Category: News

Podcast logo reading Artists Ideas Now in Blue text in English and in Arabic in Yellow. The background is a pink square with yellow at each side. The border is blue

A new podcast series talking to artists from Egypt and of Egyptian heritage about climate, crisis, environment, protest and change.

Artists | Ideas | Now turns to the country’s creatives to ask: How can art and activism raise the profile of the climate emergency?

In this eight-part audio series, we hear from Egyptian artists and those with Egyptian heritage, who are using the arts to address the most pressing and complex conversations behind the crisis. From creating desert sculptures that can be seen from space, to reawakening dance culture, we discover how creativity can spark change.

Conversations take us on a journey through the history of protest, tackling the urgent and unspoken issues that underpin climate disaster, from colonialism to censorship and the destruction of cultural heritage.

Featuring artists from literature, performance, visual, street, sound art and more, as a global climate summit begins, this series presents the voices of those leading creative solutions that not only protect the environment but fight for a fairer, more just and equal world.

Artists | Ideas | Now is produced by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in collaboration with Artists on the Frontline.

The series was supported by The Space and Arts Council England with funding from the National Lottery.

The producers are Laura Marie Brown and Zoe Lafferty. Executive Producer is Sarah Fortescue.

How to Listen

The series is available on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Each individual episode is linked next to the artist below.

The whole series is available on YouTube with English subtitles


Yasmin El Rashidi – Place 

Yasmine El Rashidi is the author of The Battle for Egypt: Dispatches from the Revolution and Chronicle of a Last Summer a coming-of-age novel that was long-listed for the 2017 PEN Open Book Award. She is a regular contributor to the The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, and a contributing editor to the Middle East arts and culture quarterly Bidoun.

Read more about Yasmine El Rashidi

Miray Sidhom – Protest

Miray Sidhom is an Egyptian-born writer, theatre-maker and performer. Her practice combines elements of film, soundscapes, poetry and movement to create socially engaged, thought-provoking performances. She produces work that confronts social issues whilst celebrating duality and her cross-cultural experience. Miray‘s writing has been featured in LegalAliens’ audio series Things I Am Not, and the Black Gold Arts Zine. Her debut solo show THE BREAD WE BREAK explored Egypt’s suppressed history of political uprisings, and is currently short-listed for ‘Best Performance’ at The Manchester Culture Awards. Miray is a founding member of experimental theatre company ClusterFlux Collective, creating innovative performances which respond to our contemporary context in playful ways.




The Things I Am Not

Aya Tarek – Street Art

Aya Tarek is renowned for the giant murals painted in public spaces, whether in their home town of Alexandria, in 2011 during the revolution and most recently in countries including Brazil, USA & Geneva. Aya’s constant pursuit of finding new ways to engage the public and drive for artistic independence has taken them from canvas to murals, digital art to 3D-motion graphics, feature films and creating Egypt’s first art collection for an NFT marketplace.

Yara Mekawei – Sound

Yara Mekawei has always had a passion for recording the sounds around her. An artist, scholar, electric musician, and producer of Radio Submarine she draws inspiration from the dynamic flow of urban centres and the infrastructure of cities.
The music you hear on this series is Yara’s, Feed on Wasted Energy is from her LP 1963.


Adham Faramawy – Nature

Adham Faramawy is an artist based in London. Their work spans media including moving image, sculptural installation, and print, thinking through issues of materiality, touch and toxic embodiment to question ideas of the natural in relation to marginalized communities. They lecture at both Goldsmiths University, London and Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. In 2018 they presented a show on the body and VR for BBC Radio 4, in 2019 they premiered their video piece ‘Skin Flick’ at a screening at Tate Britain dedicated to their work. They were shortlisted for the Jarman Award in both 2017 and 2021. Their work has been exhibited in solo shows at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, Niru Ratnam Gallery, London, in group shows at Whitechapel Gallery, Somerset House, and Serpentine Gallery and in 2022 they performed their first live work as part of the Serpentine Ecologies program ‘Back to Earth’.

Insta/Twitter: @adham_faramawy

Image Credit:

The air is subtle, various and sweet, video, 35 minutes, Adham Faramawy, 2020-21

Hazem Header – Dance

Hazem Header is an Egyptian contemporary dancer and choreographer. With a BA of Physical education, studies of Personal training, Biomechanics and Kinesiology and a long career as a personal trainer and volleyball coach, Hazem decided to focus on contemporary dance in 2009. Hazem studied at the governmental center “Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC)” at Cairo Opera House. There he gained experience in choreography.

In 2013 Hazem founded his own dance company ‘ NÜT Dance Company’ (NDC);

NÜT Dance Company is a Cairo established & legally recognized entity that produces and creates contemporary dance, physical performances & culture events.


Nadine Abdel Ghaffar – Cultural Heritage 

Nadine Abdel Ghaffar is the curator and founder of Art D’Égypte. Creating work with sustainability in mind, her organisation works to preserve and create access to cultural heritage whilst presenting a contemporary view of Egypt to the world.

