Liverpool’s arts and culture organisations, large and small, have been working collectively to provide a set of principles and a plan for actively promoting greater race equality across Liverpool's arts and culture sector.
Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind present a live audiovisual performance of their new Arabic-language opera. Performed for an audience for the first time by Palestinian soprano Nour Darwish, you are invited to immerse yourself in an unforgettable operatic experience at the brand new state-of-the-art Tung Auditorium at the University of Liverpool’s Yoko Ono Lennon Centre.
Nour Darwish will sing live on stage against the backdrop of Larissa and Søren’s new film, As If No Misfortune Had Occurred in the Night (2022), which has been specially recomposed for this unique event. Performed as a single aria, the audiovisual work poetically laments a century of Palestinian trauma, starting with the cataclysm of World War I. Nour Darwish’s solo performance will envelop you as it brings the “world-class” film to life, resonating throughout the remarkable acoustic performance space.
Larissa and Søren’s new commission, As If No Misfortune Had Occurred in the Night (2022), has received critical acclaim whilst on display at FACT as part of the current exhibition, Let the Song Hold Us. The exhibition continues until 19 June 2022.
Performance + Q&A: 18:30 – 20:00
Event Ends: 20:00
Saturday 21 May, 18:30 – 20:00
Tickets General £12.50, Concession £10 (+ fees)
Buy tickets: https://arabic-opera-performance.eventbrite.co.uk
The performance will be followed by a live Q&A with the artists, hosted by Dr Nicola Triscott, Chief Executive/Director at FACT Liverpool.
“A sublime evocation of maternal grief” ★★★★ – The i
“The dramatic cinematography is arresting, but it is the content of the song that elevates the piece” ★★★★ – The Guardian
This special event is presented by FACT Liverpool and supported by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival strongly supports Liverpool Against Racism (LAR) a brand new festival in Liverpool which takes a stand against racism.
LAAF’s founder Taher Qassim, and creative producer, Laura Brown, will be taking part in the LAR conference, at The Spine, Paddington Village, Smithdown Lane, Liverpool, L7 3FA on Tuesday 26 April 2022, between 9am – 6pm.
Championed by the Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson, Liverpool Against Racism will feature specially commissioned music and cultural events which will stimulate a conversation about, and action against, racism. With a focus on community cohesion, it will act as a platform for people and organisations to creatively respond to hate crime.
Running for a week, from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 April, the programming team – led by key music industry figure Yaw Owusu – is pulling together plans which will see live talks and debates as well as music and cultural events taking place across the city, featuring a diverse line up of local, national and international individuals and organisations who are invested in the charge for change.
The ambition for LAR is to set Liverpool apart as a city that doesn’t shy away from addressing the issue of racism and to celebrate diversity in all of its forms.
For more information about the programme, visit: www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/liverpool-against-racism/
22, the creative anthology commissioned by LAAF as a response to COP26 is to be exhibited at Open Eye’s Digital Window Gallery until 13 February.
22 is a creative anthology by Arab artists from 22 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Commissioned by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival as a rapid response to COP26, the artistic works include music, visual art, poetry, illustration and photography and highlight the disproportionate impact the climate crisis is having on the countries and communities living within the MENA region.
From water shortages to population displacement, changes in climate and failing crops, the impact of the climate crisis is worsened by the continuing hangovers of conflict and colonialism, meaning the issues already existing in the MENA region are exacerbated.
As global leaders gathered in Glasgow for COP26, each of the 22 artists provided an insight into how the climate crisis is affecting their community. As a creative anthology it creates a time capsule at a crucial moment in history.
Arab voices are not strongly heard within the climate crisis conversation in the West, despite the disproportionate and severe effects those on the ground are facing. Capturing the hopes and fears of a generation of Arab artists, 22 reflects the range of perceptions and preoccupations of those living in or with heritage of these specific Arab areas.
