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.

El Far3i, Al Raseef & Z The People: Three music acts in one evening enchanted by diverse and accomplished musicians across Balkan, Soul, Arabic Folk, Acoustic Rap, Hip-Hop and more! El Far3i's music can be described as a mixture of Hip Hop, Arabic Folk and Acoustic Rap and Arabic poetry. He believes in the power of his music and exploring and adapting the lyrics to fit the current social and political conditions. Al Raseef is a dynamic street band that plays a fusion between Arabic and Balkan music in vibrant and varied grooves, with a contemporary and new fresh arrangements. Z The People is a singer, producer and keys player from the Palestinian diaspora who has carved a reputation for his style of mixing of Soul and Arabic music, wherein the songwriting reflects the struggle of two worlds colliding and the search for home in a scattered universe. Taking place 21 August, 2018 at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU.

Sounds of Freedom: An evening to celebrate the wonderful culture of Palestine and the struggle of its people for their right to return, liberation and national self-determination. Featuring a number of different acts, these include the young musicians and dancers from the Lajee Center, a cultural youth centre ini the heart of the Aida Refugee Camp in Palestine, as well as performance by the London-based women's dance company Hawiyya and poetry from the inspiring Baraka Youth Association, a group of Somali youngsters living in North Kensington. The event will also include appearances from award-winning British-Iraqi rapper and political activist Lowkey and renowned Palestinian author and academic Karma Nabulsi. Taking place 18 August, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Of Fathers And Sons: For 12-year-old Osama and his peers, childhood is about playfighting, mastering times tables and inventing new games. But in a war-torn Syria now taken over by radical jihadist networks, Osama’s playground is an abandoned tank, games are making bombs in water bottles and school graduation is an ISIS training camp. In this brave, unflinching documentary, director Talal Derki returns to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses on the eldest child Osama and his younger brother Ayman, gaining an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up in an Islamic Caliphate. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and a Skype call with director Derki about the film and its themes on 17 Augustl, 2018 at Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, London WC1N 1AW.

Women/Jerusalem/Threads: Curated by Nissa Abdurazzak, this is the first London showcase of the international travelling exhibition, 'Palestine: Story and Colour', with a focus on the collective representation of women costumes in paintings. In commemoration of 70 years since the Nakba, the day following Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, the show explores the issues of displacement and identity loss through an observation of the eroding costumes tradition in Palestine as represented in paintings by Palestinian diaspora artists. Featuring the works of Jordanian and Palestinian artists, the works reveal how art becomes a tool to assure the continuance of Palestinian history in Jerusalem. Taking place 4-11 August, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

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.

Remember Baghdad: 'Remember Baghdad is a film about the last Iraqi Jews in Baghdad, Iraq and five families who look back on a scarcely imaginable time there, when Iraq was booming, it was pleasure-seeking, and there was inter-communal trust. Whereas today, after decades of war and instability, Iraq is a very different place. In spite of the danger, North Londoner Edwin Shuker decided to return to the country he loved and wanting to buy a house in Iraq so that he can say "the Jews have not all gone” and to plant a seed of hope for the future. On the hundredth anniversary of the British invasion in 1917, the film offers an unmissable insight into how the country has developed from a completely new perspective – through the eyes of the Jews who lived there for 2,600 years until only a generation ago. The screening will be followed by a short talk with Shuker and Baroness Nicholson on 8 August, 2018 at Somerset House, The Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

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​.

Banipal Book Club - Midaq Alley: The Banipal Club will be discussing the book 'Midaq Alley' by Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz. As the Banipal 62 issue will have the theme of literature and film, the Club will also consider the film adaptations of the novel. Published in Arabic in 1947, it was translated into English by Trevor Le Gassick in 1966. In preparation, attendees can access the 1963 Arabic film 'Zuqaq al-Midaq' (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0175366/reference) or on YouTube, or clips of the 1995 Mexican adaptation El Callejón de los Milagros (‘Alley of Miracles’, the Spanish name for the novel), which stars Salma Hayek and transfers the story from Cairo to Mexico City (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112619/). The Club meetings are free but please RSVP, either by email at bookclub@banipal.co.uk or via the Facebook page. Taking place 25 July, 2018 at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

The Past Is Present Becoming Egyptian In The 20th Century: A display featuring a broad selection of objects from 20th-century Egypt that together explore the ways in which ancient Egypt has provided inspiration for modern Egypt to brand itself through everyday goods. Focusing on the emblem of Banque Misr (Bank of Egypt) that was established in 1920 as the first bank owned and managed by Egyptians, its emblem includes a depiction of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, and lotus flowers, symbols of rebirth. Other objects further illustrate the connection between national economy, ancient imagery and the construction of modern identity, including: a milk bottle with the same logo as the bank, magazines, cigarette packages, a banknote, and a vinyl record. These newly acquired objects show the complex ways that ancient heritage was reclaimed and integrated into the everyday life of a society that was both modernising and confronting immense political change. Taking place 24 May-22 July, 2018 at the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

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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.