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.

Mashrou' Leila: The young, controversial and alternative-Arab music band returns to London in less than a year since its last sold-out performance in October 2013. The group that was originally formed in as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut in 2008, has gone on to produce three successful studio albums with lead frontman and co-founder Hamed Sinno. Their work has been described as: "[a] serving of [a] unique, musically omnivorous sound with influences numbering rock, jazz, electro and the Arab tradition of tarab fusing intos an unmistakable whole.' (Jastinder Khera, BBC). Mashrou Leila will perform at Scala on 4 June, 2014.

Gaza: Photography, Videos and Drawing: At the P21 Gallery, Gaza is a group exhibition of works aiming to shed light on life in the Gaza Strip; and, accompanied by evenings of film screenings, conversation, debates and spoken words, it will indulge the viewers and participants on stories of the reality of life in an open prison.​ Featured artists: Mohamed Al-Hawajri, Belal Khaled, Kent Klich, Andrew McConnell, Peter Rhoades, and Asmaa Seba.​ At the P21 Gallery, running until 31 May, 2014.

Jananne Al-Ani, Excavations: Exhibition of the London-based Iraqi-born artist at the Hayward Gallery. Working with photography, film and video, Al-Ani has an ongoing interest in the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and its visual representation in the West through the technology of modern warfare. This show is part of the Women of the World Festival 2014 with viewing until 11 May, 2014.

Zanubia, Early Arab Christian Chants: A rare opportunity to hear chants from the Syriac and Byzantine traditions harking back to the time of Queen Zanubia’s reign of Palmyra. It was in the second century, during the reign of Queen Zanubia that Christianity reached the ancient Syrian caravan city of Palmyra. Her rule witnessed the emergence of the first church melodies out of the secular Aramaic music of Syria and Iraq. Coptic Egyptian-German singer Merit Ariane Stephanos and Father Shafiq Abouzayd introduce the audience to this music and in particular to the chanting traditions of the Levantine and Byzantine churches, accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Jon Banks on qanun and santur. Concert will take place on 10 May, 2014 at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Ayman Baalbaki, Recent Works: Lebanese painter and installation artist Ayman Baalbaki will be presenting recent art work with Rose Issa Projects. The exhibition will be at Rose Issa Projects, 82 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7NW. Viewing by appointment until 9 May, 2014.

Egypt’s Roadmap, Frontline Club: A discussion panel that will consider Egypt since the fall of of Mubarak and the current gearing up for its second democratic presidential election which is set to take place on 26 – 27 May. Having resigned as army chief and announced his candidature, there are strong indicators that Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi will get a majority. With many activists, journalists and political opponents imprisoned and continued instability, the Frontline Club will be considering the situation in the country and whether or not this will be a free and fair election and looking ahead to explore what the leadership of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi might look like and the roadmap he will set out. In partnership with the BBC World Service, speakers are still to be confirmed. Event taking place on 7 May, 2014 at the Frontline Club.


Aan Korb Festival, Submissions Deadline: BBC Arabic, in partnership with the British Council, is preparing for a new film and documentary festival in London to screen the very best work across feature and short films, documentaries and investigative and citizen journalism, that has been created about the Arab world since the start of the uprisings in December 2010. Also up for grabs is the BBC Arabic Young Journalist Award for the age group 18-30 years old. Deadline for submissions has been set for 2 May, 2014.

Nour Festival of Arts 2014, Submissions Deadline: The wonderful annual arts and culture festival that celebrates the very best of contemporary art and culture of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is calling for submissions with the deadline set for 30 April, 2014. Nour, which means illumination in many Middle Eastern languages, springs to life each October and November in venues across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and challenges preconceptions, sparks debate and provides insight into culture from across the MENA region.


Autostrad Fusion Band: The Jordanian fusion band will perform in London for the first time on 25 April, 2014 at the 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, London WC1X 8BZ. Formed in 2007, Autostrad's music is a mix of reggae, funk, latin and rock music with their own diverse style of Jordanian slang and traditional song. Derived from the everyday life in Jordan, the group tackles stories of love, struggle, financial challenges, drug abuse, and finding one's self in their music. Autostrad has been rated in the top five bands in the region and their music goes beyond language, identity and barriers.

Aleppo, Notes from the Dark with Q+A: In the summer of 2013, Michal Przedlacki and Wojciech Szumowski spent 44 days in Aleppo, documenting the lives of ordinary citizens in extraordinary circumstances. The film’s protagonists talk openly about the Syrian revolution, their lives before the conflict erupted and their dreams for the future; offering a unique and poignant account of life in Aleppo from the perspective of seven of its residents. This preview screening witll take place on 24 April, 2014 at The Frontline Club, followed by a Q+A with co-directors Michal Przedlacki and Wojciech Szumowski.


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.