Curious Inbox

  • Rachid Koraïchi - 'Masters of Time' Exhibition - October Gallery - 21 June-28 July, 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.

Le Trio Joubran: The three Joubran brothers - Samir, Wissam and Adnan - who hail from a Palestinian family synonymous with the rich musical heritage of the Oud, will be performing a special one night only concert at the Cadogan Hall. Playing together with percussionist Youssef Hbeisch, they craft complex and remarkably varied compositions that pay tribute to the instrument’s history, whilst revitalising its contemporary musical landscape with hints of blues, flamenco, jazz and rock. Their passages develop into mesmerising improvisations and brooding Arabic melodies that build up into quick-fire arrangements. Taking place 9 March, 2018 at the Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ​.

{Un}told Stories From the Arab World: A scheduled series of films and discussions on current issues from the Middle East and North Africa region. Whilst the artists and video-makers come from different backgrounds and parts of the world - either local, Diaspora or Western - their documentaries, fictions and video installations all connect to the human condition in today’s complex geopolitical societies in Arab countries, where often there is no room for expression on issues that affect the rights of the people, and the answer is often a passive complicity within mass observers. More than ever, the storytelling sets every character as a passenger within crucial time and space. Whether from a war zone, a no man’s land or an abandoned building, each film sheds light on places and zones that witnessed or engendered a life-changing moment for the narrators and ultimately their protagonists too. Taking place 15 February-7 March, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Bismillah! (An ISIS Tragicomedy): Wound Up’s second staging of Matthew Greenhough’s show which enjoyed a critically acclaimed premiere run at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It brings Dean, who joined the army, and Danny, who joined the Islamic State. Bismillah! is their time together in a basement in northern Iraq as hostage and guard. Exploring the strange new reality of youth in modern day Britain, this unique tragicomedy of our time examines social alienation, radicalisation, disenfranchisement and the rock band Queen. Three years after the show took Edinburgh by storm, the play has lost none of its importance. In fact in the Trump era, post truth world of travel bans and extremism, the show is now more relevant than ever​. Taking place 28 February-4 March, 2018 at The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN.

8 Borders, 8 Days (Film): Directed by Amanda Bailly, this is the story of a single mother from Syria and her children. With no answer to her application for resettlement, and every other path to safety closed off, a smuggler’s raft to Europe was the only way out. This film reveals the intimate details of why a mother is willing to risk her children’s lives for a better future and an immersive experience of their eight-day journey to safety. A one-off screening, it will be followed by a panel discussion with the director and guests. Taking place on 1 March, 2018 at the Bertha Doc House, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, London WC1N 1AW.

Arabs Are Not Funny (Comedy): Bringing some of comedy’s finest up and coming and established names from the Arab world and surrounding regions, this is a very popular night out with all acts in English. The line-up includes: MC Sarah Agha (half-Palestinian, half-Irish actress from London, she is a member of the comedy group SYC at the Soho Theatre and was semi-finalist in Dublin's 'Craic Attack'), Zahra Barri (with a unique Eastern and Kanye Western perspective on all of life’s big questions), Mohamed Omar (Somali-born, Cardiff-raised and London based comic who brings in his third culture kid way of thinking), Fatiha El-Ghorri (underneath her colourful hijab is a mind full of cutting observations and engaging witticism of the life and times of a British Muslim), and Marouen Mraihi (a versatile comedian and improviser from Tunisia, equally comfortable performing in English, French, Italian and Arabic). Taking place on 23 February, 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP. 

Sounds Of Resistance: As part of Israel Apartheid Week 2018, this evening is dedicated to the ongoing struggle of the Palestinian people and their fight for justice, standing up to 100 years of settler colonialism and celebrating 100 years of resistance. Presented by 'War on Want' and 'Artists for Palestine UK', this will be a compelling showcase of leading musical wordsmiths, including: Benjamin Zephaniah (iconic dub poet, novelist and playwright), Tamer Nafar (founding member of the legendary Palestinian rap trio DAM, whose wit and dedication have helped pave an impressive way for homegrown Arabic hip-hop), Remi Kanazi (Palestinian-American poet, writer and organiser whose most recent collection of poetry is called 'Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up From Brooklyn to Palestine') and Rasha Hilwi aka DJ Hilwi (a Palestinian writer, cultural journalist, cultural manager and DJ). Taking place 23 February, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Once Upon A Time - Kan Ya Makan Storytelling Workshop: A workshop exploring the magical medium of storytelling, one of the most popular art forms in the Arab world, through the embodiment of El Hakawati (The Storyteller). Started in rural areas when shepherds used to gather under a tree to share stories with villagers, this art form gradually moved to cafés and diwans to become a tool of resistance and social justice. Everyone knows a good story, modern or ancient, that is worth being shared and listened to. This introductory session will explore techniques of storytelling and offer a platform to share these stories and explore them artistically through drama, dance, music, visual theatre and play. It will be facilitated by Elias Matar, a Palestinian drama therapist, workshop facilitator, performer and founder of the El Bayet Centre for Performing Arts & Drama Therapy in London. Taking place on 21 February, 2018 at the Arab Briitsh Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE.

Burkas And Bacon Butties: A heart-warming ‘East meets West’ comedy charting a father-daughter relationship over the course of a year. Ashraf is an Egyptian, a Muslim and a taxi driver and Shazia is his half-Egyptian, half-Wigan, twenty-something daughter. Through multiple journeys in Ashraf’s taxi we explore the nuances of a mixed-culture family in contemporary Britain – the secrets kept and the stories told, and ask whether, despite the differences, family can win out regardless of the bacon butties. Based on writer Shamia Chalabi’s real life experiences, Burkas and Bacon Butties depicts the clashes, compromises and ultimately the comedy that can result from being born into two different cultures. Taking place 14-18 February, 2018 at The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. 

MAWEAF Multimedia Arts Festival (Algeria Edition): An exciting showcase of the underground art scene of Africa’s largest country, Algeria, comes in full force to London with a spellbinding contemporary showcase of theatre, photography, design, workshops and feature films. Little known in the UK, and significantly under-represented across British cultural scenes, this programming will take on Algeria’s multi-faceted reality in which the participating artists have grown and developed their work. Themed around the “Africanity” of Algeria, the festival celebrates and explores the African dimension of Algeria’s identity, whilst also confronting the burning issues of rising xenophobia, racial controversies and the lack of ties south of the Sahara. The festival is all free to attend except for the evening concert which is ticketed. Taking place on 10 February, 2018 at Rich MIx, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

DisPLACED: Curated by the Contemporary Arts ReSearch Unit (CARO), this collective show brings together artists whose work evokes a range of responses to the working theme of ‘disPLACED’. It features photography, video, painting, prints, sculpture, as well as an accumulative installation of small figurines made by the public, to which visitors are invited to create and add their own little person. Whilst another section of the exhibition will be solely dedicated to the work of Alissar McCreary, who presents the culmination of a seven-year research into the experience of displacement as a Lebanese refugee. Exploring the reciprocity between art, active participation and traced memories of displacement, she also utilises the American philosopher and artist David Abram's term of 'sensorial empathy', by looking into how it takes place and how it might affect the viewer’s perception of the displacement which is happening every day to millions of people in the world. Taking place 20 January-10 February, 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.