Curious Inbox

  • Natacha Atlas - 8 February, 2018 - London - Bush Hall -

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.

47Soul Balfron Promise Launch: Blasting and dancing their way through the Arabic music scene, the four members of the 47Soul have electrically reshaped the boundaries of contemporary underground music. Their infectious take on dabke, with piercing synthesisers, ‘Mijwez’ melodies, dance drums and resonating vocals has rapidly amassed them fans around the world. The product of a three year residency in London, the 'Balfron Promise' is their first full-length album and an elaboration on the highly successful debut EP the 'Sham Step'. Expanding on the band’s pioneering genre and revisiting the traditional music omnipresent in Levant area of the Arab world, the album is inspired equally by modern-day London and the 100 year-old politics still influencing their story today. Taking place on 9 October, 2017 at the Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, London EC2A 3PQ.

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair: Initiated by the Moroccan Touria El Glaoui ​in 2013 and with annual editions now in London, New York and Marrakech, the 1:54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary African art. Striving to promote a diverse set of African perspectives from around the world, it features the top international galleries that specialise in African art and showcases the work of more than 130 emerging and established African and African diaspora artists who work in a wide variety of mediums and from a spread of geographical backgrounds comprising 32 countries, including artists and galleries from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Alongside the fair, there will also be a number of collateral exhibitions at Somerset House - including a solo show for the British-Moroccan Hassan Hajjaj's - and with a FORUM, which is an extensive talks and events programme. Taking place from 5-8 October, 2017 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

Arabic Pasts - Histories & Historiographies: An exploratory and informal workshop to reflect on methodologies, research agendas, and case studies for investigating history writing in Arabic in the Middle East and North Africa in any period from the seventh century to the present. Looking into the practices of writing or otherwise encoding the past and of remembering and forgetting, it considers different groups in the region at different times and places; including, for example, how things were for the court historians as opposed to the literary historians or between the bureaucrats and military, or for the Muslims and non-Muslims in how they viewed their role in connection to the universal history of the Islamic community. Hosted by the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, the workshop takes place on 6 October, 2017 at 210 Euston Road Room 2.3 London NW1 2DA.

Hijabi Monologues London: Experience the diverse stories of Muslim women from all over the world - unfiltered and uncensored. The Hijabi Monologues London is part of an international project focusing on the real-life experiences of both local and international Muslim women. In a similar style to Black Lives, Black Words at the Bush Theatre earlier this year, Hijabi Monologues London features interweaving stories from our doorstep as well as experiences of Muslim women in other parts of the world. Directed by Milli Bhatia, the evening will include existing monologues penned for this international project by women including original writer Sahar Ullah and three new works from members of the Bush Theatre’s immediate community totalling nine UK premieres. Taking place 28-30 September, 2017 at the Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 8LJ​.

(UN)Covered Performance: Made between the UK and Egypt, (Un)Covered is a solo dance theatre action by contemporary dance artist and choreographer Zosia Jo as she explores women inside their clothes. It considers how to embody empowerment against the politicization, violence and control society imposes on women's bodies via the clothes they wear. This issue connects all people, across borders and transcending cultural difference. The freedom is not in what one wears or doesn't wear - it is in the choice. This is her reaction and solution with a Q+A after the show. Taking place on 30 September, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. 

Resistance and Social Justice Struggles in the Maghreb: Two events exploring the subject of resistance and social justice struggles in the Maghreb since the Arab uprisings ignited the historic upheavals in North Africa and opened up new horizons for people to express their discontent and demand radical change and forcing almost every government in the region to concede on certain issues at the political and economic levels. Despite the setbacks, the revolutionary fervour is still alive with the yearning for transformative change and justice and the resistance of marginalised people. The first event is a panel discussion with activists from the region and the second will see two documentary film screenings around struggles for land and food sovereignty in Tunisia and Morocco wtih post Q+A with the directors. Taking place 29-30 September, 2017 at War On Want, 44-48 Shepherdess Walk London N1 7JP.

Halal Love (and Sex) Film: Directed by Assad Fouladkar, this film is about three individual but intertwined stories in which devout Beiruti Muslims try to manage their love lives and desires without breaking any of their religion’s rules. Awatef, middle aged mom of two girls, is recruiting a second wife to help her satisfy her overly loving husband. The young and excessively jealous Mokhtar needs to find his ex-wife another man to be able to marry her again - for the fourth time. Loubna, freshly divorced, can finally marry her true love, but on a short-term contract only since he has a family. Hosted by Basira, this screening takes place on 29 September, 2017 at the Mosaic Rooms, Tower House,  226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW.

Flamenco Evolution, Baghdad to Seville: A night of outstanding music, flamenco dance breaking down long-standing cultural and historical barriers. Iraqi Oud player Attab Haddad has had an interest in flamenco more or less since he started playing the oud. Flamenco's forms, rhythms and melodies have influenced a large part of his work and he is still fascinated by the connections between flamenco and Middle Eastern music. This show aims to highlight this connection and build on it with original compositions and renditions of melodies from Andalucian times and the Middle East that shows the common thread that runs through these traditions al the way to Iraq. Described as a ‘virtuoso’ by The Guardian, Haddad's playing has featured in independent cinema and Hollywood films and he has performed in the UK, Europe, the USA and India. Taking place on 28 September, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. 

Lowkey - Live At The Coronet: Lowkey is one of the UK's most potent and electrifying rappers who is now a towering figure of the conscious hip-hop scene. Renewing the tradition of activism and astute social commentary, he will be on on a UK tour that will end in no other than London's renowned live-music venue, the Coronet. Fusing politically charged lyrics and deft dissection of topics such as race, war, global poverty and politics with anthemic choruses and unrelentingly energetic performance, Lowkey commands a keen and growing legion of followers - still treading new ground and generating fresh interest 14 years after beginning his career. To be joined by special guests, the concert will be on 28 September, 2017 at The Coronet Theatre, Elephant & Castle, 28 New Kent Rd, London SE1 6TJ.

Rock [Beats] Chaabi - El Morabba3 & Islam Chipsy: Challenging the lines between Rock, electronica, beats and Chaabi, this double bill brings together the euphoric sounds of Jordan’s El Morabba3 with the enthralling pulse of Egypt’s Islam Chipsy. Vital players in the urban Chaabi scene, Islam Chipsy are at the forefront of what has traditionally been regarded as Egyptian working-class celebration music. With their success now rippling far beyond the backstreets of their native Cairo, their charismatically frantic sets have remolded the appeal of live Chaabi performance. Whilst the Jordanian-Palestinian band El Morabba3 offer groundbreaking sounds, their artistic journey has seen them become one of the leading socially and politically relevant bands reviving the Arab independent music scene, solidified since the release of their second album Taraf Al Kheit in 2016.​ Taking place on 23 September, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.


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.