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.

Arabs Are Not Funny: The popular comedy show curated by Arts Canteen is back with a great line-up of comedians representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. With the acts in English, this edition's main act is the Somalian born Prince Abdi who is a British stand-up, actor, writer and a regular on the UK comedy circuit. His versatile story telling style made him the perfect choice to support Reginald D Hunter, Stephen K Amos and Dave Chappelle on their national tours. He has also performed alongside fellow comedians Chris Rock and Louis CK and in many countries overseas including the USA, Canada, Turkey, Holland, South Africa, Emirates, France and Kenya. He will be joined by others on 24 November, 2017 at the Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP​.

The Palestine Book Awards 2017 (Prelaunch Event): An evening that will bring together authors whose works have been shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2017. Offering the opportunity to discuss with each of them their books, inspiration and with a chance to network. Confirmed attendees are: Ibtisam Barakat, Björn Brenner, Ella Shohat, Ilan Pappé, Samia Halaby, Laila Parsons, Petter Bauck and Mohammed Omer. To be chaired by Professor Eugene Rogan (Director of the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, Oxford) and Dr Dina Matar (Centre for Global Media and Communications at SOAS, University of London). All shortlisted books will be on sale during the evening. Taking place on 23 November, 2017 at P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Maya Youssef Album Launch: Combining extraordinary talent and dexterity, Maya Youssef crafts an innovative approach to playing the qanun, the traditional Syrian 78 stringed plucked zither famed for its penetrating and illustrious sound. For this artist, playing the instrument is a life and hope-affirming act that provides a space where harm and pain are not only hindered, but reversed. Launching her first album titled 'Syrian Dreams', it has been produced by Jerry Boys (the Grammy-winning engineer of the Buena Vista Social Club series) and overseen by renowned record producer Joe Boyd, to reveal a work of musical ingenuity, agility and finesse. Youssef will be supported by Basel Saleh of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, who is a renowned Syrian oud player, conductor and choir leader. Taking place on 20 November, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Listen (Film): Despite living in a doomed country that hangs by a thread, Joud, a handsome sound engineer meets and falls in love with strong and free-spirited Rana. The young lovers, from completely different social and religious backgrounds, are drawn closer to each other, but a drastic turn of events gets between them and Rana suddenly slips away. As her parents forbid Joud from seeing her, the young man determined to see her again, finds new means of communicating with her by convincing Marwa, her sister, to download his voice messages and secretly play them to Rana. A story about love, loyalty and temptation, it also deals with the emancipation of women in the Middle East and being a unique journey through sound. To be followed by a Q+A with director Philippe Aractingi, taking place on 16 November, 2017 at the Vue Piccadilly, 19 Regent Street, London SW1Y 4LR.

Ahmed Alsoudani Exhibition: A solo show for the Iraqi artist Ahmed Alsoudani, it brings together a new body of work executed in acrylic, charcoal and pencil-on-canvas, which present surreal and often discomforting scenes accentuated by chaos. Marking a departure from previous series, the works are noticeably cooler in tone. Whereas earlier pieces reveal his grim subject matter in discordantly bright colors, here Alsoudani no longer subverts the bleakness of his inspiration. His expressionistic mark-making in colored pencil detail the artist’s hand across his canvases and lend an intimate impression with paint drips and blots a recurring motif. Intercepting the composition with this painterly mark-making, he adds further complication to his disordered scenes, while highlighting the role of the human hand in the creation of violence. Taking place 28 September-11 November, 2017 at the Marlborough Contemporary Gallery, 6 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BY​.

Robert Irwin on 'Season of Migration to the North': The masterpiece of Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih, 'Season of Migration to the North', was first published in Arabic in 1966 and translated into English by Denys Johnson-Davies in 1969. In 2001, the Arab Literary Academy declared it to be 'the most important Arabic novel of the 20th century.' This book, which has been subject to much analysis - for treatment of colonialism, anti-colonialism, authoritarianism, resistance to social change and patriarchy - also drew upon the Arabian Nights, the Quran, pre-Islamic poetry and Sufi narratives, as well as the 'Heart of Darkness', 'Othello', 'The Tempest' and even the writings of Freud. Robert Irwin, acclaimed writer on Arabic history and literature, will give this Saif Ghobash Banipal Translation Prize Lecture on 7 November, 2017 at the British Library, Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.

Film Africa 2017: Film Africa annually celebrates in London the best African cinema from across the continent and diaspora. Hosted by the Royal African Society and established in 2011, every year it brings to diverse London audiences a high quality and wide-ranging film programme, accompanied by director Q+As, talks and discussions, professional workshops and master classes as well as school screenings and family activities. It also offers an industry forum, music nights and two film awards - the Baobab Award for Best Short Film and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film. This year, there are four films from the North Africa region to look out for: 'I Still Hide to Smoke' (Algeria), 'Foreign Body' (Tunisia), 'Fatma 75' (Tunisia) and 'A Day for Women' (Egypt). Taking place from 27 October-5 November, 2017 at venues across London.

Beirut And Beyond - Kinematik: Kinematik are an instrumental rock band from Lebanon, whose music is both diligent and intuitional, ranging from raucous improvisational psychedelic rock to steady and mechanical electronic grooves, with frequent post-rock climaxes. Immediate points of comparison include Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Loop, as well as Can (for the tendency towards Motorik beats) and Tortoise (for the intricacies of their layered compositions). Kinematik compose instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, strong melodic lines, a heavy use of distortion and effects, and some reliance on electronics and synthesizers. Presented in partnership with Arts Canteen, Shubbak Festival and as part of the Beirut and Beyond International Music Festival tour, the concert takes place on 4 November, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Pop Art From North Africa: Curated by Najlaa El-Ageli and Toufik Douib, this collective exhibition will put together for the first time under the P21 Gallery roof, the artworks of fifteen creative individuals from North Africa who are all inspired by the Pop Art movement. Every country in the region is represented, including artists from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya as well as their diasporas living in Europe. In the style of one of the 20th century’s most influential movements that was spearheaded by Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton in 1950s Britain, the works tackle the social, political and cultural environments unique to North Africa. Through paintings, digitally manipulated images, animation, music and street art, the show will take the audience on a voyage through urban landscapes, exploring the human condition and indicating the tortuous clash between tradition and modernity, in homage to the pioneers of the Western pop art, such as Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. With a parallel programme of events, this show will be from 22 September-4 November, 2017 at the P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.

Palestine Now - Documents of A Disappearance 1917-2017: Marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, this day-long event traces the legacy of colonialism through films, readings and presentations. Writers Ghada Karmi and Karma Nabulsi will be present as well as artist Larissa Sansour who will each conduct a different session. There will also be readings of the poetry of Mahmoud Darwisha and screenings of films that include 'Infiltrators' by Khaled Jarrar, 'Beyrouth, Ma Ville' by Jocelyne Saab and a revolutionary film made by the PLO film unit in exile circa 1974. Giving a perspective on anti-colonial resistance past and present, the day ends with a discussion on the question of responsibility and role of the imagination in creating a shared future, from Britain to Palestine and beyond. Curated by Miranda Pennell, in consultation with Jenny Morgan and Sarah Beddington, taking place on 4 November, 2017 at the Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7 London, United Kingdom​

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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.