Art D’Egypte

Sarah Rifaat – Community

Sarah Rifaat is an Egyptian graphic designer, photographer, theatre performer, and environmental and climate activist. Sarah was the Arab World Co-ordinator for 350 and participated in the first Arab Youth Climate Movement. Sarah founded Khoyout Troupe which uses theatre as a tool for development and social change.


Podcast Artwork Design – Salt and Sister Studio

Salt and Sister Studio are two sisters based in the UK, taking up space in branding and design, with proud Egyptian heritage and unapologetic creative. Starting in 2020, they’ve worked with arts and culture collectives, such as A.MAL projects, FAYDdigital (formerly Floresta Magazine) and the Turnpike Gallery. Their values are authenticity, integrity and inclusion, with work that reflects this in bold, considered design and impactful messaging.’




Partners and Supporters

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is delighted to be part of Arts Council England’s Investment Programme 2023-26, which was announced today.

Thank you to Arts Council England for their ongoing support of our work and our future growth plans as a National Portfolio Organisation. Our mission remains the same, to be a vibrant international platform for Arab arts and culture in the North of England.

We are proud to work in a vibrant cultural city, alongside our friends, colleagues and peers who work everyday to share the stories of those whose voices are not often heard.

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival delivers arts events and education projects throughout the year, including our Cultural Education Programme.

We have a new podcast series, Artists Ideas Now, supported by The Space and Arts Council England with funding from the National Lottery launching next week. Zackerea Bakir‘s exhibition ‘Shwaya, Shwaya’ is at Output Gallery until Sunday. Camille Maalawy’s Arabic Song Workshop returns to Liverpool on 26 November.

We are thrilled to confirm that our annual festival will return 6 – 16 July 2023, featuring the best UK and international Arab artists and creatives. Our artist call out will be released in the coming weeks.

For more information regarding the Investment Programme, please visit:

Image: Hawiyya Dance Company and El-Funoun PDT perform at Family Day 2022. Photo by Andrew AB Photography


Returning after a sold-out event at LAAF 2022, Camille Maalawy presents her Arabic Song Workshop.

Where: Merseyside Yemeni Community Association, 111 Beaumont St, Liverpool. L8 0XA
When: Saturday 26th November 2022 | 16.30-18.30
Tickets: £5 from Eventbrite

Sing with Daughter of Arabia, Camille Maalawy

Join Camille Maalawy for a choir performance workshop, which explores Arabic folk song, Andalusian Muwashshah and some well known songs of the great Arabic singers such as Um Kulthum and Fairuz. This workshop will take place Merseyside Yemeni Community Association in the heart of Toxteth.

No previous knowledge of Arabic or Arabic music is needed. Everything will be transliterated.

Camille Maalawy is a Mezzo Soprano – classical, Arabic and world music performer; singing teacher and animateur based in Kingston Upon Hull. She has achieved notable acclaim for bridging both musical and cultural divides. In her eclectic music career Camille draws on her Arabic heritage and classical singing training to bring a vibrancy and passion to all of her work.

Get your tickets here

Find out more about Camille’s work click here.

Supported by Qatar Foundation International, PH Holt and Granada Foundation


Shwaya, Shwaya 
Zackerea Bakir
OUTPUT Gallery

Preview: 5-8pm, Thursday 27 October 2022

Open: Friday 28 October – Sunday 6 November 2022, 11am-5pm

Shwaya, Shwaya – exhibition text and Q&A in Arabic

Zackerea Bakir’s first gallery exhibition explores what it means to be a dual Libyan/British national, playfully navigating the tensions and contradictions between two cultural identities.

Shwaya is a colloquial Arabic term which means a little. The slang phrase Shwaya, Shwaya is often passionately used in various contexts, from telling people to calm down, to expressing that someone lacks knowledge.

This body of work, across sculpture, collage, video and graphic design, playfully riffs on the phrase. By responding to outdated media depictions of Arab nations (such as the Libyans in Back to the Future, a nostalgic touchstone for the artist), it presents a modern, open-minded and inquisitive take on dual heritage identity.

Zackerea asks: can he truly be Arab, or engage in Arab culture, without being able to speak Arabic?


Zackerea Bakir is a British-Libyan creative and actor. His work examines the nuances of being an Arab dual-national within Britain. Driven by a restless energy, Zackerea’s diverse creative output interrogates this question, using either screen, gallery or stage to tell his story.

OUTPUT Gallery, 32 Seel St, Liverpool, L1 4FD




This Arab is Queer
Wednesday 16 November 2022
Homotopia Festival, Lovelocks, Liverpool

Book free tickets here

Celebrating the release of a ground-breaking new anthology called This Arab Is Queer, this event by Homotopia and supported by LAAF, brings together editor Elias Jahshan with essayists Madian Alijazeera and Anbara Salam for an evening of readings and lively chat.

For the first time, LGBTQIA Arabs come together to share their personal stories of hope, struggle and love. All welcome.

Madian Aljazeera is a Palestinian Jordanian bookseller and founder of Amman’s Books at Café, a bookshopcome-internet café.

