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Shubbak Arts Festival : an Opportunity to Hear Voices from Across the Arab World

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LONDON - The Shubbak Arts Festival is in full swing yet again, bringing artists from all over the Middle East together, both in person and online. The UK’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture has been around since 2011, bringing with it a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s best art in one place.

Unfortunately, most of this year’s festival has been moved online, due to the continuing pandemic. However, there were never any thoughts of postponing the festival or cancelling it, according to Artistic Director Eckhard Thiemann. The result is a hybrid festival, which still maintains physical events, while audience members may also opt to watch the talent of the Arab world through their screens. In this way, visitors may experience Arab art across a variety of mediums, including film screenings, book launches, theatre, dance performances, literature and more.

This included the recital of Georg Buchner’s Danton’s Death, which was delivered by a collection of Germany-based Syrian actors, as well as poetry recitals from Kurdish poets from Kurdish Iraq. Musicians have been able to show their works as well, including a music video from Lebanese musician Michelle Keserwany (as well as a live Q&A session) and a performance from female DJ Nooriyah on July 17th, in the Fierce Voices series. The series will feature her work as well as others’.

The works are a testimony to the region’s continued social and political themes throughout the various countries, which provides perspectives from across the region, and is surely a can’t-miss opportunity to catch a wide spectrum of voices from across the Arab world.