Revue culturelle N°90

The Journal

26 - 10 - 23
Issue for subscribers only.
This week's picture

"Women sleeping" by Malak Mattar

"Being a feminist is not about hating men; it's about believing that men and women don't have to compete with each other, but that they complement each other. This harmony can exist between two genders when there is equality and recognition of each other's roles and abilities, without degrading anyone's status."

Malak Matar was born in 1999 in the Gaza Strip. She started painting in 2014 to escape the aggression and violence she and her family experienced daily while living in the Gaza Strip. Her first solo exhibition, which she organised a year later at the age of fifteen, enabled her to forge links with international journalists and gain recognition for her work on social networks. After winning the distinction of best high school student in the Gaza Strip (and second best in the whole of Palestine), Malak Matar left Gaza in 2017 to study political science in Turkey. She is publishing a bilingual Arabic-English children's book, "Grandma's Bird", about the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with writings and drawings that describe her own experience.


Saïda National Festival of Women's Literature and Cinema: "La vie d'après" wins the competition.

The "El Kholkhal d'or" audience prize for best film was awarded to the film "La vie d'après" by director Anis Djaâd. The closing ceremony was marked by the awarding of prizes to 30 young film enthusiasts who had taken part in a training session in film-making (sound engineering) supervised by the director Salim Hamdi (Algiers) and Aït Abdelmalek Abdelaziz (Saida).

The 5th National Festival of Women's Literature and Cinema opened on 25 September and closed on 29 September. The theme of the festival was "Writing and Image", and it took place at the Sirat Boumediene Regional Theatre in Saïda. Critics Latifa Lafer and Ahmed Bedjaoui accompanied the event, which also featured literary encounters, some of which were hosted by novelists Meriem Guemache and Leila Ayoun.

Digital ArtFestivals

Casablanca: International Video Art Festival

The International Festival of Video Art holds its 29th edition from 7 to 11 November. This year's novelty lies in the addition of a theme to the traditional programme: "From VHS to artificial intelligence: a new era for artistic expression". A number of works will highlight the digital arts (dance and technology, interactive, generative and immersive installations, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, audiovisual performances, video projections).

"The FIAV will look at the changes that video art has undergone from its inception to the present day, inviting national and international specialists to debate these changes in workshops, masterclasses, conferences and round tables." - press release.

The festival welcomes artists, presenters, researchers, cultural players and works from several countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The event will take place in a number of venues in the White City, including the Complexe culturel Moulay Rachid, the Complexe culturel Mohammed Zefzaf, the Institut français de Casablanca, the Institut Cervantès, the American Arts Center, L'Uzine (Fondation Touria et Abdelaziz Tazi), the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca, L'usine (Centre d'art) and the Law Faculty Ben M'Sik.

The International Video Art Festival is an annual multidisciplinary event organised by the Art and Culture Foundation of the Faculty of Letters and Humanities - Hassan II University, Casablanca.


Rabat: "Persistance chromatique, Rétrospective" by Samir Salem

The exhibition is hosted by Espace Rivages and organised by the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans living abroad from 26 October to 27 November. The artist's large-format canvases are dominated by abstraction. Between rainbow paintings and flat tints of colour, visitors will have the opportunity to discover the work of this painter from Meknes, whose works are exhibited in private collections in France, the United States, Germany and Morocco.

"Any substance can add something. I usually store several materials: plaster, cans, sports shoes, tubes of paint, brushes... with the aim of using them at a later date" - Samir Salemi.


Settat: International Festival of African Heritage

The fifth edition of the festival was held last weekend, with associations from Guinea (guest of honour), the Comoros, Madagascar and Burkina Faso. The ceremony paid tribute to the Moroccan poet and author Hassan Najmi, former president of the Moroccan Writers' Union. There were fashion shows featuring the Moroccan caftan, as well as a fine arts exhibition.


El Jedida: "Eveil du Littoral" by Sami Ftouh

From 20 October to 4 November, Sami Ftouh has a solo exhibition at the Institut français. Visitors can discover his paintings, which offer a journey between land and sea, with characters moving between these two environments, proposing a new approach to life on earth as it is conceived today.

Ftouh, an alchemist of colours and materials, would like us to pass through his canvas, a rite of passage that he strives to initiate and guide us through this geometry and geography of vertigo. Ftouh's canvases tend to create whirlwinds in the mind of the painter and the eyes of the beholder, through the layering of materials" - Laila Belhaj, art philosopher.

Self-taught artist from Tetouan, Sami Ftouh is also a poet, with a collection published in Arabic in 2010 entitled "Promise on the bird's wing".


Tangiers National Film Festival

This 23rd edition pays tribute to scriptwriter and actress Fatema Loukili and directors Latif Lahlou and Abdelkader Lagtâa. The film festival opens on 27 October, with 45 films in competition.

