Curious Inbox

  • Tints of Resilience Exhibition - At P21 Gallery - London 17 August-6 September, 2018
  • SAFAR Film Festival - A Literary Journey Through Arab Cinema - London 13-18 September, 2018

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.

Jameel Prize 5 Exhibition: The Jameel Prize, open to artists and designers from any ethnic, religious or cultural background, is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition; and, its aim is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today. Organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum in partnership with Art Jameel, it is now in its fifth edition with the winners having recently been announced and the works of the eight finalists put on display. With varied practices ranging from architecture, painting and fashion design to abstract work and multi-media installation, six of the artists this year are connected to the Middle East: Hayv Kahraman and Mehdi Moutasher (Iraq), Nisreen and Nermeen Abudail (Jordan), Hala Kaiksow (Bahrain) and Younes Rahmoun (Morocco). Taking place 28 June-25 November, 2018 at the V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL.

Cairokee @JazzCafe: The name expresses the irrefutable connection with their Egyptian audiences, combining Cairo and Karaoke to symbolize a “singing along” with Cairo. Yet after over 15 years of performing and four albums, their captivating energy, creativity and humility has ensured that it is now Cairo that sings along with them, and not the other way around. Articulating elements of contemporary Egyptian society that drive their generation, their music balances rock and spacious electronica with hints of pop and chaabi. Their anthemic calls for freedom, self-reflection and societal changes are an innate reflection of their phenomenal song-writing abilities and fan base, but have not always resonated with authorities back home. As part of their anticipated autumn UK tour, the London performance takes place 2 November, 2018 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London NW1 7PG.

Fragments: Coming as part of the 'No Direction Home' festival that explores displacement, migration and refuge, 'Fragments' has been devised through workshops run by the Single Homeless Project in collaboration with Palestinian theatre-maker Mo’min Swaitat. With support from Shubbak Festival, the production draws on music and movement rooted in participants’ home cultures, as well as their impressions of London and the chaotic beginnings of resettlement. The show focuses on the journey from dystopia to the unknown, depicting the shattering and reintegration of cultures, memories, time and space, as experienced through the body in motion. Rehearsing as part of a residency with New Diorama Theatre, Fragments was first shown as a work-in-progress at Shakespeare’s Globe. Taking place 2 November, 2018 at Camden People's Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PY.

Fanon, Yesterday, Today (UK Premiere & Director Q+A): Brought by Culturama to mark the 64th Anniversary of the Algerian revolution, this documentary by Hassane Mezine examines the legacy of Martinican-born thinker and revolutionary Frantz Fanon. It gives a privileged and rare insight into the life of Fanon through the stories and accounts of the people who were closest to him in his life and until his death. An evening of great vibes, one can expect the warm sounds of Oud virtuoso Yaz Fentazi to get you in the mood for the documentary, plus a post-screening Q+A wit director Mezine. Taking place 1 November, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA L.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair: The 1-54 Fari returns to London for its sixth edition at Somerset House. The Fair will welcome 43 leading galleries from countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America, presenting over 130 artists from Africa and its diaspora. This edition will be accompanied by a compelling series of Special Projects and FORUM, the fair’s talks programme, curated for the first time by writer and curator Ekow Eshun. Founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, the 1-54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora with annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, it is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange. Taking place 4-7 October, 2018 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

Neither Here, Nor There: Featuring works by international and British BME women artists, the exhibition creates a space to explore dual heritage and feelings of displacement. The group exhibition brings together eighteen artists from diverse backgrounds to also look into issues around women's rights and social justice; as well as the artists' responses and interpretations of the theme ‘Neither Here, Nor There’. Taking part are a mix of established and emerging artists, including: photographer Maha Alasaker (renowned for her project 'Women of Kuwait' and #ResistanceIsFemale), Aleesha Nandhra (illustrator, printmaker and member of PrintClub London), Areeba Siddique (Pakistani activist, Social Media Influencer and Blogger), Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail (co-founder of Muslim women’s group 'Variant Space'), Faiza Hussain, Erin Aniker and Jess Nash (co-founders of 'We Are Here'), amongst others. Taking place 26 July-30 September, 2018 at The Foundary, Oval Way, London SE11 5RR.

Arabs Are Not Funny (Comedy): After 24 sold-out editions, Arts Canteen’s 'Arabs Are Not Funny' will be back with a very interesting line-up of comedians, representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. With all the acts in Engish, the confirmed comedians for this edition are: Janine Harouni (Lebanese-American comedian), Marouen Mraihi (comedian and improviser from Tunisia), Yacine Belhousse (he successfully debuted in Edinburgh with his show 'Made in France' and having two sold-out shows at London’s Soho Theatre), Mamoun Elagab (a new comedian of Sudanese origin who has recently won the Manchester King Gong and the London King Gong and been nominated for BBC New Comedian of the Year), and Talal Karkouti (he's been performing comedy for over six years, including two Edinburgh Fringe runs and three years hosting The LIL Show podcast). Taking place 29 September, 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP.

47Soul + Kefaya: 47Soul, the four member group that came together in Jordan in 2013, specialise in a cheerfully widescreen fusion of electronic hip-hop and traditional dabke dance music, mixed in with a dash of reggae, sturdy melodies and chanting vocals alternating between English and Arabic words. The genre is becoming a symbol of Arab youth culture, offering a necessary refreshing change to the common representation. After releasing their debut EP, they started touring the world - to spread a universal message that amphasizes unity by accepting diversity - and have fired up crowds at Glastonbury, Womad and back in their home. They will be joined by Kefaya, the international music collective formed and led by London-based musicians and producers Giuliano Modarelli and Al MacSween, who will deliver their unique blend of global folk rhythms and cutting-edge, 21st century sound. Taking place 29 September, 2018 at Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD.

Ahmed Mukhtar & Veles Ensemble: Ahmed Mukhtar, the Iraqi musician, composer and founding director of the Taqasim Music School, will be performing as part of the London Strings Festival with the Veles Ensemble. The Veles Ensemble will open the evening of contrast with a true classic, Beethoven's String Trio Op. 9 No.1 in G-major, that is often considered to be one of Beethoven's most important early works. It will be followed by Zoltan Kodály's Intermezzo, a wonderfully fresh and light scherzo, written by the then 23 year young composer while finishing a dissertation on the Hungarian folk song at the Budapest academy. After these, Mukhtar will present Iraqi music with Oud solos and joined by the Veles Ensemble to finish with arrangements of his own compositions. Taking place 26 September, 2018 at Saint Margaret Pattens Church, Eastcheap, London EC3M 1HS.

London Design Biennale 2018: The 2018 London Design Biennale is devoted to the theme of 'Emotional States'. Taking over the entirety of Somerset House and representing 35 countries and cities, it will explore big questions and ideas about sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities and social equality. Visitors will enjoy engaging and interactive installations, innovations, artworks and proposed design solutions - all in an immersive, inspiring and entertaining tour of the world. As emotions are universal with shared meanings that transcend borders, together the different countries’ responses to the theme will present an exciting laboratory of ideas that will investigate the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses and real social needs. The Arab countries participating include Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt. Taking place 4-23 September, 2018 at Somerset House, The Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

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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.