July - A Hot Summer In The City!

With the gorgeous sunny weather set to stay awhile, there is plenty to do this Summer with lots of MENA-inspired arts and culture events in our gorgeous London town. Below are just a few highlights of what is available this July, although there is always more that keeps coming up looking much further ahead.

Also, the Nahla Ink artist of the month is the fantastic Carmine Cartolano aka Qarm Qart. Born in 1972 in the Italian town of Buonabitacolo (Salerno), he studied Arabic and Persian at Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples. Cartolano is an artist, writer and translator who has been living in Cairo since 1999 and teaches Italian as a foreign language there. I have picked images from his 'Restart' series but you can find out a lot more about his work at: www.qarmqart.com.

Jameel Prize 5 Exhibition - The V&A Museum (Exhibition)

Open to artists and designers from any ethnic, religious or cultural background, the Jameel Prize 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. 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. 

For more: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/jameel-prize-5

Rachid Koraïchi 'Masters of Time' - The October Gallery (Exhibition)

A solo exhibition for the incredible Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi, whose impressive oeuvre includes silk hangings, ceramics, sculptures, as well as works on canvas and paper. Incorporating calligraphy as a graphic element in his work, Koraïchi sees art as an ancient path into the unknown, wherein the signs and symbols from civilisation’s oldest languages are abstracted and deconstructed to create a new visual vocabulary. 

In this newly presented series entitled 'Les osties bleues' - a reference to sacramental bread - he explores our human connections to the earth as a source of life. Set on blue and white canvases and wall mounted square ceramics, the artist continues to use a limited palette emphasising the graphic power of his inscriptions. Taking place 21 June-28 July, 2018. 

For more: http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/

Simona Abdallah 'Heartbeat' - Courtyard Theatre (Music)

Arts Canteen, in association with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF), will present an evening of classics and fusion with renowned Palestinian-Danish percussionist Simona Abdallah, where she will be able to move between each piece in an energetic manner unlike any usual beats one has heard before. Playing the Arabic percussion, primarily the Darbuka, she fuses ancestral Arabic rhythms with house, electronica and world music. Taking place 14 July, 2018. 

For more: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/simona-abdallah-tickets-46034228617

Naseer Shamma's Quartet - Barbican Centre (Music) 

One of the world’s pre-eminent Oud players and composers, Naseer Shamma is revered both in his home country of Iraq and worldwide and was recently named a UNESCO Artist for Peace. For this special performance, he brings with him three distinguished players from around the world, each experts in their respective musical traditions who are united in their understanding of a transcendental musical language. All master instrumentalists from Iraq, Pakistan and Spain, they will bring forward a mesmerising performance of oud, Flamenco guitar, tabla and sitar.​ Ta
king place 11 July, 2018/.

For more: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2018/event/naseer-shamma

Bachar Zarkan’s 'Hallaj of Hope' - Kings Place (Music)

Striking a resilient harmony between Sufi musical performance and contemporary poetry, Bachar Zarkan’s anticipated London performance marks the debut of his remarkable project 'The Hallaj of Hope'. Together with a brand-new ensemble, he pays homage to the divine poetry of the Sufi mystics and thinkers such as Ibn Arabi, Ibn Al-Faridh, and Al-Hallaj, and extends their rich legacy to the work of contemporary poet and literary icon Mahmoud Darwish. Taking place 6 July, 2018. 

For more; https://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/world/marsm-presents-bachar-zarkan...

My Curious Inbox + Twitter @NahlaInk

As always, I will refer you to the listing of all the artistic and cultural entries that find their way into my inbox. I do keep this updated on a regular basis and if you have an event you would like to see added, please do get in touch.

For more: http://nahlaink.com/curious-inbox 

Lastly, if you wish to be in the super know of the latest of Arab-London creative news, you can also follow me on Twitter @NahlaInk

Best wishes to all!

Nahla Al-Ageli

Freelance Journalist + Blogger

London, July 2018

Image: Qarm Qart Artwork - Restart Series