Towards A New Divan: Tafahum Ensemble and Gingo Library come together in a celebration of two centuries of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 'West-Eastern Divan', the collection of lyrical poems inspired by the fifteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz.
Once released, though, he doesn’t make a fuss of what has happened to him. Rather, he continues with his work via an international NGO to expose local government human rights’ violations. He is also not afraid to keep performing his drag queen act at Guapa, the queer nightclub that is home to all outcasts. A brave and proud soul, he will never deny his alternative sexuality even in a hostile environment and putting his life at further risk.
Khaled Kurbeh & Raman Khalaf: The music of the Syrian duo Khaled Kurbeh (piano and synthesisers) and Raman Khalaf (oud) shifts between experimental electronic music, Middle Eastern instrumentation and downbeat jazz. With immersive compositions and content, they have created a performance that is both astute and inventive and an ideal soundtrack to the 21st century. Together with an ensemble of Berlin-based musicians, they are working on a forthcoming EP.
If I had the resources, I imagine that I would give out real gold medals for the entries below. I've picked either one or two at the maximum - as I honestly couldn't decide! - based on what I attended, truly enjoyed and what made me feel engaged or challenged as a viewer, reader, attendee, listener, etc.
Without further ado, Nahla Ink's 2015 Arab-London Arts + Culture Gongs Go To: