“The very end of my fingertips,
the ones most sensitive,
feel their way, with absent eyes,
to touch the tip of a thread”
Threads brings together three Arab women artists from Syria, Lebanon and Sudan, weaving a story of migration, songs of the Earth, of disability and the passage of time.
In a journey through storytelling, music, and visual poetry they explore how, while the rich tapestry of our lives may be different, a thread runs through them to bring together a sisterly home that is unbound and timeless.
Inspired by the nomadic Bedouin, one of the many indigenous communities in the Arab world who continue to be marginalised through aggressive, extractive ‘development’ practices, Threads brings together the impact of time, culture and migration in a scripted spoken word, accessible performance, with music and a mixed media installation.
Storytelling is performed by Alia Alzougbi and accompanied by original and adapted music performed by Rihab Azar on the Oud. The focal point of the installation is a sculptural work that brings numerous threads, made up of a vast range of colours, and created by Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings.
Part of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Threads is a research and development project.
Threads is commissioned by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, with support from DaDa, funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.
Watch the trailer for Threads
Alia is a BAFTA-nominated performance storyteller, educator, and cultural producer.
Her grounding in Social Anthropology, Applied Theatre and Development Education compels her to find ways of subverting dominant narratives. Alia’s work resonates with principles of social and environmental justice, activism, and equity as complex processes within deeply interconnected systems. Her practice in the community amplifies lesser-heard stories through co-produced creative outlets.
Alia has recently been appointed joint CEO of Shubbak Festival in London. Since 2017, Alia has been chairing the National Theatre’s ‘We Need to Talk…’ sessions. In 2019, Alia was awarded the Writers’ Guild Olwen Wymark Award for supporting new writing. She is a proud Associate of Khayaal Theatre Company.
Alia is a recent Clore Fellow, a highly sought-after programme that seeks to develop the next generation of leaders in the cultural industries. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Omeima is a British-Sudanese combined textile artist, Crafts Maker and Independent Curator who has exhibited both nationally and internationally and received the runner-up prize for the Arab British Centre Award for Culture 2019 (individual award).
In 2018 Omeima was commissioned by Artichoke to work with local communities in Brighton bringing deaf and hearing women together to create a banner that took part in the PROCESSIONS event to mark the centenary of women’s right to vote in the UK. This culminated in the publishing of a book titled Women Making History.
Omeima is a 2019/20 Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow, Creative Consultant, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accessibility Consultant and Trainer and a leader in creating Deaf and Hearing integrated activities that promotes both equity and professional development opportunities.
Syrian oud player, graduate of the conservatoire of Damascus (2014). Recognised by Arts Council England as a musician with Exceptional Promise (2016). MA in Music Education, UCL (2018) and a Chevening scholar (2015).
Rihab was the first woman oud soloist to perform accompanied by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music (2014).
Strongly influenced by Arabic music, as well as frequently collaborating with musicians, ensembles and orchestras with different genre focuses, Rihab has played, arranged and written music for projects involving story telling, visual arts, tv programmes, radio and theatre plays.
Nadia trained at International Visual Theatre (Paris). Her theatre credits include: Midnight Movie (Royal Court); A Christmas Carol (Bristol Old Vic); Hamlet and As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Unheard World (Arlington Artist Centre, Newbury); Our Town (Royal Exchange, Manchester); Can I Start Again Please (UK Tour); Notre Dame (National Theatre); Grounded (Deafinitely Theatre at Park Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Windibops (UK Tour); Tyrannosaurus Drip (Stratford Circus); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe); Tanika’s Journey and Invisible (Deafninitely Theatre); Girls and Dolls (Southwark Playhouse); and I Believe in Unicorns and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (Little Angel Theatre).
Other credits include: Scrooge (D-Live!); Sonnet 18 (Short Film); Legacy of Dot (Television); Diana and the Gods from Galatea (R&D); Extraordinary Wall of Silence (R&D); Sonnet 30 (Short Film); Margaret Ashman Gallery (Still Photography); The Hub (Television); BSL Zone Showcase (Internet); Snapshot Dicing with Sex (Documentary); All Day (Short Film) and Wicked series 2 & 3 (Television).
Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings – Textile/Combined Artist, Textile Installation and Designer
Alia Alzougbi – Storytelling, Writer and Performer
Rihab Azar – Music Adaptation and Composition
Nadia Nadarajah – Creative Performer
Louise Stern – BSL/Creative Consultant
Ben Glover – Creative Captions and Video Designer
Liv McCafferty – Producer
Jon Stonehouse – Filmmaker and Editor
Liam – Video Cameraperson and Editor
Joe Strickland – Digital Producer, DaDaFest
Grace Ng – Joint Artistic Director and CEO, DaDaFest
Nickie Miles-Wildin – Joint Artistic Director and CEO, DaDaFest
Robert Hack – Bluecoat Technician
Jack Welsh – Festival Manager, LAAF
Laura Marie Brown – Creative Producer, LAAF
Textile Installation / Light lanterns:
Mathew Jones – Graphic Design for Layout Images for Screen Printing
Martin Glover – BSL Consultant Design/Architect for Lanterns
Richard Woolf – Talbot Designs Ltd for Lanterns
Ihitashri Shandilya – Collect Scarf and Jewellery from India
Khaleb Brooks – Set Manager
Naomi Da – Creative Production
Jane Sampson – Inkspot Presss for Images on Screens
Plants and Foliage – Roots Houseplants
Volunteer assistant for Textile Printing/Seamstress:
Pavreen Dunn – Seamstress/Cutting Pattern
Katy Scase – Assistant
Kimberley Swan – Assistant
Sergo Terekhov – Assistant
LilyNile Mudawi-Rowlings – Assistant
Jeff Rowlings – Assistant
Header image is by Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings