Radical Imagining: Afro, Indigenous, & Palestinian Futurisms

I was sad to miss the live broadcasting of this event, but happy to find that it is now available online, transcript and all. The panel explores speculative fiction and Afrofuturism as a source of inspiration for Indigenous, and Palestinian speculative fiction and ranges across a number of other topics. Here is a snippet of … Continue reading Radical Imagining: Afro, Indigenous, & Palestinian Futurisms

Documentary “Muhi – Generally Temporary”

"For the past seven years Muhi, a brave and spirited Palestinian boy has been living in an Israeli hospital, unable to return to his home in Gaza. Caught between two worlds and two peoples, Muhi is raised in paradoxical circumstances that transcend identity, religion and the conflict that divides his world. His time at the … Continue reading Documentary “Muhi – Generally Temporary”

Words, Words, Words

  Words Words Words a MARSM organised event featuring Palestinian artists billed as a celebration of "the power of words and meaning," took place this Friday at Richmix. The performers were two spoken word artists, Farah Chamma and Dana Dajani, and musician Jowan Safadi, making his UK debut. Rafeef Ziadah, herself a spoken-word artist, was going to host … Continue reading Words, Words, Words

On Memory: An Evening with Palestinian Writers at the Arab British Centre

On October 29th, the Arab British Centre hosted Selma Dabbagh, Jehan Bseiso, Farah Chamma and Ahmed Masoud, who came together to talk about what memory means to them as Palestinian writers. Behind the headlines and milestones and tweets, there are people and stories and morning rituals. There are memories and details so resilient they pass from … Continue reading On Memory: An Evening with Palestinian Writers at the Arab British Centre

MFest 2018

This weekend was MFest, "UK's first festival of culture and ideas dedicated to Muslim communities," which took place at the British Library between the 28th-29th April. The programme included several panels relevant to this blog. I was particularly interested by the panel "Spicing Up Sci-fi: The Dunes Strike Back" featuring Emirati writer Noura Al-Noman, author … Continue reading MFest 2018

Sarab by the Palestinian Circus School

Yesterday I went to see Sarab by Palestinian Circus School, part of the CircusFest at Jackson Lane. The show is a piece of circus theatre that ”shares with us the plight of refugees worldwide. The seven Palestinian performers use Chinese pole, juggling and acrobatics to reflect on their own history and the repetition of it … Continue reading Sarab by the Palestinian Circus School

Omar Hamdi, “Sticks and Stones”

Omar Hamdi's comedy special "Sticks and Stones" was filmed tonight at the Rich Mix. This meant, among other things, that Hamdi's grand entrance was recorded again at the end, along with several jokes the comedian had skipped over during the actual show, but the audience was still whooping and clapping and full of good will … Continue reading Omar Hamdi, “Sticks and Stones”

Exhibition: Retracing A Disappearing Landscape

Today I attended the opening of the exhibition "Retracing A Disappearing Landscape’,  held at the P21 Gallery in London, which runs from 29 March-15 May, 2018 and explores "people’s direct experience of and fascination with memory and personal history as well as the collective narratives that arise in connection with modern day Libya."  Artists featured included Elham … Continue reading Exhibition: Retracing A Disappearing Landscape

Curfew Palestinian Dance Performance at Rich Mix

On Saturday the 24th at Rich Mix, two dabke groups, El Funoun and Hawiyya, one from Ramallah and one from London, joined forces to produce Curfew, mixing traditional dabke movemens with contemporary dance in a show revolving around the Palestinian experimence of the newscycle, the way the news is both flickering social media feeds and … Continue reading Curfew Palestinian Dance Performance at Rich Mix

Sahar Assaf on Theatre in Lebanon Today

The Segal Centre's recently held an event on contemporary theatre in Lebanon.  The centre has previously showcased readings of plays by Arab dramatists Rama Haydar and Bashar Murkus.  On the 17th of October, to celebrate a new exchange partnership with the Theatre Initiative at the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Segal Centre invited Sahar Assaf,  Assistant Professor … Continue reading Sahar Assaf on Theatre in Lebanon Today

Mahragan Music

Listening to Cairokee's Keif (Fix) recently, I was reminded to look up another crowdfunded project from a couple of years ago -- this one on Mahragan music and dance.    The project was first put up on the site back in 2014, the idea being to make a documentary on the Mahragan movement, focusing on the … Continue reading Mahragan Music

Speaking in Tongues, Night Terrors in Arabic

"Night Terror," the first story in the short story collection Double Dutch by Laura Trunkey begins with the following passage: "He was speaking Arabic in his sleep. Her son -- who could barely manage three words in a row in English -- had an incredible fluency in a language she recognised only from television news clips." … Continue reading Speaking in Tongues, Night Terrors in Arabic

Arab Films Entered for Oscars

There are films from 92 countries entered for the Foreign Film category of the Oscars. Among these are eight films from Arabic-speaking countries. Several of the films deal in various ways with the impact of the conflict in Syria. There is the documentary from Syria, “Little Gandhi,” which follows the life and death of Syrian … Continue reading Arab Films Entered for Oscars

Hisham Bustani’s The Crossing

Hisham Bustani's short story "The Crossing"  has been translated into English by Maia Tabet and appears in the current issue of Newfound.  The short story was originally published in Arabic in Bustani's The Monotonous Chaos of Existence (2010). In Newfound, it appears in both Arabic and English, as in Bustani's previous work, The Perception of Meaning, … Continue reading Hisham Bustani’s The Crossing

On the Use of English in Arab(ic) Music

Ahdaf Soueif once said that “the use of English by Arab authors is expanding at a faster rate than the use of French." I haven't seen any empirical evidence for this, but it seems likely -- or if not exactly faster than French, than at least at an equal rate. Watching 47soul’s recent release “Raf Etair” … Continue reading On the Use of English in Arab(ic) Music