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Documentary: discovering Arab street art

With "It Ain't WhereYou From", currently available to watch online daily as part of the Shubbak festival, dancer and filmmaker Philip Rachid shines a light on the culture and street art community across the Arab world.

The Shubbak Festival, the UK’s largest festival of contemporary Arab culture, is currently taking place in London and often offers the chance to discover some great features, from cooking workshops to discussion groups and artistic performances.

Starting today, visitors to the festival’s website will be able to watch the documentary “It ain’t where you from”, by Iraqi director and dancer Philip J. Rachid, also known as Soul Trotter. The 30-minute film takes the audience from Beirut to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where, through interviews and monologues, they meet some of the dancers, rappers and artists who make up the Middle Eastern “street art” community.

 

Philip J Rachid is an Iraqi director raised in the Netherlands

A project in the long haul

The project was born little by little. Soul Trotter has been involved in the scene for many years, notably through the breakdance events he organizes in Dubai, and he never lets go of his camera. From then on, he has the raw material. But it was only after being commissioned by the festival, as well as the Arts Centre of New York University in Abu Dhabi, that the project began to take shape.

From a societal point of view, the film presents an interesting look at the Arab world’s approach to urban culture, between a passionate and inspired new generation, and elders who are still very attached to traditions. Thus, as we discover the different profiles, we perceive street art sometimes as a source of social pressure, and sometimes as an essential tool of expression of identity.

 

In the Arab world just like anywhere, dance is a formidable expression tool.

A documentary to see without delay on the platform of the Shubbak Festival! There is even a post-screening Q&A you can watch on YouTube!