Fatema Loukili is one of Morocco's first female screenwriters, with several highly successful films to her name. She acted under the direction of Farida Benlyazid in the films "Une porte sur le ciel" (1986), "Casablanca Casablanca" (2002) and "Ruses de femmes" (2005), as well as with Jilali Ferhati in "La plage des enfants perdus" (1991) and "Mémoires en détention" (2003).

Abdelkader Lagtaa has written and directed six feature films: "Un amour à Casablanca" (1991), "Les Casablancais" (1999), "La porte close" (2000), "Face à face" (2003), "Yasmine et les hommes" (2007) and "La moitié du ciel" (2015). He has also served on the juries of several film festivals, including the Marrakech International Film Festival (2011) and the National Film Festival (2013).

Latif Lahlou, one of the veterans of Moroccan cinema, will also be in the spotlight with a screening of his film Soleil du printemps (1969), restored by the Moroccan Cinémathèque.

The detailed programme can be found on the following link
The competition closes on 4 November.


Morocco-Hungary: Signing of a cooperation agreement in the film industry

A film co-production cooperation agreement between Morocco and Hungary was signed in Rabat. One of the aims of this agreement is to encourage the production of films that showcase the diversity of the two countries' cultures and heritage.

Morocco, Oman

Nouakchott International Film Festival: Morocco and Oman on the spot!

This first edition of the festival saw the victory of the Moroccan feature film "The Slave" by Abdelilah El Jaouhary, with first prize going to Sudanese director Amjad Abua Alala for "You will die at 20".

In the short film competition, the film "Ramad" by Omani director Suleiman Al Khalili won first prize.


The new show of Rhany Kabbadj

Comedian Rhany Kabbadj returns with his brand new show "Le Double Je", a fusion of musical comedy and stand-up. Innovative lighting effects and immersive staging are the promise of this new show in Darija.

The artist will be on tour on 15 November 2023 at the Studio des Arts Vivants in Casablanca, on 12 December at the Théâtre Mohammed V in Rabat and on 20 January 2024 at the Moevenpick Palais des Congrès in Marrakech.

Palestine, Tunisia

"Palestinian Cinema Week" at the Cinémathèque tunisienne

From 31 October to 5 November, the Cinémathèque de Tunis is organising a special Palestine programme in solidarity with the Palestinian people, particularly those living in Gaza.

The selected films are: "Wedding in Galilee" by Michel Khleifi (1988) "Gaza my love" by Tarzan and Arab Nasser (2020), "Leila' birthday" by Rachid Masharawi (2008), "Alam" by Firas Khouri (2022) "Writing on snow" by Rachid Masharawi (2017), "Jenin Jenin" by Mohammed Bakri (2002) and "Eyes of a Thief" by Najwa Najjar (2014).

Readings focusing on resistance in cinema are also scheduled at the Mohamed Mahfoudh Library on 3 November. The organisation of this film event follows the cancellation by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the 34th edition of the Carthage Film Festival (JCC), scheduled for 28 October to 4 November 2023, "in solidarity with the Palestinian people and considering the critical humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip and all the occupied Palestinian territories following the brutal Zionist aggression" - press release issued by the Tunisian government on 17 October.


Madrid: "Tunez en Sepia" pays tribute to Tunisian heritage

Since 10 October, Spain's National Archaeological Museum has hosted a photographic exhibition on the theme of 19th-century Tunisia, focusing on the great sites of Tunisian heritage.


A UNESCO Chair dedicated to the issue of audiovisual archiving, with Tunisia as a case study

To launch the activities of Axis 4 of the UNESCO Chair "Archives in the service of African Nations and Societies", the École nationale des chartes - PSL co-organises with the Institut supérieur de documentation de Tunis, the National Archives of Tunisia and the National Library of Tunisia the study days "Audiovisual archiving issues: Tunisian/French crossroads" on 23 and 24 October in Tunis.

. On this occasion, French representatives from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) and the Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA) will exchange views with our Tunisian colleagues from the Archives nationales de Tunisie (ANT), the Archives de la télévision tunisienne (ATT), the Bibliothèque nationale de Tunisie (BNT), the Cinémathèque Tunisienne- Centre du cinéma et de l'image animée and the Institut supérieur de documentation de Tunis (ISD)

Programme: mapping of audiovisual archiving players in Tunisia and inventory of training needs, presentation of France/Tunisia cooperation and training schemes, raising awareness of audiovisual archiving issues, round table on legal deposit and digital technology, etc.

The detailed programme can be found on the following link

Palestine, Tunisia

Tunisian National Theater organises a cultural event in solidarity with the Palestinian people

Tunisian National Theater organises a cultural event on Sunday 22 October 2023 from 17:00 at the Salle 4ème Art, at which Tunisian artists will share their various artistic expressions to express their full solidarity with the Palestinian people, according to a press release from the Théâtre National. The event will also be devoted to collecting donations, in collaboration with the Tunisian Red Crescent.

