Curious Inbox

  • Artwork - Libyan Artist Mohamed Abumeis - With Kind Permission (3)

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.

The Gap Between Us - Basma Alsharif: The first UK solo exhibition by the artist and film-maker Basma Alsharif, featuring three key works from different periods of the artist’s practice. Alsharif is an L.A. based artist of Palestinian descent. She explores representations of history, conflict and subjectivity and how to produce new visual narratives. Alsharif creates rich imagery, manipulating and editing original film footage, seeking to unsettle perceptions and evoke affective experiences in the viewer. This exhibition’s central work will be Ouroboros (2017) Alsharif’s first feature length film, screened in a gallery context for the first time. Taking place 19 January-31 March, 2018 at the Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW.

Banipal Book Club: The popular book club is back to discuss the novel 'Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge' by Egyptian author Ezzedine C Fishere. The work deals with the migrant experience and the encounter between East and West. On the eve of Salma’s twenty-first birthday, scattered friends and family converge on New York for a celebration organized by Darwish, her obstinate grandfather. Each guest’s journey to this fated gathering takes on an unexpected significance, as they find themselves revisiting the choices they have made in life, and rethinking their relationships with one another and the country in which they live. The is free to attend but please RSVP to Taking place 29 March, 2018 at The Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE. 

Lydia Ourahmane 'The You In Us': Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission and the first solo exhibition in London for Oran-based artist Lydia Ourahmane. Comprising installation, sculpture and sound, Ourahmane’s exhibition continues her ongoing engagement with the emotional, psychological and political charge of material and place. Informed by personal encounters, Ourahmane’s work raises questions surrounding systems of exchange and dissemination. Recurring throughout Ourahmane’s work is the impulse to address acts of displacement, in which allegories of absence and removal evoke wider issues of place and migration. Influenced by time spent living and working from her family home in Oran, Algeria, Ourahmane’s exhibition investigates transformation through sonic and sculptural registers. Taking place 26 January-25 March, 2018 at the Chisenhale Gallery, 64 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ.

Perpetual Movement: Seven Arab women artists explore the relationship between migration and memory in connection to the Arab world and its diaspora, as part of the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival. Curated by Lizzy Vartanian Collier​, the exhibition looks into, for example, how the memory of a place changes once a person leaves and what happens if one is ethnically associated with a location but has never even been there. It also shows how memories can be inherited, alter from generation to generation, become fragmented, or create gaps that need to be filled. Considering that people have been moving to, from and through the Arab region for hundreds, even thousands of years, the works also address the multitude of reasons for migration and the impact on the collective consciousness. With roots in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the UAE, the seven artists all illustrate movement in various ways, creating a rich, multilayered picture of young women from the region. Taking place 1-25 March, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Arab Women Artists Now Festival (AWAN) 2018: ​An annual arts festival designed and delivered by Arts Canteen and a group of collaborators, AWAN aims to showcase and celebrate Arab women's achievements. Established in 2015 and now in its fourth edition, it showcases a versatile programme of female Arab artists across disciplines, whilst enabling establishing and emerging artists to perform side by side. The extensive schedule features visual arts, music, comedy, dance, design, food, film, theatre, workshops and much more. Taking place 1-25 March, 2018 mainly at Rich Mix and other London venues, pleaes refer to the AWAN festival website for more information.

Hishek Bishek #8: London’s most pulsing Arabic electronic party is back. From Egyptian maharaganat to Arabic trap and Palestinian electro-dabke, catch the sounds of the Middle East’s underground. This is where you can dance the night away to cutting edge releases to bootleg wedding recordings and journeying through some of the most bass-heavy and hypnotic tunes around. For this edition, Ma3azef will take over Room Two at the Electrowerkz. Founded in Cairo in 2012, Ma3azef has become one of the most established and forward-thinking music platforms in the Middle East and therefore a perfect partner in crime for this takeover. Taking place 24 March, 2018 at Electrowerkz, 7 Torrens Street, London EC1V 1NQ.

Returning To Haifa (Theatre): The world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, 'Returning to Haifa', adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi and directed by Caitlin McLeod. A compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – who are forced by history into an intimacy they didn't choose. Set in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, the Palestinian couple - who fled their home in 1948 - return to Haifa after 20 years of being away. Although prepared to find someone else living where they once did, nothing could have prepared them for the encounter they both desired and dreaded: the son they had to leave behind, and what he has become. Coinciding with the 70-year anniversaries of both the Nakba and the foundation of the State of Israel, this is a deeply moving play of suspense and heartbreak, where humanity and vision combine with a frontline immediacy. Taking place 27 February-24 March, 2018 at the Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED​.

Curfew Dance Performance by El Funoun and Hawiyya: A thought-provoking dance production brought by two Palestinian dance companies that encourages individuals to self-reflect and take action in the face of injustice. With a fusion of traditional and contemporary dance moves, the stage becomes a safe space for the dancers of different backgrounds to shed light on the issues of oppression and injustice, as well as encouraging the audience to reflect on the same. The creative performance will be incorporating contemporary-modern dance and taking inspiration from dabke, the Palestinian folkloric dance movement. To be followed by a Q+A session and discussion with the audience, the show takes place on 24 March 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Ala Younis - Plan For Feminist Greater Baghdad: Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel present a solo exhibition by Ala Younis to be held simultaneously in London and Dubai. The exhibition includes a major new installation co-commissioned by the two organisations, 'Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad', that builds on Younis’s previous work that was included in the Central Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, and which will be shown alongside the new commission. In the newly commissioned work, the artist brings to the fore the significant contributions made by female artists, architects and other influential characters - including Balkis Sharara, Nuha al-Radi, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Iman Mersal and Zaha Hadid -​ to the development of Baghdad and its modern monuments. Typical of her practice, the work re-articulates archival material to bring about new narratives; which in this case is a reading that sees beyond the male dominance of the city’s architecture and politics, to reveal the female influence on Baghdad’s history. Taking place 1 February-24 March, 2018 at Delfina Foundation, 29-31 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY​.

Eternal Light Exhibition: In many people’s minds, Egypt invokes visions of either pharaohs, temples and pyramids or of the turbulent politics of the past six years. Little is known on an international level about the wealth of modern and contemporary art that seeks to transcribe the social, political and cultural issues of the present—or simply to portray contemporary daily life—by drawing on the visual motifs of Ancient Egypt that underpin the Egyptian identity to this day. Eternal Light brings together works by Egypt’s most prominent contemporary artists to show the world that Egypt continues to play a crucial role in contemporary artistic and cultural life. The artworks on display draw upon various elements of the styles, movement, color and themes of Ancient Egyptian art and transform them into multifaceted conversations that reflect and reinterpret the complexity of Egyptian culture for the 21st century’s global audience. Hosted by the Egyptian Cultural Bureau and Art D’Egypte,, the exhibition will be taking place 2-23 March, 2018 at  the Egyptian Cultural Bureau, 4 Chesterfield Gardens, London W1J 5BG.


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.