As a media partner with one incredible project, I will of course be partial here to highlight the 'Pop Art from North Africa' exhibition. Curated by my sister Najlaa El-Ageli and Toufik Douib, this collective show will put together for the first time under the P21 Gallery roof, the artworks of fifteen creative individuals from North Africa who are all inspired by the Pop Art movement, with every country in the region represented, including artists from: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya as well as their diasporas living in Europe.
Away From Home - Memory, Art and Women Solidarity: Generations of Arab women have been living in the Diaspora whether by force or choice. The relationship with their homeland or watan is never simple, especially at times of occupation and war as in the case of Iraqi and Palestinian women - a situation which often leads them to establish or join solidarity organisations. On the tenth anniversary of Tadhamun, Iraqi women solidarity contributors will bring a range of art and literature pieces that reflect on the connection with country and how their identities have be
Space of Refuge (A Spatial Installation & Symposium): The 'Space of Refuge’ is a spatial installation which has emerged out of the extensive fieldwork research undertaken by Samar Maqusi, a PhD by Architectural Design student within the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.Her research investigates the spatial production and evolution of Palestinian refugee camps since the 1940s, situating this within a documented history of practices of different host countries and the precarious geo-political situation in the Middle East.
'Dreaming of Freedom - Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak': A book launch, talk and discussion of the book edited by Norma Hashim that is a collection of first-hand testimonies by Palestinian children who have spent time in Israeli prisons. Hashim felt there was an urgent need to document the voices of these children, who remain resilient despite the heavy price they paid for their resistance to the occupation.
RECONNECTING - Contemporary Art from Qatar: Curated by Sara Foryame and Khalid Al Hammadi, 'Reconnecting' is a showcase of eighteen established and emerging Qatari artists and six filmmakers reflecting on the ways they connect with their identity, culture and surroundings in an era in which their country is constantly shifting. The exhibition brings a diverse and refreshing selection of work that encourages dialogue on the power of connection, highlighting the importance of reconnecting with our past, present and future.
Languitecture (Construction and Deconstruction of Language): Seven practitioners from different cultural and professional backgrounds join together to explore the interconnections of four mother-tongues: Spanish, Arabic, English and German. Curated by Rawan Serhan, this exhibition is inspired by anthropology, philology and linguistics, aiming to naturally connect to a broad audience because communication and reinvention of culture is a prevailing current issue.
Chapter 31 - An Odd Piece of Research on the Many Virtues of the Oriental Imagination: An exhibition curated by Mai Kanaaneh and Nadia Jaglom of the Sarha Collective, this will be a dazzling journey into the future of Palestine - through both utopian and dystopian visions of what lies ahead - in film, sculpture, installation, collage, painting and performance. It includes works by Palestinian artists working in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, historic Palestine and throughout the global diaspora: artists who have exhibited widely and shown their work at Tate Modern, Saatchi
The Eggsperiment - A Painting for Syria: An exhibition of the first painting by the artist Genevieve Detering. With a simple and bold style, she uses primary colours, geometric shapes and clean lines to contrast with the unique oval shape of the canvas to create a modern, graphic image of a fertilised egg.
The Music - 'Arab Idol' Mohammed Assaf
Palestinian heartthrob Mohammed Assaf will be performing on 10 April at the Barbican, offering a rare opportunity to hear him sing new material from his latest album alongside familiar favourites from his time on 'Arab Idol', the TV Talent show that catapulted him to fame. I also recently attended the film 'The Idol' which is based on the true story of this handsome young man and seen the difficult challenges that he had to overcome to get to where he is today. Assaf is truly an inspiration.
Are We All Human? (E): Curated by Lucy Thurley, this will be an exhibition of new mixed media work by Susan Boulter that is the result of ten years of increasing anger! From economic inequality in the world, to Guantanamo still existing, to UN resolutions being violated, to Palestine still under constant attack as well as the unscrupulous exploitation of humanity and the denial of human rights, the artists considers whether we are all just pawns for the benefit of those in power. Boulter’s work contains and presents contradictions.