In the words of Festival Chair, Omar Al-Qattan: “These are turbulent and challenging times for the region but they are also rich with expectation and hope. No-one can guide us better through them than the region’s writers, artists and creators and London is one of the best places to celebrate that extraordinary vitality and creativity.”
Shubbak kicks off with a double bill at the Barbican Centre on Saturday 22 June bringing together two of Algeria’s most outspoken musical rebels, rock ‘n’ rai icon, Rachid Taha, and steely singer-songwriter, Souad Massi.
There will be a major programme of films including the UK premiere of highly acclaimed Syrian film Round Trip, by writer/director, Meyar Al Roumi, screening at the ICA, and a season of Arab films at the Ciné Lumiere at the French Institute co-curated by Omar Kholeif, founder of the UK’s Arab Film Festival.
Gaza-based authors, Ali Abukhattab and Samah Al Sheikha will participate in Narrating Gaza at the ICA, discussing their work as writers and promoters of new literature. Libyan writer Mohamed Mesrati and Tunisian student and blogger Malek Sghiri will be discussing their approaches to capturing the Arab Spring at Rich Mix.
Novelist Hisham Matar and Serpentine Co-Curator, Hans Ulrich Obrist are among the people taking part in a three day focus on Arab contemporary arts at the Serpentine, presented in collaboration with Qatar Museums Authority.
The huge range of exhibitions includes the first major show of the visionary Sudanese artist, 83 year-old Ibrahim El-Salahi at Tate Modern. Rich Mix will put on show Culture in Defiance: Street Art From Syria’s Uprising, created by the anonymous 15 member poster collective Alshaab Alsori Aref Tarekh.
Music is threaded through the entire programme including a unique concert by Cairo-based Nubian singers and drummers collective, Nuba Nour, and an evening devoted to contemporary Arab composers in the newly restored splendour of the Nasser Hall at the Egyptian Cultural Centre.
Families are invited to participate in three special weekends of free events: at the Lyric Square Hammersmith; in Kensington Gardens, hosted by the Serpentine Gallery and Qatar Museums Authority as part of Qatar UK 2013, and the popular Lebanese Festival Day on Cavendish Square.
London’s best experimental theatres will host a series of international premieres of work by significant Arab writers from countries including Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco.
The closing night on Saturday 6 July will be an all-out party at The Flyover Portobello, showcasing a fresh blend of Arab hip-hop, soul and reggae, and featuring the most inspiring young Palestinian artists from the USA, UK Jordan and Palestine. Artists announced so far include: Z The People, El Far3i, Walaa Sbeit and Native Sun.
Eckhard Thiemann, Artistic Director, said: “This programme is an open invitation to everyone in London to glimpse the dynamic state of Arab culture today. Youthful, experimental, generous, daring. A shot in the arm for London, and a chance to celebrate the best of the arts from all over the Arab world.”
Shubbak is sponsored by the A. M. Qattan Foundation and is supported by Arts Council England, the Mayor of London’s office, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in London, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith London BID, Institut Français, Qatar UK2013, Qatar Museums Authority and the British Council. Shubbak official opening is sponsored by Barclays.
ARTISTS ORIGINATE FROM: ALGERIA, BAHRAIN, EGYPT, IRAQ, KUWAIT, LEBANON, LIBYA, MOROCCO, PALESTINE, QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, TUNISIA, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, YEMEN
FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY ARAB CULTURE OPENS IN LONDON 22 JUNE
For full details of the programme including dates, times and booking information