Amal - Hope (Concert): Arts Canteen and 'Celebrate Life Events' will bring together their collective strengths in relation to the arts scene in London and present an evening of powerful, heartfelt performances by some of the best artists from the Middle East and Greece who are based in our capital city. Living in a world that is increasingly filled with sad news from many places, this is an opportunity where the universal language of music can touch everyone and where also the mediums of storytelling and film can inspire and educate.
Arabs Are Not Funny! Comedy (7): After a very successful sold-out six editions, Arts Canteen’s Arabs Are Not Funny is back with new line-up of comedians, representing the Arab world and surrounding regions, looking for an opportunity to showcase their talents. The special artists headlining the show are Maria Shehata and the award-winning Shazia Mirza. Mirza has performed her stand-up shows across the world – from the Edinburgh Fringe to Texas, USA to Dubai and Kosovo - and her hit shows have included 'The Last Temptation' and 'Portrait Of Shazia Mirza'.
Temenik Electric: From the vibrant multi-cultural melting pot of Marseille in France, comes the flamboyant Arabic rock band that straddles both sides of the Mediterranean. Led by singer and main songwriter Mehdi Haddjeri, their sound is quintessentially rooted in the spirit of North Africa with Algerian, gnawa and chaabi influences in their compositions, mixed with Western rock.
United by what can only be described as the fearless feminine spirit, ‘Textual Threads’ brings five strong emerging artists who will inspire you, challenge you and make you marvel at the different creative ways each has chosen to approach some of the difficult topics impacting on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region today, whilst also offering internal transformations. With a womanly abandon in the use and choice of highly different textures and methods, what is pertinent to the Arab is here revealed and with a great cross-section of origins coming from Syria, Libya, Algeria, Saud
The two men, both from Gaza, have been in collaboration for quite some time, as El Saqqa has also organised two previous shows for Joha in the United Kingdom. The last one, held in Durham in 2014, was under the theme of ‘Traces and Revelation’s, where Joha’s work was alongside that of another Gazan artist and friend Hazem Harb. So I spent an hour with the two passionate men, as Joha talked me through the artworks and El Saqqa expressed his hopes for the exhibition.
Iness Mezel: Iness Mezel has perfect credentials for a fusion artist with a French-Italian mother and an Algerian father. Her background includes listening to disco and funk and studying the piano, singing and jazz improvisation. Importantly, she came to the attention of Justin Adams, a fines exponent of African-blues fusion styles, who has produced the set to be performed and provided much of the instrumental work on guitar, banjo and the north African gimbri lute. Mezel wrote all the songs, which are in French and north African berber-amazigh.
Arabs Are Not Funny: After very successful sold-out four editions, Arts Canteen’s show 'Arabs Are Not Funny' is back with a new line-up of comedians representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. The evening will be hosted by the award-winning comedian and columnist Shazia Mirza, who has performed her stand-up shows across the world.
Crossing Borders, Uniting Rhythms: English Pen and Arts Canteen present an evening of spoken word and music with a focus on freedom of expression in issues around identity, art, music and free speech.
Green Caravan Film Festival (GCFF): The traveling festival for social and environmental films comes to London from its Gulf headquarters for the first time. It will present a mix of feature length and short films, all chosen for their vital messages and the high quality of storytelling.
Arabs Are Not Funny (Comedy): After three sold-out editions, Arts Canteen’s show will return with a new line-up of comedians representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. Hosted by Tez Ilyas, this edition's headliners will be Maria Shehata (Egypt/USA) and Walaa Sbait (Palestine). Comedy awards-winner Shehata was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and has travelled the globe charming audiences with her unlikely blend of Mid-east and American Mid-west perspectives.