Last July 16 was the closing ceremony of the 3rd edition of Shubbak Festival for contemporary Arab culture, held in London from July 1 till July 16. The festival included more than 70 events with the participation of more than 150 artists.
This edition featured the first collaboration between Shubbak Festival and Culture Resource, with a group of the latter’s beneficiaries or previously supported artists showcasing their work at Shubbak. The list of artists and writers included Mohamed Al-Daradji, filmmaker from Iraq; Amal Omran, Syrian actor and director; Collectif Kahraba, performing arts company from Lebanon; Laila Soliman, theatre director from Egypt; Mithkal Alzghair, Syrian dancer and choreographer; Ali Badr, Iraqi novelist, poet and playwright; and Tarek Yamani, Lebanese composer and jazz pianist.
Culture Resource’s Kon Ma3a El Fann (Be with Art) Program participated in an all-day symposium, named Survival of the Artist, bringing together artists and intellectuals from across the Arab world. The participants contemplated how art can continue to thrive in situations of conflict and censorship, asking such questions as ‘How can art and artists in the Arab world survive and respond in times of conflict?’ The symposium was hosted by The Mosaic Rooms at the British Museum in London.
As an alternative activity, participants were also treated to a groundbreaking theatre performance – For the Absent Ones – Parallel Crossings, by theatre artists Abdullah Alkafri, Moez Mrabet, Jon Davis and Jonathan May. The audio performance captivated the audience with its exploration of travel politics.
Kon Ma3a El Fann is the latest program launched by Culture Resource in 2016 and aims to support the rights of artists and cultural players in the Arab region to live and work in safe environments that guarantee their freedoms of expression and creativity.