Curious Inbox

  • 'Retracing A Disappearing Landscape' Multidisciplinary Exhibition - P21 Gallery - 30 March- 15 May 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.

Naseer Shamma's Quartet: Naseer Shamma is one of the world’s pre-eminent oud players and composers, revered both in his home country of Iraq and worldwide, who was recently named a UNESCO Artist for Peace. For this special performance, he brings with him three distinguished players from around the world, each experts in their respective musical traditions who are united in their understanding of a transcendental musical language. All master instrumentalists from Iraq, Pakistan and Spain, they will bring forward a mesmerising performance of oud, Flamenco guitar, tabla and sitar.​ Taking place 11 July, 2018 at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS.

Yasmine Hamdan @JazzCafe: Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan is one of the most groundbreaking musicians in the Arab world, thanks in part to her work in the electronic indie band Soapkills, and to her solo music which has become the soundtrack to the vibrant, young arts scene which developed in postwar Lebanon. Her solo material has proved sleeker and more sophisticated over two albums: Ya Nass (Hey People), and the dreamy electronica of Al Jamilat (The Beautiful Ones), released on Crammed Discs, a label also home to the likes of Acid Arab and Baloji. Possessing a unique allure, her style is casual, provocative and framed by commanding movements. Taking place 12 June, 2018 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway Camden Town, London NW1 7PG​.

Maya Youssef at Songlines Encounters: Born in Damascus, Maya Youssef is a virtuoso on the qanun, the magnificent Arabic zither that is at the heart of Arabic classical music. Now based in the UK, thanks to an Arts Council Exceptional Talent Scheme, she released her highly-praised debut album Syrian Dreams in November. Accompanied by percussion and cello, she performs music lamenting the war in her homeland and celebrating its rich cultural and architectural heritage. This concert is part of the Songlines Encounters Festival, an annual celebration bringing high-quality artists from around the world championed by Songlines magazine to play music at Kings Place. Taking place 2 June, 2018 at King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.

Yto Barrada - Agadir: A major London commission, Moroccan artist Yto Barrada weaves together personal narratives and political ideals to create a complex portrait of a city and its people in a state of transition. The sweeping form of the Curve at the Barbican will be transformed with a dramatic installation – encompassing a mural, film commission, sculptures, and a series of live and recorded performances – ​to consider how a city and its people might address the process of reinvention following disaster. Barrada takes as her starting point a surreal text by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine - Agadir (1967) - reflecting on the devastating earthquake of 1960 that destroyed much of the modernist Moroccan city.​ Over the past two decades, the artist's multimedia practice has explored questions ranging from migration to abstraction, from fossils to botany, examining the strategies of resistance employed every day in her native Morocco. Taking place 7 February-20 May, 2018 at The Curve, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS​​.

Retracing A Disappearing Landscape: Curated by Najlaa El-Ageli (Noon Arts Projects) and the first of its kind internationally, this six-week interdisciplinary art exhibition will be exploring people’s direct experience of and fascination with memory and personal history as well as the collective narratives that arise in connection with modern day Libya. Involving the participation of over 25 contemporary artists and professionals, it will feature visual artworks, especially commissioned installations, film, photography (archival and recent) and seven parallel presentations that will offer more depth and insight into the exhibition themes and shared stories. With the mixed input of both the artists and professionals - whose diverse backgrounds draw upon the arts, poetry, literature, history, research, photojournalism and documentary filmmaking - this will be an eye-opener for special guests and the British public. Taking place 30 March-15 May, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

The Artisans Of Al-Darb Al-Ahmar: An exhibition that celebrates the people, culture and activity that takes place in this historic district of Cairo, that is home to 1,000 artisan workshops and 25 historical Islamic monuments. Darb Al-Ahmar, a maze of narrow and windy alleyways, connects visitors with a past and a way of life that can be found in very few places left in the world today. A huge array of crafts are made there from brass lanterns, to tents, glassware, and furniture inlaid with mother of pearl using designs that are unique to Egypt, Cairo and the district. Capturing the life and diversity of the place, the exhibition features photographs, video interviews and some of the objects that are made in Darb Al-Ahmar. The show aims to dispel negative misperceptions of Cairo (and to an extent Egypt), raise interest in the district and encourage the audience to visit it and support the artisan community who live there. Taking place 23 March-24 April, 2018 at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR.​

Showtime From The Frontline (Theatre): 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.

Emel Mathlouthi Live In London: Emel Mathlouthi is called 'the Voice of the Tunisian Revolution' and her songs carry all the fire and charge that one would expect from such an accolade. For this special evening, she will be with her band to perform their incredibly unique blend of electronic and traditional Tunisian music. With influences ranging from F Buttons, James Blake to Joan Chandos Baez, Sheikh Imam and Marcel Khalife, Mathlouthi is a truly cutting edge global artist who has played at prestigious events, such as the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, and has been censored for the political content and steel of her music. Taking place 18 April, 2018 at Archspace London, Tripspace 339-340 Acton Mews, E8 4EA London​

Sticks And Stones (Comedy): Presented by Arts Canteen, a brand new comedy show about culture, conflict, and dreams that will be unlike any thing you’ve seen before! BAFTA-winning TV presenter and comedian Omar Hamdi returns to Rich Mix for an exclusive solo show. The Welsh-Egyptian satirist takes aim at prejudice, racism, Islamophobia, and social and political misdeeds wherever he finds them. Omar makes the personal political and the political personal, with a disarming every-man charm. Omar Hamdi has clearly found a popular niche in his natural fascination with the human mind and inspired hybrid of standup that promises to be both informative and entertaining. Taking place 13 April, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.​

Khaled Mattawa: Libyan poet Khaled Mattawa will present a special talk on 'Poems Moving Pictures<>Pictures Moving Poems​' as part of the 'Retracing A Disappearing Landscape' interdisciplinary exhibition. Promising to be a fascinating discussion, it will be in tandem with the overall context of the show: to explore people's direct experience of and fascination with personal memory as well as the collective narratives that arise in connection to modern day Libya. Mattawa is a renowned Libyan poet, highly acclaimed Arab-American writer and a leading literary translator. He is the author of four collections of poetry, is the co-editor of two Arab American literature anthologies and the translator of eleven volumes of modern Arabic poetry. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in major American literary reviews and anthologies and his is the recipient of many literary awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a USA Artists Award and a MacArthur fellowship. Taking place on 31 March, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.


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.