MAWEAF Multimedia Arts Festival (Algeria Edition): An exciting showcase of the underground art scene of Africa’s largest country, Algeria, comes in full force to London with a spellbinding contemporary showcase of theatre, photography, design, workshops and feature films. Little known in the UK, and significantly under-represented across British cultural scenes, this programming will take on Algeria’s multi-faceted reality in which the participating artists have grown and developed their work.
TootArd Live In London: Formed by brothers Hasan and Rami Nakhleh, whose home is in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, TootArd are a mountain rock reggae band seeking to transcend their circumstances’ privation and isolation, by making joyful, captivating, wittily ironic music, interweaving West African, Saharan and Caribbean strands with classical Arab modalities.
Beirut And Beyond - Kinematik: Kinematik are an instrumental rock band from Lebanon, whose music is both diligent and intuitional, ranging from raucous improvisational psychedelic rock to steady and mechanical electronic grooves, with frequent post-rock climaxes. Immediate points of comparison include Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Loop, as well as Can (for the tendency towards Motorik beats) and Tortoise (for the intricacies of their layered compositions).
Tribute to Shafik Kabha: A tribute to a legend of Palestine's music scene, the show will be jam packed with Shafik Kabha's best tracks and greatest hits. As a special one off show, hosts Arts Canteen will be celebrating his life and music. Kabha has been hailed by some as a truly ‘pan-Palestine’ singer, with huge popularity in Gaza, the West Bank and Galilee. One is invited to get their dancing shoes ready for a night to remember with surprise guest artists and DJs on the night.
(UN)Covered Performance: Made between the UK and Egypt, (Un)Covered is a solo dance theatre action by contemporary dance artist and choreographer Zosia Jo as she explores women inside their clothes. It considers how to embody empowerment against the politicization, violence and control society imposes on women's bodies via the clothes they wear. This issue connects all people, across borders and transcending cultural difference. The freedom is not in what one wears or doesn't wear - it is in the choice. This is her reaction and solution with a Q+A after the show.
Flamenco Evolution, Baghdad to Seville: A night of outstanding music, flamenco dance breaking down long-standing cultural and historical barriers. Iraqi Oud player Attab Haddad has had an interest in flamenco more or less since he started playing the oud. Flamenco's forms, rhythms and melodies have influenced a large part of his work and he is still fascinated by the connections between flamenco and Middle Eastern music.
Rock [Beats] Chaabi - El Morabba3 & Islam Chipsy: Challenging the lines between Rock, electronica, beats and Chaabi, this double bill brings together the euphoric sounds of Jordan’s El Morabba3 with the enthralling pulse of Egypt’s Islam Chipsy. Vital players in the urban Chaabi scene, Islam Chipsy are at the forefront of what has traditionally been regarded as Egyptian working-class celebration music. With their success now rippling far beyond the backstreets of their native Cairo, their charismatically frantic sets have remolded the appeal of live Chaabi performance.
Animated Images (Exhibition): Syrian artist Sulafa Hijazi’s series of animated images is a response to our ever-increasing relationship with new media. While trawling her Facebook feed, Hijazi became conscious of the great plethora of images that we are bombarded with - from a friend’s wedding to updates from war zones. Animated Images uses lenticular print techniques to reveal shifting transformations as the viewer passes by the images.
Ruba Shamshoum: The Palestinian vocalist will be celebrating the launch of her debut album ‘Shamat’ with a full-band followed by an after-party with special guest Hicham Ibrahim aka DJ Sotusura. Shamshoum is influenced by a wide range of music, from her roots of Palestinian traditional music to rock, pop and jazz, which is abundantly heard in the songs through the unique vocal melodies, catchy hooks, tight grooves and powerful chord progressions. She sings in both Arabic and English, and uses music to deal with identity, anger, lack of communication, fear and love.
El Far3i + Special Guest: This gig is a great place to start if you think that both Arabic rap and folk genre might just be your thing. Join El Far3i in celebrating the release of his fourth studio album. El Far3i’s music can be described as a mixture of hip hop, Arabic folk, acoustic rap and Arabic poetry. He believes in the power of his music and exploring and adapting the lyrics to fit the current social and political conditions.