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Yemen

JCC: 28 films in the feature and short fiction competitions

Although cancelled in solidarity with the Palestinian people, the JCC had selected 28 films, including 13 features and 15 shorts.

Among the Arab feature films selected were :

  • « Makane Walou » – Merzak Allouache – Algérie
  • « The Burdened » – Amr Gamal – Yemen
  • « Rat Hole » – Mohamed El Samman – Egypt
  • « Jours d’été » – Faouzi Bensaïdi – Marocco
  • « Un été à Boujad » – Omar Mouldouira – Marocco
  • « A Happy Day » – Hisham Zaman – Iraq
  • « L’aiguille » – Abdelhamid Bouchnak – Tunisie
  • « Alerte à l’Ouragan » – Ibrahim Letaief – Tunisia.

Among the Arab feature films selected were :

  • "Blood like Water" - Dima Hamdan - Palestine
  • "Our Males and Females" - Ahmad Yaseer - Jordan
  • Sea Salt" - Leila Basma - Lebanon
  • Le bisou " - Azedine Kasri - Algeria
  • "Sokrania 59" - Abdallah Al Khatib - Palestine
  • "Keratine Days" – Sami Tlili – Tunisia
  • "I will make you a movie" - Amani Jaafer – Tunisia
  • « Flesh and Blood » – Ines Arsi – Tunisie
  • "The world is small" – Bilel Bali – Tunisia
  • « A White House » – Hassan Hardi – Iraq

Tunis : Mourad Zoghlami exhibits at Musk and Amber Gallery

The artist has chosen his bed as the theme of the exhibition, making it a metaphor for human life. The bed is the point of departure and the point of arrival, the place where we are born and the place where we die, the place where we dream and the place where we suffer. The softly coloured canvases envelop the visitor in a fantasy journey, peopled by birds and made of clouds.

"My bed becomes a makeshift raft, lifted by stormy waves, broken by gusts of wind, swallowed by the blackness of the water. My sheets become sails inflated by the breeze, so much so that my bed flies away and splits a sea of clouds.... Space becomes a bubble, and all you have to do is blow on it and it expands, bouncing back like the echo of something that once existed. Time, for its part, no longer exists" - press release.


Giant sculptures by Feryel Lakhdar

Feryel Lakhdar's sculptures and paintings, on show at the Megara, speak of the serenity of the sea and the harmony of light. The chosen location adds to the delicacy of the pieces, embellishing them with the unique setting and landscapes offered by the residence.


Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival: "The Wasp and the Orchid" by Saber Zammouri in official competition

The director's first feature-length documentary, the film will have its world premiere at the festival, which runs from 8 to 19 November. Twelve films are competing in this category.

The film, a Franco-Tunisian co-production (2020), tells the story of a young migrant who leaves his village, takes a boat and lands in Paris, a city he discovered on a television screen. Behind him, his deserted village becomes even more deserted. On the other side of the screen, Paris, immense, becomes even more immense. The film unfolds between these two spaces, seeking the meaning of the journey from one to the other.


"El Wasl Athakafi", a new cultural forum in Djelfa

A new cultural forum called "El Wasl Athakafi" (Cultural Link), aimed at bringing together a number of committed intellectuals, was recently founded in the wilaya of Djelfa.

"This literary forum, which will be held periodically, will welcome writers, translators and creative artists from a variety of literary fields and genres, who will be invited to present their works to critics and specialists, for enrichment and exchange of views" - the director of the House of Culture, Mokhtar Seddiki.

The first edition of this Forum welcomed Algerian novelist, translator and literary critic Mohamed Sari, who took part in a round table discussion on his various experiences in writing, criticism and translation.


Death of Brahim Derri

The former member of the National Liberation Front artistic troupe died on Monday at the age of 87.


Closing of the 12th Béjaïa International Theatre Festival

A two-day conference on the theme of "Theatre and resistance", organised by the Research Center on the Amazigh Culture and, was held to mark the festival, which provided an opportunity to promote the latest Arab theatre productions to Algerian audiences.

"Theatre between orality and writing", "Focus on resistant playwrights" and "Amazigh theatre and commitment" were the three themes debated in nine lectures. Kamel Medjdoub, researcher at the CRLCA and chairman of the symposium, pointed out that the centre had signed an agreement with the FITB to organise annual symposiums to coincide with the Festival.

Algeria, Iraq, Iran

International Theatre Festival in Baghdad: first results

The Iranian play "MacBeth of Zar" won the Jury Prize. Written and directed by Ebrahim Poshtkuhi, the play blends the classic Shakespearean story of MacBeth with the Iranian tale of the slave Zar in a tale which focuses on the question of guilt.

