Curious Inbox

  • Artwork - Libyan Artist Mohamed Abumeis - With Kind Permission (3)

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.

Hishek Bishek 10 - Sounds from the Middle East Underground: Journeying through the fascinating and bass-heavy musical landscape of the Middle East’s burgeoning electronic music scenes, Hishek Bishek has emerged to become London’s most pulsing Arabic Electronic party. From cutting-edge releases to bootleg wedding recordings, killer Mahraganat tracks and hypnotic Dabke remixes from the Levant, Hishek Bishek is back at Electrowerkz for a night of non-stop bass, mijwiz and beats. Hosted by MARSM events company, this event will take place 19 October, 2018 at Electrowerkz, 7 Torrens Street, London EC1V 1NQ. 

Yaz Fentazi Trio: The Yaz Fentazi Trio perform music that draws on the rich musical traditional of jazz, blues and North African music, built around their original compositions, the trio’s irresistible grooves and vibrant rhythm create a sizzling party atmosphere. The music is a rootsy blend of Gnawa, Chaabi and Andalusian Music.he music is a rootsy blend of Gnawa, Chaabi and Andalusian Music. Composed of Yaz Fentazi on oud, Samir Nacer on percussion and Robyn Hemmings on upright bass, this performance comes as part of the London African Music Festival, taking place 16 October, 2018 at the Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ.

Joseph Tawadros 'The Art Of The Oud': Joseph Tawadros, originally from Egypt, is a warmly engaging performer, presenting a thrilling mix of his own works that encompass world music, Middle Eastern music, jazz and classical elements. Passionate, to contemplative, to transcendent - interspersed with rollicking up-tempo pieces – the emotional range of his repertoire leaves listeners exhilarated. Joseph performs with great technical skill: from super fast virtuoso work to poignant tender phrases. He draws deeply from the Arabic music he was immersed in from childhood, yet every piece he presents on stage is an original contemporary composition. The music is enhanced with Joseph’s trademark storytelling and engaging with the audience. This event is a rare solo performance in London before he heads back to Australia for a National Tour. Taking place 13 October, 2018 at the October Gallery,  24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair: The 1-54 Fari returns to London for its sixth edition at Somerset House. The Fair will welcome 43 leading galleries from countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America, presenting over 130 artists from Africa and its diaspora. This edition will be accompanied by a compelling series of Special Projects and FORUM, the fair’s talks programme, curated for the first time by writer and curator Ekow Eshun. Founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, the 1-54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora with annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, it is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange. Taking place 4-7 October, 2018 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

24 Hours on Hamra Street: A new video installation by artist Lina Khatib in collaboration with the Damascus-based heavy metal band Maylasoon. The exhibition is a comment on the prevailing sense of routinisation through which conflicts, especially in the Middle East, are perceived. Over twenty four continuous hours starting at 5am, the artist sat on the pavement of Beirut’s busiest street discreetly shooting, every hour, a few minutes of daily life. The restricted view of the quotidian pace of Hamra Street, recorded through a phone camera placed at ground level and exhibited in this installation, draws the audience’s gaze to a view of the world as seen by the numerous, mostly Syrian, refugees, children, beggars, and homeless people who, since 2011, have been driven by conflict to literally live on the street, but whose presence has become so familiar on the streets of Beirut that they have been rendered invisible. Accompained by a short documentary by Maysaloon that chronicles their struggles in terms of the Syrian war, the exhibition dates are 28 September-5 October, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Yazz Ahmed Presents An Evening of ‘Psychedelic Arabic Jazz’: Internationally acclaimed trumpeter and composer Yazz Ahmed brings her seven-piece hafla band to Queen Elizabeth Hall's Purcell Room for an evening of ‘psychedelic Arabic jazz'. Fusing the music of her native Bahrain with modern British jazz, experimental electronics and manipulated field recordings, her 2017 album 'La Saboteuse' was considered a touchstone of modern jazz and improvisation. This concert, marking the release of her EP 'La Saboteuse Remixed', will also include music from Ahmed's suite 'Alhaan Al Siduri', inspired by Bahraini folk music and featuring special guest vocalist Brigitte Beraha. Whilst visual artist Tupac Martir, a co-collaborator with art-rock band 'These New Puritans', supplies lighting and special effects. Taking place 1 October, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.

Neither Here, Nor There Exhibition: Featuring works by international and British BME women artists, the exhibition creates a space to explore dual heritage and feelings of displacement. The group exhibition brings together eighteen artists from diverse backgrounds to also look into issues around women's rights and social justice; as well as the artists' responses and interpretations of the theme ‘Neither Here, Nor There’. Taking part are a mix of established and emerging artists, including: photographer Maha Alasaker (renowned for her project 'Women of Kuwait' and #ResistanceIsFemale), Aleesha Nandhra (illustrator, printmaker and member of PrintClub London), Areeba Siddique (Pakistani activist, Social Media Influencer and Blogger), Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail (co-founder of Muslim women’s group 'Variant Space'), Faiza Hussain, Erin Aniker and Jess Nash (co-founders of 'We Are Here'), amongst others. Taking place 26 July-30 September, 2018 at The Foundary, Oval Way, London SE11 5RR.

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.

Uncensored - Banned Books Week Quiz: Kicking off Banned Books Week, this event will feature an uncensored quiz led by the brilliant Bidisha S K Mamata and hosted by Saqi publishers. Guests are invited to bring along a pen and their bookish friends and be prepared to be shocked by the real and dangerous – and often ludicrous – state of book censorship, past and present, around the world. There will be prizes and approximately ten rounds of questions, with audience engagement actively encouraged and wherein heckles are only accepted in the form of haiku! Bidisha is a writer, journalist and broadcaster specialising in social justice, international affairs, gender and the arts, as well as being a Trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation. Saqi is a 35-year-old London-based Middle East specialist and independent publishing house that is no stranger to the banning of its books all over the Middle East or facing threats over its published material. Taking place 23 September, 2018 at the Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH.


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.