London hosts its first Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture
This week we cast our eyes to the shores of London town, to the recently ended first ever festival celebrating Arab culture. ‘Shubbak: A Window into Contemporary Arab Culture’, hosted by the Mayor of London, ran from July 4th to the 24th during which time over seventy events were staged at more than 30 venues across London.
Although London, like many other global cities across the world has had Arab culture weaved into its identity and history over centuries never before has there been a distinct event platform dedicated to showcase and celebrate this.
As a platform the purpose of Shubbak (‘window’ in Arabic) is to expose diverse narratives of the Arab world through a wide-ranging programme of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature, architecture, lectures and discussion. In its inaugural run the festival featured work by contemporary Arab artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, choreographers and architects based in London and around the world including Algeria, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA.
Below is a snapshot of sessions from this year’s programme to give you a taste of what one can probably expect from the festival in 2012.