Algerian actress Asma Cheikh won the Best Actress prize for her role in "Nostalgia".

The Palestinian question was at the heart of the festival's activities, with the various participants showing their support for the Palestinian people.

Algeria, Palestine

The 4th Annaba Mediterranean Film Festival postponed

The Minister of Culture and the Arts, Soraya Mouloudji, has decided to postpone the 4th Annaba Mediterranean Film Festival, scheduled for 3 to 9 November, in solidarity with the Palestinian people, according to a press release issued by the Ministry.


Kateb Yacine International Forum

The 10th International Forum on the life and work of Kateb Yacine will be held from 27 to 30 October at the Boulouh-Moubarek Islamic Cultural Centre in Guelma.

Mr Abassi, who is also President of the Association for the Promotion of Tourism and Cultural Activities in the Wilaya of Guelma, which organises this annual event, said that the 10th edition of the Forum, organised under the slogan "The Encounter", would see the participation of foreign specialists from universities in Italy, France, Tunisia and Senegal, alongside Algerian academics.

In addition to lectures on the theme of the edition, the event will feature theatre performances adapted from works by Kateb Yacine, an under-16s football tournament, and a book sale for the latest international dictionary on brachylogy.

Lebanon, Palestine

Abed al-Kadiri's bloody mural for Palestine

Deeply shocked by the tragedy of the situation in Gaza, the Lebanese artist has created a mural in solidarity with the Palestinian people, which is currently on show in his exhibition "Genealogy of a Repair" running until 18 November at the Dumonteil Contemporary gallery in Paris.

Usually, the artist's murals depict forests, in hues that aim to convey a sense of calm and serenity. In this new work, however, the predominant colour is red, covering the olive tree, the symbol of peace, in blood.

"Violence that shakes me emotionally, that I cannot bear to see used against anyone in the world, even less against a population that cries out its suffering in the same language as mine, and that suffers the trauma of the bombings to which we too have been exposed many times as Lebanese... Violence that has a particular resonance for me, whose work also addresses the situation of the Arab world and its population, too often the victims of injustice." - Abed al-Kadiri for L'Orient-le-Jour.

Proceeds from the sale of this work will be used to fund the care given to children in Gaza by NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders.

Lebanon, Palestine

Mohamad Abdouni wins Lafayette Anticipations prize

Mohamad Abdouni, an artist and photographer best known for his archival work on queer narratives in the Arab world and particularly in Lebanon, has produced Treat Me Like Your Mother: Trans* Histories from Beirut's Forgotten Past, a collection of almost 300 photographs of eleven Beirut queers and 'aunties' from the 1980s and 1990s.

Thanks to this project, Mohamad Abdouni was able to meet Em Abed, one of the main characters in his book, but who was missing a section of his archives from the age of 15 to 29. Mohamad Abdouni managed to fill this gap with the help of artificial intelligence, which reconstructed images from Em Abed's stories.

"This series raises two questions. The first is how AI can help to extend archive collections based on oral history. And the second concerns the authenticity of the protocols put in place to generate these images" - Mohamad Abdouni, for L'Orient-le-Jour.

This new series is entitled 'Extended Archives', and will be shown in an exhibition of five images, four slides and a film at Paris+ Art Basel, with the Marfa' gallery. It was for the latter that the artist won the Galeries Lafayettes foundation prize, a prize that still has a bitter taste in the face of the horror of the situation in Gaza.

"The prize seemed frivolous to me, given what's happening in Gaza. It wasn't necessarily a happy moment. Pride and happiness even seemed rather bitter in this context. But I know that it will take some time for me to fully enjoy it" - Mohamad Abdouni, for L'Orient-le-Jour.

Lafayette Anticipations is a public interest foundation structured around its production activity and its support for creation as a whole. It is a catalyst that offers artists unique, tailor-made resources to produce, experiment and exhibit.

Plastic ArtsDesignExhibitions
Lebanon, Palestine

Frieze London and PAD London: Lebanese art in the spotlight

A number of works did not go unnoticed at these two contemporary art and design fairs. In particular, the Sfeir-Semler gallery presented a piece that resonates with the terrible events in the Middle East. Created by Rayanne Tabet, the piece consists of a window covered in blue paint, at the foot of which is written: "In June 1967, a six-day war took place between Israel and a coalition of Arab countries. At the time, curfews were imposed throughout the Arab world for fear of imminent bombings. The curfew required everyone to take refuge in their homes and all sources of light to be turned off, as it was more difficult for bomber planes to target buildings in the dark. To get around the curfew, people started painting the windows of their flats and the headlights of their cars blue, as blue light was less visible from the planes."

