Curious Inbox

  • Yto Barrada - Agadir Exhibition- The Curve - Barbican Centre - Till 20 May, 2018 - www.barbican.org.uk
  • Yto Barrada - Agadir Exhibition- The Curve - Barbican Centre - Till 20 May, 2018 - www.barbican.org.uk

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.

Yto Barrada - Agadir: A major London commission, Moroccan artist Yto Barrada weaves together personal narratives and political ideals to create a complex portrait of a city and its people in a state of transition. The sweeping form of the Curve at the Barbican will be transformed with a dramatic installation – encompassing a mural, film commission, sculptures, and a series of live and recorded performances – ​to consider how a city and its people might address the process of reinvention following disaster. Barrada takes as her starting point a surreal text by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine – Agadir  (1967) – reflecting on the devastating earthquake of 1960 that destroyed much of the modernist Moroccan city.​ Over the past two decades, the artist's multimedia practice has explored questions ranging from migration to abstraction, from fossils to botany, examining the strategies of resistance employed every day in her native Morocco. Taking place 7 February-20 May, 2018 at The Curve, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS​​.

Showtime From The Frontline (Theatre): A new play from award-winning comedian Mark Thomas, the production will be touring the UK before ending with a London run. Dodging cultural and literal bullets, Israeli incursions and religion, Thomas and his team had set out to run a comedy club and put on two nights in the Palestinian city of Jenin, but only to find that it is not so simple to celebrate freedom of speech in a place with so little freedom. The Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold for the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade during the Second Intifada, is not a place synonymous with laughs, yet it is home to the Jenin Freedom Theatre and people with a wealth of stories to tell. Thomas tells the story alongside Faisal Abualheja and Alaa Shehada, two performers, actors and now aspiring comics from the Jenin Club. Taking place 10 April–21 April, 2018 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN.

The Gap Between Us - Basma Alsharif: The first UK solo exhibition by the artist and film-maker Basma Alsharif, featuring three key works from different periods of the artist’s practice. Alsharif is an L.A. based artist of Palestinian descent. She explores representations of history, conflict and subjectivity and how to produce new visual narratives. Alsharif creates rich imagery, manipulating and editing original film footage, seeking to unsettle perceptions and evoke affective experiences in the viewer. This exhibition’s central work will be Ouroboros (2017) Alsharif’s first feature length film, screened in a gallery context for the first time. Taking place 19 January-31 March, 2018 at the Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW.

Perpetual Movement: Seven Arab women artists explore the relationship between migration and memory in connection to the Arab world and its diaspora, as part of the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival. Curated by Lizzy Vartanian Collier​, the exhibition looks into, for example, how the memory of a place changes once a person leaves and what happens if one is ethnically associated with a location but has never even been there. It also shows how memories can be inherited, alter from generation to generation, become fragmented, or create gaps that need to be filled. Considering that people have been moving to, from and through the Arab region for hundreds, even thousands of years, the works also address the multitude of reasons for migration and the impact on the collective consciousness. With roots in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the UAE, the seven artists all illustrate movement in various ways, creating a rich, multilayered picture of young women from the region. Taking place 1-25 March, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Ala Younis - Plan For Feminist Greater Baghdad: Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel present a solo exhibition by Ala Younis to be held simultaneously in London and Dubai. The exhibition includes a major new installation co-commissioned by the two organisations, 'Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad', that builds on Younis’s previous work that was included in the Central Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, and which will be shown alongside the new commission. In the newly commissioned work, the artist brings to the fore the significant contributions made by female artists, architects and other influential characters - including Balkis Sharara, Nuha al-Radi, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Iman Mersal and Zaha Hadid -​ to the development of Baghdad and its modern monuments. Typical of her practice, the work re-articulates archival material to bring about new narratives; which in this case is a reading that sees beyond the male dominance of the city’s architecture and politics, to reveal the female influence on Baghdad’s history. Taking place 1 February-24 March, 2018 at Delfina Foundation, 29-31 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY​.

Returning To Haifa (Theatre): The world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, 'Returning to Haifa', adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi and directed by Caitlin McLeod. A compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – who are forced by history into an intimacy they didn't choose. Set in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, the Palestinian couple - who fled their home in 1948 - return to Haifa after 20 years of being away. Although prepared to find someone else living where they once did, nothing could have prepared them for the encounter they both desired and dreaded: the son they had to leave behind, and what he has become. Coinciding with the 70-year anniversaries of both the Nakba and the foundation of the State of Israel, this is a deeply moving play of suspense and heartbreak, where humanity and vision combine with a frontline immediacy. Taking place 27 February-24 March, 2018 at the Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED​.

We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled, Voices From Syria: An event to launch Wendy Pearlman's book 'We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria'. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, the book features a collection of intimate wartime testimonies from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight. Pearlmam, who is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and holds the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professorship, will be joined in conversation with Malu Halasa, a Jordanian-Filipina American writer and editor based in London. ​A registration free event, taking place on 21 March, 2018 at Wolfson Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ​.

Human Rights Watch Film Festival London 2018: The Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) bears witness to human rights violations through an annual film forum featuring the work of courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. The festival brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people. It currently screens in over 20 cities around the world throughout the year and its London edition will take place 7-16 March, 2018 at various cinema venues. The full programme is yet to be announced but will most likely include films and documentaries relevant to the MENA region.

Habibi Funk + Flamingods (DJ set): Jannis Stürtz heads record label 'Habibi Funk' which focuses on reissuing 60's-80's Arab funk and electronic records. His latest release is a bumper compilation titled ‘Habibi Funk 007: An Eclectic Selection of Music From the Arab World’. As seen on his recent Boiler Room set in Lebanon, he jumps between rare Arab 45’s, hip hop and disco during his DJ sets. Joining him are the rambunctious party starters Flamingods. Borne out of Bahrain and famed for their electric live shows, their music puts a focus on exploration and DJ experimentation, often taking influence from different cultures by use of an extensive collection of instruments from as far as Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan and Tanzania. Taking place 9 March, 2018 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG.

Juliana Yazbeck Album Launch: Lebanese artist Juliana Yazbeck has carved a solid identity and signature sound on the London scene, fusing Lebanese aural traditions with soul and hip hop poetry. Her debut album 'Sungod' takes one deeper inwards, introducing atmospheric electronic minimalism to the mix and weaving poetry into a new world that calls on the old gods as well as the new... it is also a journey to rediscover identity before Westernisaiton: as women, as Arabs and as autonomous peoples. To celebrate International Women's Day, Yazbeck will perform the full-length album, which has been a collaboration with Palestinian-Jordanian producer El Jehaz, and features artists such as Cassandre Balbar on woodwind, Walaa Sbait on tabel, and Alexis Kraniou on guitar, among others. Taking place 8 March, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

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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.