Liverpool Arab Arts Festival returns from 9-18 July, but, because of these extraordinary times, this year’s festival will take place online.
Our annual festival provides a platform for Arab arts and culture. Since mid-March, we’ve been talking extensively with our artists, collaborators and partner venues about what form the festival could take given these unprecedented circumstances. We have wanted these discussions to not only guide this year’s festival, but to also shape how we work with digital in the long-term.
Our 2020 festival will still provide an opportunity for us to connect with Arab artists and to also showcase stories from across the Arab world.
We may not be able to gather in physical spaces – like theatres, galleries and performance rooms – but this does not mean we cannot provide a platform for our artists and creatives. This festival, we will be showcasing a diverse array of work via online platforms, from Vimeo to Instagram, that have been chosen in dialogue with our artists and that are most appropriate for each work.
Many of our festival highlights are formed through celebrating with each other, through dance, performance and shared experiences. We have found in the past few weeks that, while we may be apart, we can still connect. Across the Arab world, there are stories of those who are disconnected, who may be quarantined, or are under curfew, yet who find ways to connect with each other and reach out to the world through arts and culture.
This year we are separate, but together.
We will be unveiling our full programme in the coming weeks.
We’re not just waiting until July, though. We’ve been working with some of our festival friends, creative collaborators and partners to create some interactive content, giving you a taste of Arab culture in lockdown. Stay tuned!
Throughout the year, we work with communities across the UK, exploring Arab heritage and culture, giving people access to art and artists. This will continue, both online and offline.
Image: Yara Boustany | ēvolvō’ + One Day & One Night Beirut | LAAF 2019 | AB Photography. Presented by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, produced by Shubbak