The Marfa' gallery also showcased Paola Yacoub's work on water and its fluidity. "Water is essentially formless, but it mimics the silhouette of the objects it touches, following every contour. This relationship between photography and liquids reveals some fascinating similarities: just as we can't anticipate the result of a photograph, it's impossible to predict the configuration of objects carried away by the waves. These works encouraged us to think about the unexpected and the elusive. - OLJ explained.

Finally, PAD London presented an installation featuring designers David & Nicolas and Stéphanie Moussallem, ceramists Hala Matta and Souraya Haddad, and architects and designers Fadi Yachoui and Roula Salmaoun. The latter focuses on Lebanese know-how and its ability to respond to the production challenges posed by economic instability and the environmental crisis.

Photo: Rayyane Tabet, "Untitled": a window covered in blue paint, so as not to be seen by Israeli planes. Copyrights Gilles Khoury.

Plastic ArtsDesignExhibitions

First album for Zef

Zef Joseph Abboud - aka Zef - is releasing his first album with five songs and five video clips. The 28-year-old singer mixes Arabic and French with pop, jazz, rock and bellydance. The lead track, "Awal Kelmi", is inspired by the singer's love affair with actress Stéphanie Atala, and has now racked up 14 million views on various viewing platforms.

Arab World

"Victor Hugo and Islam"

Louis Blin, historian, diplomat and director at the Middle East Directions research programme at the University Institute of Florence, published "Victor Hugo and Islam", researching the influence of Prophet Muhammad and the Quran on his literary work, Islam being quoted a hundred times just in « The Legend of the ages ».

"Victor Hugo sought in the Quran a way to penetrate the divine, and in Islam a source to quench his thirst for doctrines and beliefs about the ultimate fate of man after his death and that of the universe after his disappearance" - Louis Blin.

The book was submitted to 67 publishers before being accepted by publishing house "Erick Bonnier”. "This misadventure is, in its own way, an expression of the Islamophobic groundswell of our country. I am neither an Islamologist nor a Victor Hugo specialist, but a contemporary historian.”

The diplomat explains that it was the tragic drowning of his daughter Léopoldine in 1843 that marked a turning point in Victor Hugo's metaphysical thinking. He reread the Bible, but it was not enough to answer his questions. Why not discover the Quran? After immersing himself in Islam's holy book for the first time in 1846, Hugo was impressed. He wrote: "Great books of all kinds are irresistible. You can read the Koran without becoming a Muslim, you can read the Vedas without becoming a fakir, you can read Zadig without becoming a Voltairean, but you cannot help but admire them.

Palestine, Turkey

Faizal Say's concerts cancelled following his comments on Israel

Faizal Say's concerts cancelled following his comments on Israel "Freedom for the Palestinians. For humanity. Enough of this brutality"; "Everyone should do something to stop this war. Netanyahu should be tried for war crimes, genocide and massacres".

". The Turkish pianist's concerts in Switzerland have been cancelled because of his comments on the Middle East conflict. A spokesman for Turkey's ruling AKP party condemned the cancellation of Fazil Say's concerts on X on Saturday "because of his ideas opposing Israel's inhumane attacks".


Beirut: Youssef Abdelké at the Galerie Tanit

The Syrian painter presents a collection of works that can be brought together under the banner of resistance through art. The canvases are distressing, plunging visitors between the real and the imaginary. Violent and strange, they question humanity and put their finger on the bestiality of human beings.

Born in Kamechli in 1951, the capital of Syrian Kurdistan in north-eastern Syria, the artist graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 1976, in the engraving section. Youssef Abdelké spent much of his life in Hafez el-Assad's jails for joining the Syrian Communist Party, or in forced exile in Paris, where he obtained a doctorate in plastic arts. He used charcoal and charcoal to draw still lifes and colourful works depicting human figures in a prison setting. Amnestied 25 years later, he returned to his native country and witnessed the violent repression of the Syrian revolution in 2011. The theme of death and human tragedy, always present in Youssef Abdelké's work, takes on a new dimension with the war ravaging his country. In 2013, he signed a petition written by Syrian intellectuals. He was imprisoned again and only released thanks to an international campaign.

Photo: "Bird" by Youssef Abdelké. Photo by Galerie Tanit


Roni Helou's new collection

During Paris Fashion Week, the Lebanese couturier unveiled his new spring-summer 2024 collection, which draws direct inspiration from twentieth-century Lebanese fashion. In keeping with his vegan approach to the fashion industry, the majority of the pieces are created using sustainable and recycled materials.

"The collection is made up of fabrics that were never meant to meet, such as denim, jacquard, technical net, taffeta, poplin, crepe and lace, all sourced from disused stocks, vintage items or plant-based fabrics. The palette ranges from black to red, cyber lime to pink, basil green to various shades of white." - OLJ.

The young designer is represented by Maison Pyramide Group, a creative platform dedicated to MENA talent, which was founded in 2016 and is now present in Paris, Dubai, Beirut and Cairo.


