Curious Inbox

  • 'Retracing A Disappearing Landscape' Multidisciplinary Exhibition - P21 Gallery - 30 March- 15 May 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.

Leighton Lates & Live Music With Basem Saleh: As part of its exciting programme of public events, Leighton House Museum will present London-based Syrian musician Basel Saleh for an evening of traditional music. Saleh is a former leading member of the Syrian Philharmonic Orchestra and formed part of the Damon Albarn’s collective project that reunited the Syrian National Orchestra through a number of concerts and performances across key venues in the UK. He will play a live set of Syrian folkloric music and improvisation alongside fellow musicians Omran Zein (rik) and Mohamad Saleh (kanoun). Guests will be free to also explore the Museum itself and view the private art collection belonging to its founder Frederic Lord Leighton. Taking place 12 January, 2018 at Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ.

Arab Christmas: Exploring the early Arab Christian chants, the space at St Martin-in-the-Fields will be gently lit by candles, offering a rare opportunity to hear the chants from the Aramaic-Syriac, Coptic and Byzantine traditions, harking back to the time of Queen Zanubia’s reign of Palmyra. It was in the second century, during her reign, that Christianity reached the ancient Syrian caravan city of Palmyra and her rule witnessed the emergence of the first church melodies out of the secular Aramaic music of Syria and Iraq. The sound world of these chants is rich with quarter-tones and virtuosic ornamentation. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Jon Banks on qanun and santur, the line up includes Merit Ariane Stephanos, the Reverend Shafiq Abouzayd, Jon Banks, Najib Coutya, Laila Samy and Mina Mikhael Salama. Taking place on 8 January, 2018 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JH.

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane: A homecoming exhibition for the British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, showcasing his vibrant fusion of contemporary cultures through new and celebrated works. Hajjaj's artworks reflect on his nomadic lifestyle and the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters along the way, from musicians to artists and athletes to street performers both in Morocco and the UK. These individuals inspire his diverse artworks from photographic portraits to video installations, sculpture, music, design and handcrafted objects. Infused with a bold palette, the materials Hajjaj uses include patterned textiles, furniture, clothes and props often made by the artist to influence our understanding of the person in the image. All of these elements, including the frames made out of everyday items in which his images sit, are chosen deliberately to highlight these individuals’ identities. Taking place 5 October, 2017-7 January, 2018 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

Dhikr Pictural: An exhibition that inspires to reconnect truthfully with the 'Self' and look beyond the unknown, to eventually reach out to what is 'Divine'. A solo for the Algerian visual artist Anissa Berkane, it aims to engage with all the senses and attract different audiences, be they art-lovers, rationale-geeks or the spiritually-curious. The fruit of nearly twenty year of artistic, intellectual and spiritual processes, Berkane's paintings take one on a journey of origins to remind us of the supreme message of love and tolerance, as highlighted through ornamental executions, numerical mysteries and metaphysical implications. Curated by Toufik Douib, there will also be a rich parallel programme of events that will mark the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, World Arabic Language Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The five-week show will be held 2 December, 2017-6 January, 2018 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Goats (Theatre): In a small town in Syria, soldiers are celebrated as heroes and grieving families are nourished on propaganda. As the coffins pile up, the local party leader decides on a radical compensation scheme: a goat for each son martyred. Questioning what is true and what is not, Goats is a major new work by Syrian playwright and documentary filmmaker Liwaa Yazji that has been developed as part of the Royal Court’s long term project with writers from Syria and Lebanon. Directed by the Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie and having been translated by Katharine Halls, the run will be from 24 November-30 December, 2017 at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS.

Oslo (Theatre): The Tony Award-winning play Oslo comes to London direct from its critically acclaimed Broadway run where it picked up every 'Best Play' accolade. By J T Rogers, Oslo presents the gripping true story of a young Norwegian couple who planned and carried out top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), culminating in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. After its sold-out run at the National Theatre, this political thriller arrives in the West End for a strictly limited season from 2 October-30 December 2017​ at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton St, London SW1Y 4DN​.

Another Day in Baghdad Crowd-Funder: Rooted in the real life experiences of two female authors in post-invasion Iraq, this is a film that unites cast and crew from the Middle East and Europe for the first ever international film production led by a female director of Iraqi origin. Co-written by award-winning London-based filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi and Baghdad-based novelist Irada Al Jabbouri, the script won the IWC Schaffhausen Script Award, presented by Cate Blanchett in 2012. With the film ready to shoot, the talented cast lined up and the amazing locations decided upon, they just need additional funding to hire the Iraqi cast and crew for this independent film project. The deadline for the crowd-funding is 20 December, 2017 at the following link. 

Arab-A-Dub: Presented by Arts Canteen, a night which will bring the best sounds of the Arabic Electronica underground sound system, performed by the finest of DJ producers and MCs from Palestine, Jordan and London. A night full of Dabkeh sounds and Shamstep style, warmed up by London's renowned Love Carnival DJs. Featuring DJ Cal Jader & DJ Madmax (Love Carnival), DJ-Producer Bruno Cruz & Performer-MC Walaa Sbait (Ministry of Dub-Key), and Producer Eljehaz well into the night. Taking place on 16 December, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

​Rüya Foundation Presents Latif Al Ani: ​The first UK exhibition of Iraqi photographer Latif Al Ani that includes over 50 works surveying the artist’s practice. Born in 1932, Al Ani is considered the founding father of Iraqi photography, he was prolific in documenting everyday life in the country. The majority of his work was produced over three decades often referred to as a ‘golden age’ for Iraq, a period of increased cosmopolitanism and openness in the country. From the late 1950s until the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988), Al Ani captured the social fabric of the country. Modern and multicultural, the images may appear surprising to audiences today, subverting stereotypical perceptions of Iraqi experience. ​This exhibition will also include a number of images of classical ruins and antiquities, highlighting Al Ani’s interest in archaeology as well as modern life, and how architecture served to bring the two together in Iraq. It will also feature some of his aerial views of the country. Taking place 4-16 December, 2017 at the Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London W1T 4RJ.

Bahrain Art Week in London: Launching at the Saatchi Gallery, the focal point of Bahrain Art Week will be an exhibition of paintings and installations entitled 'Diversity' to represent the vibrancy of the Bahraini art scene. Produced using a variety of mediums, from landscapes to  portraits, to abstract and conceptual art; the selected artworks reflect a diversity found within the Bahraini art community. The collection features fifteen Bahraini contemporary artists who narrate their own stories anchored in Bahraini heritage. The art works come to the Saatchi Gallery courtesy of ArtBAB – the International Art Fair in Bahrain that will be holding its third edition in March next year – and will serve as an exciting preview of what is to come. The week will also host a parallel programme of events, including a discussion on the 'Business of Art', a celebratory book launch of Bahraini illustratoR Ahmed Baqer, curator-led tours of the exhibition and an educational workshop for students at Saatchi Gallery. Taking place 6-12 December, 2017 at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London SW3 4RY​.


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.