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.

Cairokee @JazzCafe: The name expresses the irrefutable connection with their Egyptian audiences, combining Cairo and Karaoke to symbolize a "singing along” with Cairo. Yet after over 15 years of performing and four albums, their captivating energy, creativity and humility has ensured that it is now Cairo that sings along with them, and not the other way around. Articulating elements of contemporary Egyptian society that drive their generation, their music balances rock and spacious electronica with hints of pop and chaabi. Their anthemic calls for freedom, self-reflection and societal changes are an innate reflection of their phenomenal song-writing abilities and fan base, but have not always resonated with authorities back home. As part of their anticipated autumn UK tour, they will be performing twice in London on 2-3 November, 2018 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London NW1 7PG.

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

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.


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.