Curious Inbox

  • Astrolab - Artist Anissa Berkane -

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.

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

Ballad For Syria (Film Screening): 'Ballad for Syria' is a film that narrates poetic stories in short stanzas, hence a self-reflective musical documentary that mirrors the life of Maisa Alhafez, a musician and a Syrian refugee living in Istanbul. It is about her longing to be with her loved ones as she tries to make a place for herself in the world of the displaced. Confronted by a challenging EU-Turkey border regime and unable to reach her true love (fiancé) in the Netherlands, Maisa builds a multicultural choir. By bringing together a diverse family that sings together, Maisa believes that through music and love one can heal the wounds of her people and children. Hosted by the Woolf Institute, there will also be a discussion and Q+A with Maisa Alhafez and Eda Elif Tibet on the making of the film, looking at the role of music in fostering a sense of cultural identity in diaspora. Taking place 29 October, 2018 at the Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0UB.

BFI London Film Festival 2018: The annual BFI London Film Festival returns for its 62nd edition, bringing altogether 225 feature films that have been sourced from 77 countries and to be shown at 14 cinemas over 12 days across London. Bringing the most up to date films on an international scale, the BFI annually hosts the work of both emerging and established directors from across the globe with many screenings being world premieres. Organised under different genres, there are a number of films from the MENA region that can be found by going through the online categories, that inlcude: Galas and Special Presentations, Dare, Thrill, Laugh, Debate, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Experimenta, Treasure and Documentary. Taking place 10-21 October, 2018 at various cinemas in London, this is a must attend festival!

Lena Chamamyan: An award-winning singer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist from Syria, Chamamyan revives Syrian, Armenian and Bahraini folkloric songs with modern styles, creating an unforgettable link between oriental classic compositions and contemporary world music. Her arrangements and vocals skillfully incorporate jazz, fado, as well as Latin and African music, and even opera elements. Singing in Arabic, Armenian, Syriac, English, French, and Italian, Chamamyan is renowned as a leading singer of her generation and most innovative voice to emerge within contemporary Syrian music. Here she returns to London with her ensemble for a full-length charity concert in support of Breast Cancer Hope, a vital organisation dedicated to funding research to improve the lives of women with breast cancer. Taking place 20 October, 2018 at the Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ.

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.


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.