Anbara Salam is a Palestinian-Lebanese-Scottish writer. She is the author of Things Bright and Beautiful (Fig Tree/Penguin, 2018) and Belladonna (Fig Tree/Penguin, 2020).

Elias Jahshan (he/him) is a Palestinian/Lebanese-Australian journalist, writer and editor. He is a former editor of Star Observer, Australia’s longest-running LGBTQ+ media outlet.

Chaired by Laura Marie Brown, Creative Producer at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

You can buy a copy of This Arab is Queer, published by Saqi Books,

Homotopia runs 1st – 20th November 2022 across Liverpool. Check out the fantastic programme and book tickets here:

Curfew shot from show

Curfew & Love in the Time of Apartheid by El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe & Hawiyya Dance Company

Available to watch online until the 31st October 2022

After a wonderful evening at Unity Theatre on Saturday 15th July during this year’s festival, we’re pleased to announce that both performances are available to watch online:

About Curfew:

Curfew was devised in 2018 and, after two sellout shows at Rich Mix in London and one night in ramallah, it was due to travel to Liverpool in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.

The dance performance’s omnipresent themes of time – past and present – information, introspection, frustration and rebellion, lead us to face existential questions, whilst living and understanding concepts of opportunity, privilege, responsibility and duty. To challenge helplessness and to facilitate action to change, to become better world citizens, we have a duty and responsibility to channel important messages to the wider world.

The production does not give an answer, rather it questions the public and encourages us (the audience) to find our own answers by expiring and reflecting on our positions and our actions towards oppression, injustice and complexity.

About Love in the Time of Apartheid:

Love in the Time of Apartheid premiered at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and presents the start of internal conflict of an individual torn between the love for his homeland and the love for his partner. Through a rollercoaster of insomnia, stress, torment, and defiance, the dancer draws on his own personal story to represent that of thousands of Palestinians who struggle for family reunification.

Performances sponsored by the Arts Council, British Council, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and Interpal.

How to Watch:

Curfew & Love in the Time of Apartheid will be available to watch on Unity Online until the 31st October 2022.

Watch this film for £6: You can watch the show through Vimeo for just £6, by clicking the Watch Now button. Once you have purchased your individual film you will be able to watch it as many times as you like in the three-month watch period.

Watch the whole playlist for just £25: Unity Online will drop a new playlist of  at least 6 productions every three months (August, November, February & May). You can watch each production individually for £6, or save money by purchasing all films in the drop for just £25.

Watch everything for free as a Member: Unity Circle Members receive access to each playlist drop for free as part of their membership. Sign up for a Unity Circle Membership today from just £2.50 a month / £30 a year, and access our on-demand content whenever you want.



Produced by: El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe & Hawiyya Dance Company

Artistic Director: Sharaf DarZaid

Producer: Jamila Boughelaf

Dancers: Serena Spadoni, Jamila Boughelaf, Farah Haddad, Sylvia Ferreira, Mohammed Altayeh, Loor Ghadir, Mohammed Safadi, Sharaf DarZaid

Music Composers: Popular Art Centre, Joseph Karam, Nai Barghouti, Hussein Zahawy, Didier Malherbe

Photography and website: José Farinha

Videography: ASH Pro Production



Love in the time of Apartheid:

“Love in the Time of Apartheid”

Dancer and Choreographer: Sharaf DarZaid

Music composition: Jacob Hammodeh, Ehab Haniyah

Percussions: Maen El Ghoul

Nay: Mohammad Khamayseh

Special thanks to El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe, Popular Art Centre, Ramallah Municipality

Photography and Videography: ASH Pro Production

We are pleased to announced the launch of our new publication Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project.

Download a PDF version of the book: Tomorrow Will Shine

Edited by Hamdan Dammag, Taher Qassim and Deryn Rees-Jones, the book brings together poems written by 20 Yemeni poets as part of the ongoing Yemen in Conflict project.

The poems were written in response to a series of creative writing workshops for the project co-ordinated by the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival between 2019 – 2021. The project was prompted by work done in association with the Universities of Liverpool and Leeds, and funded initially by the British Academy, and later Arts Council England.

Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project
Edited by Hamdan Dammag, Taher Qassim and Deryn Rees-Jones
Printed by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival
72 pages
ISBN: 978-1-3999-2917-2
Cover (pictured above)       

Poets included in the book:

Maliha Al-Assadi
Abdel Hakim Al-Qazi
Yousef Alshamiri
Haneen Ali
Maysoon Aleryani
Ahmed Alkholaidi
Salim Alshaayee
Ali Alsowrqi
Khaled Alshameri
Belqis Mohammed Alwan
Amina Atiq
Hamdan Dammag
Shadia Mohamed Hamood
Saba Hamza
Rasheed Nagi
Abdulkader Sabri
Sara Rahman
Janet Watson
Amerah Saleh
Ahmed Zaabar

Order Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project.

Please note that book orders are processed and posted in the first week of each month. We will email to confirm once your book has been posted. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to post books to Yemen.