October Note - BFI LFF MENA-Connected Films, 1:54 African Art Fair + More!

The majestic colours of Autumn make it almost everyone's favourite time of year. As we warmly wrap up in coats and scarves, who doesn't love the look of the fallen foliage and the crunchy sound of stepping over the gold, red, orange and at times even pink and purple leaves. It is a time of change, mystery and contemplation of the life cycle, endings and renewal.

Turning as usual to the London based and MENA-inspired arts and culture calendar, October looks to be a busy month with festivals, exhibitons, music and plenty more to choose from. 

Below are just some highlights I have picked out from the full listing of events that you can find on My Curious Inbox page. 

The BFI London Film Festival - 10-21 October At Various London Cinemas

The annual BFI London Film Festival (BFI LFF) returns for the 62nd edition, bringing altogether 225 feature films this year that have been sourced from 77 countries. Always providing the most up to date films on an international scale with the screening of many world premieres, it annually hosts the work of both emerging and established directors from across the globe, making it one of the most significant and prestigious film events of the year in the UK.

Usually organised under different genres, the only way of locating the films is to go through the feature categories, which include: Galas and Special Presentations, Dare, Thrill, Laugh, Debate, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Experimenta, Treasure and Documentary. 

To make life easier for my readers - who will be interested in the feature films coming from the MENA region - I have taken on the task of putting them in one place with the direct links for more information and to purchase tickets on the BFI website. 

For these MENA-Connected Films: http://www.nahlaink.com/london/bfi-london-film-festival-2018-feature-fil...

Lena Chamamyan - 20 October at Cadogan Hall

An award-winning singer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist from Syria, Lena Chamamyan revives Syrian, Armenian and Bahraini folkloric songs with modern styles, creating an unforgettable link between oriental classic compositions and contemporary world music. Her arrangements and vocals skilfully incorporate jazz, fado, as well as Latin and African music, and even opera elements. 

Singing in Arabic, Armenian, Syriac, English, French, and Italian, Chamamyan is renowned as a leading singer of her generation and most innovative voice to emerge within contemporary Syrian music. Here she returns to London with her ensemble for a full-length charity concert in support of Breast Cancer Hope, a vital organisation dedicated to funding research to improve the lives of women with breast cancer.

For more: http://www.cadoganhall.com/event/lena-chamamyan

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair - 4-7 October at Somerset House

The 1-54 Fari returns to London for its sixth edition at Somerset House. The Fair will welcome 43 leading galleries from countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America, presenting over 130 artists from Africa and its diaspora. This edition will be accompanied by a compelling series of Special Projects and FORUM, the fair’s talks programme, curated for the first time by writer and curator Ekow Eshun. 

Founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, the 1-54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora with annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, it is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange. 

For more: http://1-54.com/london/

Yazz Ahmed ‘Psychedelic Arabic Jazz’ - 1 October at Queen Elizabeth Hall

Internationally acclaimed trumpeter and composer Yazz Ahmed brings her seven-piece hafla band to Queen Elizabeth Hall's Purcell Room for an evening of ‘psychedelic Arabic jazz'. Fusing the music of her native Bahrain with modern British jazz, experimental electronics and manipulated field recordings, her 2017 album 'La Saboteuse' was considered a touchstone of modern jazz and improvisation. 

This concert, marking the release of her EP 'La Saboteuse Remixed', will also include music from Ahmed's suite 'Alhaan Al Siduri', inspired by Bahraini folk music and featuring special guest vocalist Brigitte Beraha. Whilst visual artist Tupac Martir, a co-collaborator with art-rock band 'These New Puritans', supplies lighting and special effects.

For more: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/126539-yazz-ahmed-2018

My Curious Inbox - The Full Listing of MENA-Inspired Events

Updated weekly, this is where you will find the full listing of events in London that are in some way or other connected to the Arab world and its diaspora communities. 

Do make sure to scroll down for two pages so as not to miss out on anything. 

For more: http://www.nahlaink.com/curious-inbox

Twitter @NahlaInk

Lastly, if you wish to be in the super know of the latest of Arab-London creative news, you can also follow me on Twitter @NahlaInk. 

Best wishes to all!

Nahla Al-Ageli

Freelance Journalist + Blogger

London, October 2018

Images: Artworks of the Libyan artist Mohamed Abumeis, with kind permission, as Nahla Ink artist of the month.

For more on Mohamed Abumeis: http://mohamedabumeis.weebly.com/