ARTISTS / IDEAS / NOW – Imagine Democracy

Wednesday 15 September, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

FREE Book Tickets


Register on Zoom or watch on Facebook

ARTISTS / IDEAS / NOW returns with new artist-led conversations exploring some of the biggest issues facing the world today. Led by leading artists, creatives and activists, this series responds to Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s festival theme of climate crisis and its impact in the Middle East and North Africa.

The triple threat of climate, colonialism and conflict means that water shortages, inhospitable land, reducing access to food can exacerbate existing crises and lead to further instability. Artists are exploring these ideas, working on projects to heighten awareness and demystify the ideas and challenges surrounding the crisis.

In this first event we reflect on Democracy. Is the climate crisis impacting models of government? How have people stood up or disrupted in order to achieve large scale systematic change? What about the role of citizenship during a global crisis – do we need to change how we empower ourselves, our communities, communicate information and become more active citizens against the politics that are driving us into chaos.

From citizen assemblies to challenging those in power, does democracy in 2021 have what it takes to survive the climate crisis?

Curated in collaboration with Creative Destruction.

This event will be co-streamed on HowlRound.


Chair – Dr Nesreen Hussein is an artist, researcher and Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre at Middlesex University, London. Her research and publications focus on the intersections of performance, politics, and activism, in relation to issues of identity, agency and belonging. She published widely in a number of scholarly journals and edited volumes, in addition to delivering numerous papers and talks internationally. Nesreen is Co-Editor of Global Performance Studies, Assistant Editor of Theatre Research International, and sits on the editorial board of Performance Research journal. She is co-founder of ‘Politicised Artistic Practices: An Interdisciplinary Research Initiative’ based at Middlesex University. In 2011, she was awarded the Helsinki Essay Prize and the New Scholars’ Prize from the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). As an artist with background in performance and visual arts, Nesreen worked internationally with a number of theatre companies, directors and design studiosHer creative explorations look at issues of identity and belonging, mobility and migration, and relations to the city.

Magid Magid is a Somali-British race and climate justice activist/organiser and author who came to the UK as a refugee aged five. He is Founder & Director of Union of Justice, a European, independent, people of colour led organisation dedicated to racial justice and climate justice. He was a member of the European Parliament representing Yorkshire & the Humber, Mayor of his beloved city, Sheffield and was also an elected councillor representing his community. Magid was named one of TIME’s 100 rising stars shaping the future of the world. Magid is also a custard connoisseur.

Sama Alshaibi’s artwork situate her own body as a site of performance in consideration of the social and gendered impacts of war and migration. Her work complicates the coding of the Arab female figure found in the image history of photographs and moving images. In 2021, Alshaibi was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography. Alshaibi’s monograph, Sand Rushes In, was published by Aperture, NYC. It features her 8-year Silsila series, which probes the human dimensions of borders, migration, and ecological demise. Her biennial participation includes the 55th Venice Biennale (Italy, 2013), the 13th Cairo International Biennale (Egypt, 2019), and the 2017 Honolulu Biennial (Hawaii). Her over 150 group exhibitions include Pen + Brush Gallery (NYC, 2019), American University Museum (Washington D.C., 2018), Marta Herford Museum of Art, Germany (2017). Born in Basra to an Iraqi father and Palestinian mother, Sama Alshaibi is Professor and Co-Chair of Photography, Video and Imaging at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Akram Salhab is the Campaigns Officer at London-based charity Migrants Organise, and an organiser for Palestinian rights. He has written widely on the topic of migrant justice; Palestinian history; and recently presented a short documentary for Channel 4 about the silencing of Palestine in Britain:

Creative Destruction is an initiative that works across three platforms, art, activism and politics.

Through creating cultural events, meetings and exchanges with people and communities on the forefront of social and political change, the aim is to build spaces where complexed, radical and new conversations can happen.

Collaborating both locally and across globally we aim to bringing people together, identify issues, and imagine solutions. Our ideas are embedded in equality and social justice, reclaiming political space and platforming narratives that are censored, manipulated or unheard.

HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.

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