"Akka's Gazelle"

The play by and starring Raëda Taha is playing in Beirut, at the Zoukak theatre.
Former press attaché to Yasser Arafat, she has since become an actress and writer, first appearing in 2015 in the play "Comment trouver quelqu'un comme toi, Ali?" (How to find someone like you, Ali), in which she addressed her fedayin/martyr father.

After her recent monodrama "The Fig Tree" about the pain of exile, she is now offering to tell the story of her Palestine through the words of Ghassan Kanafani.


The media battle over Palestine

The bombs are raining down on Gaza and so is the fake news. Media personalities are no exception to the game of misinformation. This week we take a look at those who have created a buzz by calling for a ceasefire and openly condemning the actions of the State of Israel, a far cry from the comments made by Sharon Stone, Eva Longoria and Kim Kardashian.

  • Hollywood star Susan Sarandon, best known for her role in Thelma and Louise, called on her followers and the White House to call for a ceasefire.
  • Mark Ruffalo, a key figure in "Avengers", welcomed the calls for a ceasefire in Gaza from certain American representatives, and the 55-year-old actor-producer also shared articles and testimonials about the suffering of children in Gaza.
  • Jessica Chastain reminds her 5 million subscribers that "war does not spare children". On 18 October, she even condemned the fact that publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post gave too little coverage to the tragedies in the Palestinian enclave. "We are living in dark times, and these newspapers are jumping to conclusions to keep pace with social networks, which are not credible sources".
  • John Cusack, who posts on X "What I heard again was - we must liberate Palestine from a brutal occupation - people worried for their loved ones, in a hell zone, stranded without food, water or electricity. Deep anguish for people who are told to leave and are bombed when they do".
  • Bella and Gigi Hadid, daughters of a former Palestinian refugee. As part of the processions demonstrating for peace or through sober publications shared on social networks, they are mobilising to relay the struggle of their father Mohammad, who is also very active. "There is nothing Jewish about the way the Israeli government treats the Palestinians", was the message on Gigi's Instagram page, followed by nearly 80 million people. "Condemning the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic and supporting the Palestinians is not supporting Hamas" - Gigi Hadid, Instagram account.

Beyond the Western stars, the real buzz of the week is that of Egyptian actor and presenter Bassem Youssef, a former cardiologist (video). Interviewed by Piers Morgan on Talk TV, Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, who lives in exile in the United States, gave his uncompromising view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The segment was widely reported in the Arab world, with radical and grating push-lines.


Art of Egypt's 'Forever is Now' exhibition to be launched at the Pyramids of Giza

The third edition of Forever Is Now, an installation exhibition organised by the Egyptian art platform Art d'Égypte, will take place against the backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza. A total of 14 works will be installed as part of the exhibition, curated by Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, which runs until 18 November. Participating artists include Arne Quinze, Dionysios and Pilar Zeta.


Chicago Film Festival: another victory for Yemeni cinema

The Yemeni film "The Burdened" won the Gold Hugo Award this week in the New Directors Competition at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival.

Shot in the director's hometown of Aden, the film follows the struggle of the couple Isra'a and Ahmed as they try to make a go of it in a country struck by misery and poverty. Pregnant with her fourth child, Isra'a wants to have an abortion. This is what the film is all about, showing a country where the lack of resources is a daily occurrence. The script is inspired by a true story.

"I love my city very much and I think it should be documented and shown to the world - the heritage, the buildings, the streets, the culture" - Amr Gamal.

The film had its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival, won the Amnesty International Film Award and took second place in the Audience Award.

Saudi Arabia

Riyadh Fashion Week

Several points:

A connected Fashion Week!

Riyadh Fashion Week collaborates for the first time with Snapchat to showcase pieces by five Saudi designers at the Tasawar exhibition, which uses augmented reality to link the physical and digital realms. The Saudi brands featured are Aram Designs, Atelier Hekayat, Hindamme, Kaf by Kaf and Abadia. The exhibition opened on 21 October and will run until 24 October. By adjusting a filter in a room, the theme is changed, immersing visitors in the worlds of the different designers and their sources of inspiration. Visitors can even try on some of the clothes virtually.

The Aram Designs room resembles an old Saudi house in the Najd region. The bright colours used are an integral part of the designer's attempt to highlight her heritage.

"You can wear my outfits thanks to Snapchat's augmented reality technology, which allows visitors to try on the item before they buy it, making it one of the newest technologies in the fashion industry. This space is inspired by Aram, which borrows much of its theme from Saudi culture, and decorated in the style of the doors and windows of the Najd" - Arwa al-Ammari, owner of Aram Designs, interview for Arab News.

A 100% heritage Fashion Week!

