Curious Inbox

  • Tints of Resilience Exhibition - At P21 Gallery - London 17 August-6 September, 2018
  • SAFAR Film Festival - A Literary Journey Through Arab Cinema - London 13-18 September, 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.

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-12 May, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Hamza Namira: Hailed as the 'new Sayed Darwish', Hamza Namira is one of the most celebrated faces of modern Arabic music. A songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist from Egypt, Hamza has become a luminous expression of his homeland’s resilience and ambition. Emerging as a major public figure, most notably since the Egyptian revolution of 2011, he uses his work to explore and engage with the prominent social issues of today. Well aware of a range of dilemmas his generation is facing, he addresses them in an emotive and inclusive manner, weaving through Egyptian traditional and folk music, pop, rock and jazz along the way. He will be debuting his new album 'Hateer Min Tany' (translates as 'Rising Again') with his Cairo-based ensemble on 12 May, 2018 at the Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ.

Guy Manoukian & Guest Stars: In aid of the British Lebanese Association Scholarship Fund, the internationally renowned Lebanese musician, composer and pianist, Guy Manoukian returns to London for a sensational concert featuring his sublime music and hit songs from his best-selling albums. Manoukian has been on the international stage for the last 15 years and a winner of Best Dance Album both at the Arabian Music Awards in Dubai and the Armenian Music Awards in Los Angeles. He has he worked with big names in the US attracted by his unique fusion of oriental melodies with modern arrangements and has performed at sell out concerts in Singapore, Cairo, Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Los Angeles and the Sydney Opera House and many more. Featuring guest stars Abu, Lena Chamamyan and Gipsy King family members Mario Reyes and Paul Santiago, this promises to be a very special evening​. Taking place 8 May, 2018 at the London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, London W1F 7TE​.

Oxford Maqam: Hailed as 'revolutionary' and 'powerfully atmospheric' by Songlines magazine, Oxford Maqam's stunning renditions pay an influential homage to Egypt’s early musical theatre and the creative and stylistic developments of the ‘Nahda’ Era, the Renaissance of the Arab world. In this concert, the UK’s premier Arabic ensemble returns to London's Brunei Gallery in what is their tenth year of performing as a 'takht', a Middle Eastern ensemble of instruments. They will be presenting some old favourites as well as brand new pieces, including rarely heard nationalist and love songs from the repertoire of Egypt's early recording era diva, Munira Al-Mahdiyya. Following the success of their debut album 'The Wax Cylinder Recordings', the band is currently working on their second album for release next year, a project that is based on one of the earliest sources of written transcriptions of a modern Egyptian song – a source that was largely neglected in the Arab world until Zoheir El Shayeb's recent translation. Taking place 5 May, 2018 at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG.

Arab Are Not Funny: Join some of comedy’s finest up-and-coming and established names at Arabs Are Not Funny, the best in stand-up comedy from the Arab world and surrounding regions. The confirmed comedians for this edition are: Omar Hamdi (an Egyptian-Welsh comic who has supported A-list comedians including Russell Kane, Ava Vidal and Milton Jones and is a regular sell-out at the Edinburgh Fringe), Samar Selby (a mixed Middle Eastern-British born comedian who began her journey into stand-up comedy in 2010, storytelling about the journey of being a female Arab in the western world and challenging stereotypes), and stand-up comedian, writer and actor Bilal Zafar (he has been described as ‘fascinating and hilarious in equal measure’ by i-D’s Ian Jones and is also a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe). Taking place 4 May, 2018 at the Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP.

Vibrations - Kuwait to Jamaica: A screening of Zahed Sultan’s documentary ‘Vibrations’ along with a panel talk and short performance. The film traces the steps of Zahed Sultan, Kuwaiti multimedia artist and social entrepreneur, whose grassroots approach to work in social causes and music are the inspiration for a recording project that takes him to uncharted territory - Jamaica. The film reveals Sultan's approach to re-imagining the folk music traditions of Kuwait and his journey to discover the roots of Jamaica's musical and societal heritage – with a cast of characters he meets along the way who help him realise the unlikely bridges that exist between two seemingly disparate cultures – ties that remind us of our shared struggles as people and our ability to empower ourselves in a rapidly changing world. After the screening Zahed will then host a panel talk in more detail about the film and the cultural themes and societal issues raised. Taking place 3 May, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

How the Nakba Reveals Itself Today: Artists are architects of change. This panel will explore the influence of the Nakba on displaced Palestinian artists and looking at how the Nakba reveals itself in their work, as well as looking at the narratives that have emerged throughout seventy years. Taking place as part of the The Festival of Muslim Cultures and Ideas(MFest), it will feature singer Reem Kelani, writer Selma Dabbagh, poet Mustafa Abu Sneineh and Dina Matar. Taking place 29 April, 2018 at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.

Lekhfa & Tamer Nafar (from DAM): A captivating double bill of some of the Middle East’s most trailblazing underground musicians. From dystopian poetry to bass-heavy hip-hop beats and stripped down Egyptian dance tracks, this showcase celebrates the contemporary musical projects making headlines and pushing the boundaries of the alternative Arabic music scene. Lekhfa, the brainchild of Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, three legendary musicians who came of age in 1990s Cairo. Decades later, each having paved their way through the alternative Arabic music scene, have united to create a stunning new album that gives birth to an off-kilter sound of beats, grit and resistance. They are joined by Tamer Nafar, founding member of the legendary Palestinian rap trio DAM Palestine, whose cunning solo show is a beat-defying homage to his thoughts, life and inspirations, and a cleverly defined extension of his hip-hop roots and Palestinian heritage. Taking place as part of a UK Tour, they are in London 27 April, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. 

Omar El Nagdi Exhibition: Renowned artist and considered one of Egypt’s most celebrated painters, Omar El Nagdi has over time participated in many exhibitions and Biennales in Egypt, Europe, the US and Russia. He is also the recipient of many local and international art prizes, and obtained the French Parliament’s medal. His paintings have been acquired by museums and renowned institutions throughout the world. There is also a museum on his name in France. Known for his symbolist style and colours, his work is inspired by Egyptian life to which he adds a humanist and mystic perspective. Taking place 21-25 April, 2018 at Egyptian Cultural & Educational Bureau, 4 Chesterfield Gardens, Mayfair, London W1J 5BG.

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.​


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.