SAFAR Film Festival 2018: Presented by the Arab British Centre, the fourth edition of the SAFAR Film Festival will be celebrating the symbiotic and enduring relationship of literature and film in the Arab world through a vibrant programme of features, shorts, and documentaries, spanning over 50 year.
Arab British Centre
Performance Desperately In Need Of An Audience: To be performed by the Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation, this is a tale of exile into the world where thousands chose to bear the burden of migration, leaving behind their homes and loved ones, in the hopes of finding themselves human again beyond the seas. A silent performance, it bends the rules of puppet theatre, as stage props and settings becomes puppets as well.
Once Upon A Time - Kan Ya Makan Storytelling Workshop: A workshop exploring the magical medium of storytelling, one of the most popular art forms in the Arab world, through the embodiment of El Hakawati (The Storyteller). Started in rural areas when shepherds used to gather under a tree to share stories with villagers, this art form gradually moved to cafés and diwans to become a tool of resistance and social justice. Everyone knows a good story, modern or ancient, that is worth being shared and listened to.
Diva Decoration Workshop: The Arab British Centre (ABC) will be hosting a fun evening session of crafts. By popular demand, this will be a workshop where participants can make their very own Oum Kalthoum-inspired decorations. You will be guided on how to cut, stitch (or glue!) and decorate the materials provided so you can make as many personalised decorations as you can and impress all of your loved ones this festive season. No previous experience of craft or sewing required. All materials will be supplied as well as light nibbles and refreshments.
Welcome Literary Salon: Part of Refugee Week and hosted by the Arab British Centre and Banipal, this will be a diverse evening of literature, talks, discussions, poetry, readings, theatre and open mic with special guests - looking at how literature is dealing with the biggest enforced movement of people ever recorded. This is a free event but reservations are a must as places are limited. Email email@example.com to reserve your place.
Al Mutanabbi Street Literary Salon: Hosted and organised by the Arab British Centre and Banipal, the Al Mutanabbi Street Literary Salon will be an eclectic evening of talks, readings, performance and video in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the bombing and destruction of Al Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad’s literary hub right in the heart of the historic city. A unique opportunity to discover also how the Iraqi literary scene has developed over the past decade in the company of special guests.
The Jewelled Tales of Libya: Showcasing Libya’s antique silver jewellery and exploring the diversity and historical identity of the country through its fine pieces. This exhibition, curated by Najlaa El-Ageli and Hala Ghellali, will bring the rich cultural heritage to the wider public and aims to shed light on the story behind the jewellery and the symbols that feature heavily throughout the geographical expanse that we know as Libya. A parallel aspect will also be the vintage photography of Libyan women that are also from a historically valuable private collection.
Festive Card Workshop with Joumana Medlej: An informal workshop with calligraphy artist Joumana Medjel, this is a fun opportunity to make your own greeting cards for the festive season. Blank cards, envelopes, textured and coloured paper will be provided, as well as calligraphic words written on site by the Arab British Centre's calligraphy tutor Medlej. You will cut, assemble and paste to make your own highly personal cards and have the chance to show off your creative talent to your loved ones.
Paths of Light: A solo exhibition by the Algerian artist Abdallah Khaled.
It has been a great privilege for me to preview six of the nine films that will be screened this month as part of the SAFAR 2016 Film Festival. Now in its third edition and hosted biennially by the Arab British Centre (ABC) in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), SAFAR will offer everyone – Arab and non-Arab alike as the films are all subtitled in English - the chance to see some excellent contemporary MENA films recently produced despite the many logistical obstacles faced there.