This event is also about brands highlighting Saudi heritage, combining the traditional with the contemporary. For example, the Tima Abid show featured structured silhouettes inspired by the Saudi landscape: deserts, oases and mountains. The volumes, colours and fabrics were all reminiscent of Saudi Arabia. Some of the models wore the batoola, a metal mask traditionally worn by Arab Muslim women.

As for the KAF by KAF brand, the first source of inspiration was Riyadh's farmers' market, Alrabwah. Cherries adorn the dresses, which end in banana peels.

Photo: Tima Abid fashion show, copyrights Arab News / Huda Bashatah.


Jamel Debbouze's new series starts shooting

Entitled "Terminal", it promises to remain faithful to the spirit of the cult series H. This time, however, the plot takes place not in a hospital but in an airport.

The project, which was revealed a year ago, has 12 twenty-six minute episodes. "Directed by Jamel Debbouze and Mohamed Hamidi, it recounts the daily life, on land and in the air, of the funniest, most endearing and most incompetent crew in the history of French aviation" - Canal+ press release.

The cast includes Ramzy Bedia, Tristan Lopin and Camille Chamoux. Watch it in 2024!


Abdallah Alghufaily opens his first patisserie

Alghufaily is a psychiatrist by day and a pastry chef by night. He is opening his first patisserie this week. For this young man, who got his start in the kitchen thanks to videos and tutorials posted on YouTube, it's an adventure that was made possible in particular by the Misk foundation in 2019, which gave him the opportunity to study the science of pastry-making at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

"I took part in the Saudi Coffee Festival and the Saudi Food Festival in Riyadh, with specially designed waffles infused with kleija spices that play with local flavours. The kleija-spiced waffles were a big hit and travelled all the way to Paris, as the Saudi Fashion Commission gave me the opportunity to participate in Paris Fashion Week as part of a pop-up event organised in France to showcase Saudi creative talent." - Abdallah Alghufaily for Arab News.

His patisserie, "Floated", opens in Riyadh.

"The name Floated comes from the idea that this shop doesn't have a set menu. What we do is float around with different flavours. Here you'll find the most unexpected and delicious pastries at an affordable price, something everyone can enjoy."

Iraq, Palestine

Lyon: a powerful Palestinian play at the theatre festival "Sens Interdit"

With his play "And here I am", presented this week in France, actor Ahmed Tobasi wants to "say that Palestinians still exist and also exist as artists".

The 80-minute monologue, written for him by Iraqi playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak, tells the story of his birth in a refugee camp on the West Bank, his armed struggle against Israel as a teenager, his four years in detention and his return to the theatre after leaving prison, working with the Freedom Theatre in Jenin (West Bank) until the director of the troupe, his mentor, was murdered.

It's "a true story, that talks about concrete things, situations that make you understand what it's like to grow up for a young Palestinian", the 39-year-old actor, marked by the Intifadas (1987-1993 and 2000-2005), explained to AFP.

Produced in 2016, this play in Arabic and English, with French surtitles, has already been performed in England and France. It was presented in Lyon (centre-east) this week as part of the 'Sens Interdit' festival of committed theatre.

Copyrights : Jeff Pachoud, AFP.

Arab World, Saudi Arabia

Seminars on Arabic calligraphy

The seminars, attended by calligraphers, artists, researchers and international experts in the field, were held in conjunction with the second exhibition "Scripts and Calligraphy: Paths to the Soul", held at the Medina Arts Centre from 15 October to 23 December.

This is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, which has organised a series of seminars presenting the traditional and contemporary practices of Arabic calligraphy, as well as the cultural and aesthetic importance of this art form.

A number of specialists are taking part: Bayan Barboud, Azza Fahmi, Huda Abi Fares, Nada Shabout, Timo Nasseri, Ahmed Rizk, ...

Saudi Arabia

Sotheby's sale: Mohammed Al-Saleem breaks records in London

Saudi artist Mohammed Al-Saleem broke a world record for Saudi artists at this week's Sotheby's 20th Century Art/Middle East sale in London. His 1986 work - inspired by Riyadh's skyline radiating out from the desert - fetched $1.1 million, seven times its pre-sale estimate, and the world record for a Saudi artist at auction.

This untitled work from 1986, according to auction manager Alexandra Roy, "essentially banishes form and landscape, reimagining the distant dunes of the desert horizon through contained patches of colour, which emerge as if fighting against each other on the surface of the image."

Arab World

Christie's organises a new auction of contemporary Arab art

The sale features works by artists such as Mahmoud Said, Mohamed Melehi and Etel Adnan, with a selection of pieces exhibited in Dubai from 23 to 26 October.

"The collection we are selling is probably the strongest and most impressive to come to market in a long, long time," says Ridha Moumni , Vice President of Christie's Middle East and North Africa region. "Almost all the artists we have are superstars."