22 exhibits at Open Eye as the Look Climate Lab 2022 launches, ahead of the Look Photo Biennial 2022, the Climate Lab is a series of research projects on climate change. Read more here
The show will be played on the digital screen 11am-4pm Wed-Sun, between Wed 19 Jan – Sun 13 Feb
Explore 22 below
Watch on YouTube
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in collaboration with Creative Destruction has produced a series of online conversations titled ARTISTS / IDEAS / NOW. This series is part of LAAF’s four-month festival focused on the climate crisis, and invites leading creatives, activists and thinkers to explore the complexities surrounding the climate emergency.
This conversation looks at the connection between patriarchy and the climate crisis. How is the climate crisis impacting women and people of marginalised genders? Are there feminist solutions to the crisis – perhaps rooted in cultural traditions and practices which have been upended by consumerist habits? How can artists help illuminate the parallels between society’s treatment of women and nature?
- Liverpool Arab Arts Festival to receive funding from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund
- LAAF among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
- This award will help bolster LAAF’s artistic and education programmes
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is delighted to have received a grant of £38,787 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including LAAF in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.
This welcomed support will help LAAF to offset spending reductions due to the pandemic and bolster its artistic and education programmes. LAAF is thankful to both DCMS and Arts Council England for the support of its work.
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.
We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Notes to Editors
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk
Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19.
At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.
We’re absolutely delighted Liverpool Arab Arts Festival has been shortlisted for Arts Organisation of the year at LCR Culture & Creativity Awards 2020.
The awards night takes place on 19 February, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate those delivering culture across Liverpool City Region. It has been a challenging year for the sector, but ingenuity, courage and more than a little determination has brought some fantastic events and programmes to audiences.
Arts Organisation of the Year
We have been nominated alongside two excellent arts organisations
- Writing On The Wall
- 20 Stories High
- Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF)
You can find out more about the awards: www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/lcr-culture-creativity-awards-2020/
As Ramadan begins, our minds go back to LightNight 2019.
LightNight is an annual arts and culture festival in Liverpool, which sees hundreds of events take place in venues across the city centre. The free culture crawl sees thousands come onto the city’s streets to explore the work of artists, performers, producers, creatives and musicians.
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and Liverpool Arabic Centre held a special event at Liverpool Town Hall, welcoming people into the Arab home, with culture and performance. With dancers and traditional food, it was an evening of celebration.
It was especially important as it took place during Ramadan, and we were privileged to be included in the breaking of the fast with our friends who came to the event. This is a time of year when we are so often together to break the fast, so it is difficult for those in isolation during this period.
Our friend, Neda, brought this lentil soup to share with us all. When we asked for the recipe, we received a video of the family making the soup for us, and we wanted to share it with everyone. It’s easy to follow and the ingreidents are also easy to find. If you want to add more to it, like perhaps chicken, you can.
Food brings us together. Watch below and try the recipe yourself. And thank to the Ahmed Family for welcoming us into their kitchen.
Food and recipes are an important part of every culture, Arab families have their own special recipes they share, favourite ingredients and ways of cooking. We’re hoping to bring a glimpse of more dishes cooked in Arab homes in the coming weeks.
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
Yemen in Conflict: The role of popular literature in conflict resolution
The next poetry workshop will be hosted by Ahmed Alkhulaidi at: Channel View Centre Jim Driscoll Way Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 7HB.
The workshop will take place on Saturday 16th November 2019 from 14:00 to 16:00.
We encourage anyone who is interested in poetry and spoken word to come along and get involved in the local workshop. Spaces are limited to twelve participants, so be sure to sign up soon. If you require further information or are interested, please send an email to Taher Qassim at email@example.com.
About the project
The University of Liverpool and the University of Leeds, in collaboration with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, are looking for people who are passionate about Yemen, its poetry and spoken word. We are producing a series of poetry workshops throughout the UK, working with the Yemeni community. The work created from these workshops will be used as part of a multimedia exhibition that will launch at the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in 2020.
The workshops will be hosted by a local poet from each city in which the workshop will take place. The poet in that city will use works collected from Yemeni poets concerning the topic of conflict and its resolution as an inspiration to start the workshop. The poet and the project lead will facilitate the session to encourage responses from participants attending the workshop, using the spoken and written word to create new bodies of work. In this way, the work produced locally, nationally and internationally will create a dialogue about the situation in Yemen through poetry and spoken word.