Curious Inbox

  • Astrolab - Artist Anissa Berkane -

Curious Inbox

Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.

Room to Breathe: 'Room to Breathe' is an immersive experience inviting one to discover stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain. You can journey through a series of rooms filled with personal narratives and objects that bring to life the struggles, joys, creativity and resilience of living in a new land. You can also explore the rooms to sleep, eat, create, meet and make the rooms your own. You are even invited to open the drawers, look through cupboards, settle into an armchair and contribute your story or make connections to the past and present! Organised in collaboration with migrant artists, the first in residence will be the Syrian Dima Karout who has been invited to use the space as her art studio and host workshops. Running alongsdie the exhibition will also a programme of related events and activities, from cookery classes to flash performances, storytelling evenings to art and craft workshops. Taking place currently until the Summer, 2019 at The Migration Museum at The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, London SE1 7AG. 

Journeys Drawn - Illustration from the Refugee Crisis: An exhibition telling refugee stories, both observed and experienced first-hand, through illustration. This first of its kind in the UK, it features 40 multi-media works by 12 contemporary artists, two of whom are themselves refugees. For example, the show features Iranian artist Majid Adin’s award-winning animation for Elton John’s 'Rocket Man', which draws on his own journey to the UK, as he had been imprisoned for his political works in Iran and was smuggled to London inside a refrigerator, before winning a competition to reimagine the iconic ballad! The exhibition also includes war zone reportage by George Butler from Syria, Olivier Kugler’s digital portraits of refugees arriving on the Greek Island of Kos and Kate Evans’ graphic novel that recounts her experience of volunteering in the Calais Jungle. Taking place currently until 24 March, 2019 at House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King's Cross London N1C 4BH.

Dhafer Youssef: Join singer and oud player Dhafer Youssef on a sublime sonic expedition, taking in Tunisian tradition and contemporary jazz as he presents his new album. At this concert, Youssef reveals material from new album 'Sounds of Mirrors', which features French-Indian percussionist Stéphane Edouard, meditative Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset and Turkish clarinetist Hüsnü Senlendirici. The mix of musicians from four corners of the world complements Youssef’s expansive stylistic identity, weaving together the musical tapestry of his native Tunisia and a modern and intense style of jazz. Taking place 15 March, 2019 at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.

Mashrou’ Leila: The Lebanese indie-pop sensation Mashrou’ Leila will be returning to the UK for a highly anticipated 3-city tour of London, Manchester and Glasgow. Born of a nocturnal encounter at the American University of Beirut in 2008, Mashrou’ Leila is a six-member band that fuses the craftiness of a music workshop with the punch of stadium rock. With their distinct approach to storytelling and orchestration, they have crafted some of the most melancholic ballads and raucous anthems in contemporary alternative Arabic music, and went on to perform them live at sold-out venues in Lebanon, Cairo, Istanbul, Dubai, Paris, Montreal and many more. They will be performing in London 7 March, 2019 at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH.

DAM Live @JazzCafe: DAM began working together in the late 1990s as the first Palestinian hip-hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic. Struck by the uncanny resemblance of the reality of the streets in a Tupac video to the streets in their own neighborhood of Lyd, they were inspired to tell their stories through this new medium. Bringing together a unique combination of Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and hip hop, DAM has grown to become one of the most influential acts of the Middle East’s urban music scene. Recently signing with UK label Cooking Vinyl (Goldie, Groove Armada, Trio Joubran, 47Soul) they are now gearing to release their new album 'Between Hannah and Mannah' and tour in the UK. The London performance will be on 2 March, 2019 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway,London,NW1 7PG.

Le Trio Joubran: Oud masters and innovators Le Trio Joubran perform music from a career spanning fifteen years including their anticipated new album 'The Long March'. From a family steeped in Arabic music, the three brothers Samir, Wissam and Adnan Joubran have been touring the world with their ouds. Through their mesmerizing songs they attempt to honour the struggles and oppression of indigenous peoples around the world and see their music as part of the Palestinian people’s effort for recognition. Their new record 'The Long March' is a landmark for the band, continuing to combine musical worlds with collaborations from Roger Waters and poet Mahmoud Darwish. Rock solos meet synths and Arabic verse; brooding and beautiful, contemplative and joyous. Taking place 3 February, 2019 at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS.

Stories From Within: Presented by Stories Art Gallery, this exhibition will show exceptional pieces by Syrian artists who tell a different and striking story about Syria and its people. The exclusive works, created by four acclaimed artists over the past seven years, stand as witnesses to life changes and documenting for an era using the mastery of art. The featured artists Nizar Sabour, Edward Shahda, Bassem Dahdouh and Asmaa Fayoumi are internationally renowned in the world of contemporary art since the 1960s. Exploring various themes, highlights include a visit to the ancient Aramaic town of Maloula (whose inhabitants still pray and speak in the language of Christ) and trying to relate to the bizarre transformation of humans into hybrid beings who are neither fully human nor beast. Looking also at the psychological impact of war and the anxiety of those left behind while in waiting for the unknown, the themes progress to a silver lining of hope and delivery from the intense state through the only way forward, which is love and compassion. Taking place 11 December, 2018-31 January, 2019 at Stories Art Gallery, 51-53 South Audley Street, London W1K 2AA.

Alaa Abu Diab Live in London: The Palestinian comedian Alaa Abu Diab will be in London for an evening of satire and comedy as part of his upcoming tour that will also be stopping in Ramallah, Lund, Amman, Haifa, Nazareth and Jenin. His razor edge wit and hilarious political commentary make this UK debut an evening not to be missed. Please note that this performance will take place only in Arabic. Hosted by MARSM it will be taking place 14 December, 2018 at DLT Lecture Theatre, SOAS University, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG.

Banipal Book Club Meeting: For the last Book Club meeting of the year, the group will consider 'In the Spider's Room' by Muhammad Abdelnabi and translated by Jonathan Wright, who will be present and joining in the discussion. The book is about Hani, a young man in Egypt, who endures a seven-month nightmare as he was swept up, along with fifty other men, in the infamous Queen Boat affair that targeted Egypt’s gay community. Finally free, but traumatized into speechlessness, he writes down the events of his life—his first sexual desires, his relationship with his mother, his marriage of convenience, and his passion for Abdel Aziz, the only man he ever truly loved. Please note that the Book Club meetings are free to attend but please RSVP by messaging our Facebook page or email [email protected]. Taking place 12 December, 2018 at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

Arab British Centre Open Evening: A festive opportunity to buy some gifts, get your holiday reading sorted, and explore all that the Arab British Centre (ABC) has to offer in 2019. With stalls from Palestinian fair trade food organisation Zaytoun and contemporary calligrapher Joumana Medlej, you can bring the flavours and artistry of the Arab world to your friends this Christmas. Zaytoun’s mouth-watering dates, zesty za’atar and rich olive oil all hail from Palestinian farmers, and will be sold at a special, below RRP rate; and Joumana Medlej’s striking art pieces, prints, and handmade cards and stationery will also be available to buy. Also open to visitors will be BALBMAL (the Banipal-ABC Library of Modern Arab Literature) from which you can borrow books and learn more from the Banipal team about Arabic literature in translation. If you are interested in Arabic language, contemporary calligraphy, art history, or musical instruments like the oud and darbuka, this is also an opportunity to find out more about the ABC courses. Taking place 10 December, 2018 at the ABC, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.


Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.