Awarded pioneers in ‘stirring the arts, breaking down borders and telling unheard stories’ in connection with the Arab world in London, Arts Canteen also host the annual ‘Arab Women Artists Now’ (AWAN) festival. Organised and directed in collaboration with partners, it is now in its fourth edition and runs throughout March to coincide with International Women’s Day and the overall global celebrations of women’s movements and activism.
Bringing forward the wonderful and diverse talent, achievements and industrious work of Arab female creatives, AWAN offers not only the chance to be a male or female audience member and enjoy the artistic productions, but it also enables direct networking opportunities - through workshops and the ‘Connect’ programme - whereby established and emerging arts professionals can engage with each other and also help guide new hopefuls who may wish to break into the field.
Proving highly popular for its intimate niche outside of the mainstream March women events in the UK and abroad – for example the ‘WOW’ festival at the Southbank Centre - last year’s AWAN attracted an audience reach of 26,000 in London and beyond, both in reality and virtually online.
In terms of what AWAN truly aims to provide for its visitors, founder of Arts Canteen, Aser El Saqqa, said to Nahla Ink: “AWAN will raise awareness, attract attendance from and create conversations among large numbers of different types of people. In effect, we enable and market positive new ideas about Arab identity at the grassroots, across a broad social spectrum.
“In addition, AWAN community cherishes its ability to strengthen cultural pride and positive self-identity among Arab diasporas in Europe as well as spread a message of Arab talent, harmony and creativity to non-Arab audiences.”
This year, the comprehensive schedule will run from 1-25 March and host over twenty separate events under the categories of music, comedy, film, visual arts, performance and the informative and practical workshops. Each of these will take place in one of these venues: Rich Mix (Shoreditch), the Royal Albert Hall, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, Chatham House, the Arab British Centre or the Book Club.
To reveal the fantastic line up and plan your AWAN visit, please refer to the festival website: https://www.awan.org.uk/
Otherwise, AWAN is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArabWomenArtistsNow/
Or you can follow AWAN on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AWANFESTIVAL