachid Koraïchi - 'Masters of Time' Exhibition - October Gallery - 21 June-28 July, 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.

Jameel Prize 5 Exhibition at the V&A: The Jameel Prize, open to artists and designers from any ethnic, religious or cultural background, is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition; and, its aim is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today. Organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum in partnership with Art Jameel, it is now in its fifth edition with the winners having recently been announced and the works of the eight finalists put on display. With varied practices ranging from architecture, painting and fashion design to abstract work and multi-media installation, six of the artists this year are connected to the Middle East: Hayv Kahraman and Mehdi Moutasher (Iraq), Nisreen and Nermeen Abudail (Jordan), Hala Kaiksow (Bahrain) and Younes Rahmoun (Morocco). Taking place 28 June-25 November, 2018 at the V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL.

Fragments: Coming as part of the 'No Direction Home' festival that explores displacement, migration and refuge, 'Fragments' has been devised through workshops run by the Single Homeless Project in collaboration with Palestinian theatre-maker Mo’min Swaitat. With support from Shubbak Festival, the production draws on music and movement rooted in participants’ home cultures, as well as their impressions of London and the chaotic beginnings of resettlement. The show focuses on the journey from dystopia to the unknown, depicting the shattering and reintegration of cultures, memories, time and space, as experienced through the body in motion. Rehearsing as part of a residency with New Diorama Theatre, Fragments was first shown as a work-in-progress at Shakespeare’s Globe. Taking place 2 November, 2018 at Camden People's Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PY.

Fanon, Yesterday, Today (UK Premiere & Director Q+A): Brought by Culturama to mark the 64th Anniversary of the Algerian revolution, this documentary by Hassane Mezine examines the legacy of Martinican-born thinker and revolutionary Frantz Fanon. It gives a privileged and rare insight into the life of Fanon through the stories and accounts of the people who were closest to him in his life and until his death. An evening of great vibes, one can expect the warm sounds of Oud virtuoso Yaz Fentazi to get you in the mood for the documentary, plus a post-screening Q+A wit director Mezine. Taking place 1 November, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA L.

Arabs Are Not Funny (Comedy): After 24 sold-out editions, Arts Canteen’s 'Arabs Are Not Funny' will be back with a very interesting line-up of comedians, representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. With all the acts in Engish, the confirmed comedians for this edition are: Janine Harouni (Lebanese-American comedian), Marouen Mraihi (comedian and improviser from Tunisia), Yacine Belhousse (he successfully debuted in Edinburgh with his show 'Made in France' and having two sold-out shows at London’s Soho Theatre), Mamoun Elagab (a new comedian of Sudanese origin who has recently won the Manchester King Gong and the London King Gong and been nominated for BBC New Comedian of the Year), and Talal Karkouti (he's been performing comedy for over six years, including two Edinburgh Fringe runs and three years hosting The LIL Show podcast). Taking place 29 September, 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP.

47Soul + Kefaya: 47Soul, the four member group that came together in Jordan in 2013, specialise in a cheerfully widescreen fusion of electronic hip-hop and traditional dabke dance music, mixed in with a dash of reggae, sturdy melodies and chanting vocals alternating between English and Arabic words. The genre is becoming a symbol of Arab youth culture, offering a necessary refreshing change to the common representation. After releasing their debut EP, they started touring the world - to spread a universal message that amphasizes unity by accepting diversity - and have fired up crowds at Glastonbury, Womad and back in their home. They will be joined by Kefaya, the international music collective formed and led by London-based musicians and producers Giuliano Modarelli and Al MacSween, who will deliver their unique blend of global folk rhythms and cutting-edge, 21st century sound. Taking place 29 September, 2018 at Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD.

Ahmed Mukhtar & Veles Ensemble: Ahmed Mukhtar, the Iraqi musician, composer and founding director of the Taqasim Music School, will be performing as part of the London Strings Festival with the Veles Ensemble. The Veles Ensemble will open the evening of contrast with a true classic, Beethoven's String Trio Op. 9 No.1 in G-major, that is often considered to be one of Beethoven's most important early works. It will be followed by Zoltan Kodály's Intermezzo, a wonderfully fresh and light scherzo, written by the then 23 year young composer while finishing a dissertation on the Hungarian folk song at the Budapest academy. After these, Mukhtar will present Iraqi music with Oud solos and joined by the Veles Ensemble to finish with arrangements of his own compositions. Taking place 26 September, 2018 at Saint Margaret Pattens Church, Eastcheap, London EC3M 1HS.

'What do you mean, here we are?': A retrospective of the renowned Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 1998, Townhouse emerged onto a scene dominated by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and its private affiliates. As one of the first independent art spaces in Cairo, Townhouse has borne witness to an unusual and intriguing trajectory. Through a series of visual, video material and sound art as well as pamphlets, catalogues and ephemera, this exhibition tells the story of Townhouse’s evolution from a modest start in the backstreets of downtown Cairo to its emergence at the centre of the regional contemporary art scene, and further across more recent periods of turmoil and re-configuration. It will also raise larger questions about cultural production and artistic practice in capricious socio-political climates and the challenges faced by independent institutions operating under censorship. Taking place 6 July-15 September, 2018 at the Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW.

Kahlil Gibran 'A Guide For Our Times': A peace-building exhibition that features the work by 38 acclaimed Middle Eastern contemporary artists inspired by the Lebanese born poet-artist Kahlil Gibran and the universal message of peace and harmony found in his poetry, art and writings. The show visually highlights how Gibran, a supreme East-West figure, can be an unparalleled guide for our times, related to peace, harmony and the building of bridges between the creeds and cultures of the Middle East and the West. It also reflects on the compelling universal spiritual contribution that Gibran has made and continues to make to the world, relating to themes that unite all peoples and all religions. Taking place 6-10 August, 2018 at Sotheby's, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA.

Broken Wings (Musical): An autobiographical account of Kahlil Gibran's first love, 'Broken Wings' is a musical adaptation of the poet’s 1912 masterpiece. Set in New York City in 1923, an ageing Gibran narrates from his cold studio; and, through poetry and music, transports one back two decades and across continents, to turn-of-the-century Beirut and his 18-year-old self. Reflecting on his deep feelings for Selma Karamy - the daughter of family friend and respected local businessman who was betrothed to someone else - and how both had to fight to reconcile their love for one another, whilst navigating the rules, traditions and expectations that their society lays before them. A moving production, this explores what inspired the author to write and what moved him to such profound philosophy in his later life, bringing up themes that remain relevant today: the fight for gender equality, the freedom to love who we love, tradition versus modernity, wealth versus happiness, immigration and the importance of ‘home’. Written by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan and directed by Bronagh Lagan, it will be taking place 1-4 August, 2018 at Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street London SW1Y 4HT​.

Rachid Koraïchi: A solo exhibition for the Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi, whose impressive oeuvre includes silk hangings, ceramics, sculptures, as well as works on canvas and paper. Incorporating calligraphy as a graphic element in his work, Koraïchi sees art as an ancient path into the unknown, wherein the signs and symbols from civilisation’s oldest languages are abstracted and deconstructed to create a new visual vocabulary. In this newly presented series entitled 'Les osties bleues' - a reference to Sacramental bread - he explores human connections to the earth as a source of life. Set on blue and white canvases and wall mounted square ceramics, the artist continues to use a limited palette emphasizing the graphic power of his inscriptions. Taking place 21 June-28 July, 2018 at the October Gallery, ​24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL​.

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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.