Tag: British Council

Date: Tuesday 13 February 
Venue: Lecture Room 1, Liverpool John Moores University, The John Lennon Art and Design Building, 2 Duckinfield Street, Liverpool L3 5RD
Time: 6 – 7:30pm
Free, booking required

Join us this Tuesday for a talk by international artists, Mohamed Abdelkarim, Nadia Kaabi-Linke and Siska, at Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design.
Port Cities is a new international visual arts project presented by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in partnership with the British Council – MENA.

Mohamed Abdelkarim, Laila Hida, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, and Siska are currently on a research residency in Liverpool for the project. This will inform the development of new artwork exploring the social, historical and cultural complexities of port cities in Liverpool, as well as those within the Middle East and North Africa region.

The exhibition will premiere at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in July 2024 before travelling to Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

About the artists

Mohamed Abdelkarim (1983) lives and works between Cairo, Rotterdam, and Vienna, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Akademie der bildenden Künste.

Abdelkarim’s works have been included in the Sharjah Biennial 11, 2013, Guild Master of Cabaret Voltaire, Manifesta 11, 2016, Live Works Performance Act Award Vol. 5, IT, 2017 and Berlinale 72/Forum Expanded, 2022. He has also received the Prix Excellence HES-SO in Switzerland 2016, and has been shortlisted for the Henrike Grohs Art Award 2022.

Abdelkarim’s practice is performance-oriented. He considers performance as a research method and a practice that reflects on performative acts such as narrating, singing, detecting, doing, fictioning, and speculating, which embody various forms across performance, installation, film, sound, paintings, and encounters. His current umbrella project focuses on the agency of the landscape as a witness to “a history we missed and a future we have not yet attended.”


Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Nadia Kaabi-Linke was born in Tunis, Tunisia, in 1978, and raised in Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. She graduated from the University of Fine Arts, Tunis, in 1999, and earned a Ph.D. at Université Paris-Sorbonne, in 2008.

Growing up between Tunis, Kyiv, and Dubai, and now residing in Berlin and Kyiv, Kaabi-Linke has a personal history of migration across cultures and borders that has greatly influenced her work. Her works give physical presence to that which tends to remain invisible, be it people, structures, or the geopolitical forces that shape them.

Using a variety of materials and methods, Kaabi-Linke often works in-situ on projects that relate directly to their exhibition sites. She has rendered visible the bodily traces of people waiting at Berlin bus shelters and subway stations, the scars of domestic violence victims in London, and paint chips scraped from city walls throughout North Africa and Europe. have often served as the impetus for Kaabi-Linke’s endeavours.

Siska was born in Beirut and resides primarily in Berlin. He holds a Master’s degree in Film and Audiovisual Arts from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. A key figure in the early Beiruti graffiti scene, Siska has also produced and performed music as part of the Lebanese Hip Hop group Kitaa Beirut.

A large part of his practice involves archiveology, examining sociopolitical narratives in relation to personal and collective memories. It is common for his work to take the form of extended cinema where he applies cinematic codes as well as film language in order to explore various visual narrative techniques.

At the Haus der Statistics in Berlin in August-2021, he co-curated a series of conversations, films, readings, and live performances as the artistic director of redeem, a platform for ongoing conversations between voices from Beirut in Berlin. Siska has also collaborated on numerous performance and music productions, taking a midway point between his career as a visual artist and musician.


The Exhibition Research Lab (ERL) is an academic centre and public venue dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of exhibitions and curatorial knowledge. Founded in 2012 as part of Liverpool John Moores University’s Liverpool School of Art and Design, the ERL is uniquely positioned across academic research and the cultural ecology of Liverpool, underpinned by partnerships with cultural institutions in the city including Tate Liverpool, John Moores Painting Prize, and Liverpool Biennial.



Mohamed Abdelkarim Still from Gazing… Unseeing (2021)
Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Walk the Line (2015)
Siska The Last of a Time (2023) Film still











We’re thrilled to welcome several new team members who have recently joined the LAAF family:

Toufik Douib – Creative Producer (International)

Toufik Douib is an Algerian curator and event director who will be developing LAAF’s international programming. His multidisciplinary practice focuses on the question of Maghreb identities through eclectic contemporary lenses, bridging with Diaspora artists and across the eastern and western creative scene.

After completing a Masters in cultural events management, Toufik curated in 2015 his first exhibition ‘Algerianism’. This followed distinct collaborations in the UK (The P21 Gallery, The RichMix or Shubbak Festival) and beyond (Casa Arabe – Spain, Ateliers Sauvages – Algiers, Out of the Circle – Cairo).

Other cultural ventures include artistic research projects, namely with Portsmouth and Aberdeen Universities. He is currently the coordinator of ‘DIGI-MENA’ online mapping research platform, which was supported by the AFAC (Arab Fund for Arts and Culture) in the category Trainings and Regional Events.

Mo Aziz – Operations Assistant 

Mo Aziz (Shabaka) is a Sudanese artist, social activist, and singer-vocalist. Mo graduated from the University of Khartoum where he studied Economics and Social Studies in 2002. He studied Music Production and Film Visual Culture, and MA in Creative Industry at Liverpool Hope University. 

Lin Dabbous – British Council ARTIVATOR Fellow in Art Curation 

Lin Dabbous is the ARTIVATOR Fellow in Art Curation working on our ‘Port Cities’ visual arts project, in partnership with the British Council. The exhibition will be launching at this year’s festival before touring internationally in the MENA region.

Lin is an architect by training and a current MA candidate in Art History and Curatorial Studies at the American University of Beirut. Her multidisciplinary practice focuses on modern and contemporary Arab art with commitment to challenge and reshape stereotypical narratives surrounding the history of Arab artistic production. In 2023, Lin curated the collective exhibition “Moments of Being,”centered around the memory of Syria, both known and departed, featuring 12 emerging and established Syrian artists.

Her collaborative efforts extend to exhibitions such as “Traces of Utopia” and “The Marine School of Beirut-A Repressed Art History” at AUB Art Galleries. Lin’s contributions are not confined to exhibitions alone; she was also a part of the research team for the exhibition “Partisans of the Nude: An Arab Art Genre in an Era of Contest, 1920-1950” which took place at the Wallach Gallery in Columbia University.

ARTIVATOR is an innovative Art Management Incubator from the British Council focused on enhancing the capabilities of cultural practitioners from the MENA region. This initiative aims to provide comprehensive training, mentoring, and networking opportunities to empower participants with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in the arts industry. ARTIVATOR offers a personalised experience tailored to each participant’s needs, leveraging a network of arts professionals, resources, and support from our esteemed partners.

By supporting emerging arts managers, the incubator strives to foster a vibrant and sustainable arts sector in the MENA region. The goal is to cultivate a new generation of leaders capable of navigating industry challenges while driving growth and innovation. 

British Council logo in purple