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The Cultural Scene, January-February

04, January, 2022

The Cultural Scene:  January – February, 2022

For this edition of the Arab Bankers Association's 'Cultural Scene', we are showcasing the Syrian Arts and Culture Festival (SACF) taking place in London. Most of the events are live and offer participants a unique opportunity to meet Syrians (and others) who are passionate about their country and their heritage, and to experience the joys of an inspiring variety of art, films, food, history and discussions. The Festival is supported by the British Council's Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

The collection of events has been curated by Pamela Ann Smith, a long-standing observer of Middle Eastern arts and culture.

A Taste of Syria

23 January, Liberty Hall, Clapton Common E5. Syria’s cuisine is one of the world’s oldest and richest, as evidenced by its abundance of flavours, ingredients and culinary practices. In this interactive workshop, participants can try their hand at creating dishes chosen by Majeda Khouri, a human rights activist who has helped Syrian refugee women in the UK, Lebanon and Syria set up their own social enterprises offering cookery classes and catering services. Tickets are available at https://sacf.art/2021/12/a-taste-of-syria/.

Looking Back to Move Forward

24 January, Museum of London EC2.  This panel event brings together four creative producers who have a special interest in preserving Syria’s cultural heritage: architect and artist Dr. Ammar Azzouz; the leader of the London Syrian Ensemble, Louai Alhenawi; the co-founder of the Syrian stories forum Qisetna, Dima Mekdad; and the author and journalist Lina Sinjab. Details can be obtained at https://sacf.art/2021/12/looking-back-to-move-forward/

Dreams of the City

27 January, ICA, The Mall SW1.  This groundbreaking example of neo-realist cinema in the 1980s tells the story of a young Syrian boy’s coming of age against a backdrop of political upheaval (see main picture). Partly autobiographical, Mohammad Malas’s film won awards in Cannes, Berlin and Marrakesh and is a testament to the powerful forces of patriarchy as well as his own role as one of the Arab world’s pioneering auteur filmmakers. For tickets visit https://sacf.art/2021/12/dreams-of-the-city/.

Omar Amiralay:  Sorrow, Time, Silence

30 January, Barbican Centre, EC2.  This non-fiction film shares Amiralay’s private moments with the veteran filmmaker Hala Alabdalla, his concern about Syrian politics and his search for justice.  Filmed shortly before his death in 2011, it is a powerful testimony to the relationship of politics to cinema as well as a broader reflection on love, life and death.  For further information see https://sacf.art/2021/12/omar-amiralay-sorrow-time-silence/.

Stars in Broad Daylight

1 February, Barbican Cinema, EC2.  A double wedding in a traditional village becomes high drama when one bride runs away and another refuses to agree to her marriage.  This showing of the 1988 film will be followed by a screen talk with the Director, Ossama Mohammed. Tickets and booking can be made online at https://sacf.art/2021/12/stars-in-broad-daylight/.

 

Pamela Ann Smith

4 January, 2022

 

 

 

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