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

Luxor African Film Festival

The 5th edition of Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) is scheduled to run between 17-23 March.  The festival was established to remedy the lack of attention paid to African films in Egypt, with Luxor chosen to "de-centralize cultural or artistic events always organized in Cairo and Alexandria" This year LAFF is honoring Omar Sharif, who … Continue reading Luxor African Film Festival

The Oscars and the Berlinale

With the 88th Academy Awards ceremony to take place this Sunday, Al Bawaba looks back at nine films from the region to be nominated for an Oscar, including Hany Abu Assad's Paradise Now (2005) and Omar (2013), and Rachid Bouchareb's Days of Glory (2006) and Outside the Law (2010), but also Incendies (2010), adapted from … Continue reading The Oscars and the Berlinale

Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb After the BAFTA

Naji Abu Nowar's "Bedouin spaghetti western" Theeb (2014) is in the news again, only now it is the "BAFTA-winning, and Oscar nominated, Theeb." Theeb is  "one of only 10 films from the MENA region to have been nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film since 1947, and of the 112 films submitted for the … Continue reading Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb After the BAFTA

From Mathaf to Madrid

The exhibition Looking at the World Around You: Contemporary Works from Qatar Museums is being held from 9 February to 19 June 2016 at the Santander Art Gallery in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, the "first major loan exhibition in Europe of works from Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art in Doha."   This selection, more … Continue reading From Mathaf to Madrid

Sonia Mbarek’s Maghrebi Network

Renowned Tunisian vocalist Sonia M'Barek, who earlier this month performed at French Institute Alliance Française in Manhattan, has spoken of her Wajd project and plans for collaboration with other Maghreb artists. Sonia expressed her desire to participate in work that joins Arab artists mainly from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. She also suggested the idea of creating a great network … Continue reading Sonia Mbarek’s Maghrebi Network

New Yorker Interview with Kamel Daoud

In The New Yorker, Deborah Treisman interviews Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud about his novel Meursault, contre-enquête, published in English as The Meursault Investigation (2013) and its re-writing of Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” - although Daoud notes that the novel is intended not as an "answer" or "correction" but to "question the work, but to move on from … Continue reading New Yorker Interview with Kamel Daoud

2014 Arab Film Festival in Korea

The 2014 Arab Film Festival is being held from the 20th to the 26th in Cinematheque Busan as part of the Arab Cultural Festival, running from May to July, including an art exhibition, a photography exhibition and a public lecture series. This is the second consecutive year for the festival, which is hosted by Korea-Arab … Continue reading 2014 Arab Film Festival in Korea

Arabism in El-Jakh’s The Visa

Hisham El-Jakh's popularity has been skyrocketing for a while in Egypt. His style reminds me of an Egyptian Ahmad Matar - direct, more polemical than lyrical, often sarcastic and dependent on the poetic equivalent of punchlines that might have more relevance at a certain time and in a certain context - such as the FIFA … Continue reading Arabism in El-Jakh’s The Visa

Waciny Laredj’s Memory of Water

Just finished reading Waciny Laredj's Memory of Water (1997),  the story of a leftist intellectual in Algeria, who narrates the fragmentation of his country in fragmented, stream of consciousness prose. Set in the early 90s, many of the chapters begin with newspaper clippings the narrator has collected, dating all the way back to the 60s, … Continue reading Waciny Laredj’s Memory of Water

The Native Informant Speaks

In the first sentence of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, Spivak writes that her “aim…was to track the figure of the Native Informant through various practices: philosophy, literature, history, culture.” Spivak’s re-examination of the native informant involves exposing the double structure of invocation and foreclosure as the native informant is both needed to provide information … Continue reading The Native Informant Speaks

Arab Cinema Round-Up

"A truly original programme of Arab cinema for British cinema-goers, this week-long series of classic and contemporary popular cinema takes audiences on a journey of gripping dramas, subversive comedies and exaggerated melodramas, taking in an array of re-mastered cinematic masterpieces and new releases." The Arab British Centre has been doing some amazing work on popular … Continue reading Arab Cinema Round-Up

“Perfume of the Jasmine Revolt”

Three books written in Arabic are described in this article as "a real perfume in the wake of the revolt of jasmine." One novel, one book of poetry, and one semi-autobiography, or fictionalized memoir. Although only the book of poetry is directly about revolution, specifically the Syrian uprising. Algerian writer Samir Qasimi has written four … Continue reading “Perfume of the Jasmine Revolt”

What’s Dance Got to Do With Genocide?

In a NYT review of French-Algerian choreographer Rachid Ouramdane's Ordinary Witnesses, the reviewer asked: What has dance got to do with genocide or torture?  In Ordinary Witnesses, which incorporates innovative uses of multimedia and video testimonies and moves from interviews with survivors of genocide and torture to dance and contortionist movements, there is an exploration of what … Continue reading What’s Dance Got to Do With Genocide?