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.

I AM (Exhibition): Organised by Caravan, the 'I AM' is a strategic peace-building exhibition that premiered in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah. Involving 31 Middle East contemporary women artists, it visually celebrates the rich, diverse and crucial contributions that women from the region make to the enduring global quest for harmony and peace as well as to challenge the existing stereotypes and misconceptions about Middle Eastern women. It will showcase insights and experiences as the artists confront issues of culture, religion and social reality in a rapidly changing world and to be an acknowledgement of how they continue to creatively evolve new narratives that uphold their rich heritage while embracing a future full of challenges. I AM also aims to be a catalyst for a variety of events around the exhibition theme that will include panel discussions, music, films and literary readings. Taking place from 3 July-20 August, 2017 at St. Martin in the Field’s on Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DX.

'Tiger And Clay' Book Launch: 'Tiger And Clay - Syria Fragments' is a haunting collection of poetry and memoir by the young Syrian Rana Abdul Fattah who wrote it whilst living in exile in Istanbul. Published by Palewell Press, Fattah explores how it feels to be a refugee who is prevented from ever going back home. Unable to travel outside of Turkey, she will be giving a live reading over Skype. Hosted by Camilla Reeve of Palewell Press and Irena Hill of In-words, the book launch will also include a talk by Juan delGado, who is an experimental film-maker, and an introduction about the work of 'Qisetna: Syria Talking', to be followed by a delicious Meze served by The Damascus Chef. Taking place 1 August, 2017 at West Greenwich Library, 146 Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8NN.

Palestine Jazz - Nai Barghouti & Mohamed Najem: Nai Barghouti stunned audiences across the UK when she toured with the Palestine Youth Orchestra last year, selling out at venues from Glasgow to London including the Royal Festival Hall. She returns to London with an all-star band that includes musicians who perform with some of the most popular young Palestinian bands around. Sharing the stage will be Mohamed Najem, another leading figure to emerge from the cultural renaissance in Palestine. Originally from Bethlehem, his performances have included the Ravello and Florence Festivals, Teatro San Carlo, UNESCO and the Montreux Jazz Festival. The night will feature traditional Arabic instruments alongside standard jazz line-ups, moving effortlessly between Arabic music and jazz respelling the music of the Middle East in a new musical language. Taking place on 1 August, 2017 at the Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, London, N1 2UN.​

Animated Images (Exhibition): Syrian artist Sulafa Hijazi’s series of animated images is a response to our ever-increasing relationship with new media. While trawling her Facebook feed, Hijazi became conscious of the great plethora of images that we are bombarded with - from a friend’s wedding to updates from war zones. Animated Images uses lenticular print techniques to reveal shifting transformations as the viewer passes by the images. The works invite you to look closer, zooming in to reveal the details of images from diverse sources. In this era of 24-hour news, the artist asks whether we can shift our emotions at the same speed as we browse through the flow of images, and what we eventually retain from them. Taking place 6-29 July, 2017 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Alsarah & The Nubatones: Alsarah & The Nubatones came together out of a collective love for Nubian music and a genuine belief that Soul transcends all cultural and linguistic barriers. Inspired by the pentatonic scale they blend a selection of Nubian 'songs of return' from the 1970 till today with original material and traditional music of central Sudan. Their set is a musical journey through diaspora and migration from an urban lens. Presented by MARSM and the Jazz Cafe, taking place on 27 July, 2017 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway,Camden, London NW1 7PG.

Naguib Mahfouz (Between Fiction And History): Exploring the legacy of the Nobel Prize Laureate on the occasion of the launch of 'Essays of the Sadat Era (1976-81)' Vol.II of Mahfouz's non-fiction essays. Presented by Gingko Library, the event will consider the author's work in general and the relationship between his creative works and the more public journalistic output, featuring guest speaker Professor Samia Mehrez (Professor of Arab and Islamic Civilizations from the American University in Cairo). The book itself is a collection of essays that cover a presidency that comprised of some of the most dramatic events in Egyptian history: from Sadat’s 'Corrective Revolution' to the Yom Kippur War with Israel and the eventual peace accord between the two countries, as well as his eventual assassination by Islamic extremists in 1981. Taking place on 27 July, 2017 SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG.

'Goodbye Aleppo' Screening Q+A: A BBC Arabic documentary film about a team of four young citizen journalists who film themselves and each other as the battle for Aleppo rages around them in December 2016. They show what daily life is like in the last days of East Aleppo as the Syrian Army, the Russians, Iran, and Iran-backed militias in December 2016 gradually take the city from opposition fighters. The team film in extremely dangerous and life-threatening situations, trapped, bombarded, and encircled with the civilians under siege in East Aleppo. ‘Goodbye Aleppo‘ is a dramatic, emotional, gripping, thoughtful, and unique film that tells the story of the fall of East Aleppo as it has never been seen before, through the personal stories and insights of these four young men. To be followed by a Q+A with the documentary filmmakers, the screening will take place on 26 July, 2017 at the Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London, W2 1QJ.

The Scar Test (Theatre): The latest from award-winning Palestinian-Irish playwright Hannah Khalil, this is a strong piece of theatre based on verbatim interviews that explore life inside Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, a place in which those seeking safe haven are thrown into a dark world under lock and key where their lives are regulated, privacy is non-existent and where every detainee has a story to tell. With this, Khalil aims to alert audiences to the horrors of the immigration system and how the females held there are strong and inspiring human beings who deserve better than indefinite detention. Taking place with some scheduled post-show discussions from 5-22 July, 2017 at Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE.

An Introduction (Exhibition): Organised by the Variant Space art collective, this exhibition will showcase the melting pot of Muslim women and highlight that even if they look the same or dress the same, even if they are from the same country and from similar backgrounds, each Muslim woman is a unique individual with a distinctive story to tell. The exhibition touches upon issues that are important to the artists and some topics which are often sensitive or taboo but fundamental to guiding contemporary debates about Islam and Muslim women as well as providing the public with a broader lens through which to perceive the same. With 13 female Muslim artists taking part, the show will be on 8 June-21 July, 2017 at The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR.

Shubbak Festival 2017: A key event in the arts calendar of the UK and the Arab world, the Shubbak Festival returns to London for it fourth biennial edition. It brings a wide, diverse, exciting and thought-provoking programme to celebrate the extraordinary skills of artists who are looking imaginatively to the future, whilst reflecting on the fragility, resilience and challenges in times of crisis. Having grown indirectly out of the 'Arab Spring' in 2011, it now engages with the turbulent legacy of that period to bring to audiences the hopes, ambitions and aspirations of artists and performers from across the entire region. This year it showcases art, music, theatre, film, literature, debates, dance and spoken word and includes over 150 artists originating from 14 Arab countries with over 80 events scheduled to take place 1-16 July, 2017 at various London arts venues and locations.


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.