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.

What do you mean, here we are?: A retrospective of the renowned Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 1998, Townhouse emerged onto a scene dominated by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and its private affiliates. As one of the first independent art spaces in Cairo, Townhouse has borne witness to an unusual and intriguing trajectory. Through a series of visual, video material and sound art as well as pamphlets, catalogues and ephemera, this exhibition tells the story of Townhouse’s evolution from a modest start in the backstreets of downtown Cairo to its emergence at the centre of the regional contemporary art scene, and further across more recent periods of turmoil and re-configuration. It will also raise larger questions about cultural production and artistic practice in capricious socio-political climates and the challenges faced by independent institutions operating under censorship. Taking place 6 July-15 September, 2018 at the Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW.

Palestine Verses: An annual poetry night that began in 2014 after the assault on Gaza, for people who wanted to express solidarity, share experiences and voice their emotions. Hosted by Interpal, this is an evening of performance and poetry, featuring spoken word artists Richard Sudan, Atlas X, and Tom Bishop with an open mic session. Helping to raise funds, awareness and most importantly, to show love and solidarity with the people of Palestine, this event will take place 14 September,  2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA. 

This Is Home (Film): What happens to Syrian refugees given haven in a western country? This striking suburban Baltimore set film paints a fascinating picture of the USA through the eyes of four families going through the country’s refugee self-sufficiency resettlement programme. The journey towards acculturation includes buying hijabs featuring the stars and stripes; discovering twelve hour working days; and beginning to confront the challenging gender expectations of their new home. 'This Is Home' gives a novel portrait of America, whilst conveying the resilience of its shipwrecked subjects in a moving and compelling fashion. A UK premiere, coming as part of the Open City Documentary Festival, the screening is on 8 September, 2018 at the Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 5DY.

Banipal Book Club: The popular book club returns and will be discussing the novella and film adaptation of 'Men in the Sun' by Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani. Kanafani’s novella, first published in Arabic in 1962 and subsequently translated into many languages, tells of the Palestinian experience following the creation of Israel through the stories of four men. Abu Qais, Assad and Marwan are trying to reach Kuwait in the hope of finding work and improving their families’ impoverished situation. Abul Khaizuran, a fellow Palestinian, offers (for a fee) to smuggle them across the border in the tank of the water truck he drives for a rich Kuwaiti. The film based on the novella, 'Al-Makhdu’un' (variously translated as 'The Dupes or The Deceived'), was first shown at a film festival in Syria 1972. Taking place as part of the wider collaboration between the Banipal Magazine Issue 62 and the SAFAR Film Festival 2018, the book club is on 6 September, 2018 at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. This is free to attend but you must RSVP in advance via the link below.  

Tints of Resilience: A collective exhibition curated by Rania Mneimneh, this brings together the works of eleven international artists in a rich tapestry of visual artworks, photography, poetry and film. Exploring the potential of art in developing resilience in zones of conflict, it places art at the heart of adversity and examining its ability to reconnect and maintain the bonds with home, people, and tradition. The artists, who are all connected to the Middle East, share their experiences in art-making and using art to cope with war, asylum, injury and search for identity, presenting both individual explorations and artistic collaborations with refugee children, social workers, and art therapists. Tracing the intimate process of coping with family death, forced migration, identity crisis, cultural loss, and difficulties in integration, the show offers a sharing space with a variety of artistic media, where the process stands alongside the end product including documentaries, paintings, illustrations and photography. Including a parallel programme of presentations, taking place 17 August-6 September, 2018 at the P21 Gallery,  21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Emma Brown's 'Sahrawi Women And Their Sahara': Made over seven years of documenting the work of London based Olive Branch Arts in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps in South West Algeria, this series of photographs explores Emma Brown's personal connections with the women, young and old who are the backbone of their community, and the harsh desert that they are compelled to live in. Despite extreme hardships, the Sahrawi community has managed to build a democratically run nation-in-exile on the refugee camps where women play a prominent role, defying Western preconceptions of Arab-Muslim societies. Brown is an award-winning portrait and humanitarian photographer, whose visual storytelling takes a meditative approach that enables her to go almost unnoticed, allowing her to create lyrical, humanistic images. Taking place 1 August-2 September, 2018 at the Poplar Union, 2 Cotall Street, Poplar, London E14 6TL.

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.


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.