The Dalloul Collection is considered one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary Arab art. The collection was created by collectors Ramzi Dalloul and Saeda El Husseini Dalloul. The couple began acquiring works in the 1970s; the collection is now overseen by their son, Basel Dalloul, and his Beirut-based visual arts institution, the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation (Daf).

A selection of Marhala's work was exhibited at Frieze London, which ended on Sunday. A selection of pieces will be on show at Christie's Dubai branch from 23 to 26 October, before a visit to London from 1 to 8 November.

Photo: "Palm Tree" by Ibrahim El-Salahi.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai: calligraphy biennial

Calligraphic works by artists from around the world can be seen all over Dubai at the city's first-ever calligraphy biennial. Organised by Dubai Culture and Arts, the event runs until 31 October and celebrates the diverse beauty of the art form and the varieties of calligraphy from around the world.

The biennial includes 19 exhibitions at more than 35 venues across Dubai showcasing calligraphy in eight languages by artists from around the world, including the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Also taking place as part of the biennial is the 11th edition of the Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition at the Etihad Museum, featuring more than 75 works of art by some 50 calligraphers of 17 nationalities and organised by Dubai Culture in collaboration with Dubai Collection and Art Dubai.

Street art
Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: first street art festival

The event welcomes thirty local, regional and international artists from 15 November to 6 December. The initiative is curated by Cedar Lewisohn and Saudi artist Basmah Felemban. It is organised by the Visual Arts Commission, part of the Saudi Ministry of Culture, and follows on from Noor Riyadh, the annual celebration that has illuminated the Saudi capital with light installations for the past three years.

Murals, sculptures and events by regional and international artists will be featured at the festival, which will also include discussions, lectures and workshops exploring the history of street art.

Plastic Arts
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

Works by Jameel Prize finalists now on show in Dubai

Artists from eight countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, are reinterpreting Islamic tradition with a contemporary voice. The exhibition is being held at the Jameels Arts Centre in Dubai, as part of the "Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics" exhibition, with artists from India, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

The artists and their work were finalists for the Jameel Prize in 2021, a triennial award founded by the Victoria and Albert Museum in partnership with Art Jameel for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. This year's winner was Saudi Arabian artist Ajlan Gharem's Paradise has many gates.

"The structure reproduces the design and function of a traditional mosque, but is made up of cage-like mesh associated with border fences and refugee detention centres. For the West, the installation serves to demystify Islamic prayer for non-Muslims, addressing the fear of the other at the heart of Islamophobia. The artist invites people of all backgrounds, of all religions, to spend time together in this space." - press release.


Leezan Salam and ballet

"My ambitions for ballet in Iraq are to develop further, to increase the number of ballerinas and to have an Iraqi national ballet team" - dancer Leezan Salam for The National.

Salam is a graduate of the Baghdad School of Music and Ballet, an institution with a rich history dating back more than 55 years. Despite this, ballet remains a controversial and often stigmatised art form in conservative Iraqi society. However, Salam is passionate about reviving the art form, educating audiences and showcasing it on the national and international stage.

The lack of suitable ballet facilities in the region was a constant challenge for Salam and his students. But Salam didn't give up and was able to work with the Cadmus International School in Baghdad as a place to create and develop his ballet academy.

Today, Salam teaches more than 30 students aged between 5 and 18. It's a development she sees as a milestone for her personal dreams and for the Iraqi ballet community.

Arab World

How will the Middle East art market be affected by political events?

Summary of a fascinating article published by The National on 25 October, and proposed by Mélissa Gronlund.

While the Middle East is currently facing a new war, the implications of which are still uncertain, the major auction houses were holding major events in the West, such as Sotheby's and its sale in London. With almost 123 lots, the sale was the most important of the year for the London auction house in 2016. Raising a total of £4.8 million, it was a record for Sotheby's.

"While auction houses always keep the identity of their buyers confidential, the hectic bidding for individual works coincided with the entry of new bidders (Saudi Arabia) into the market across the region," explains Meagan Kelly Horsman, Managing Director of Christie's Middle East.

And more and more Saudi collections are coming to auction. The Sotheby's sale included works by Shatha Ibrahim Al Tassan, a major Riyadh collector who founded the Hewar Art Gallery in the Saudi capital in 2006. Al Tassan's works were among three other female collectors in the sale - including the late Rasamny, an admired collector who was a staunch supporter of Middle Eastern art, as the first president of the Royal Academy and a member of the Tate and British Museum's Middle East and North Africa acquisitions committees. Sotheby's has also offered works by Sadik, the Palestinian collector who lives in Kuwait and has also built up a highly respected collection of Middle Eastern and international art.

Even if political events change, the growing buyer base in the Middle East market - and the race for masterpieces - should drive the market forward.

Photo: Palestinian artist Samia Halaby's 1969 painting Seventh Cross No. 229 exceeded its estimate to reach £381,000. Photo by : Sotheby's.


Dalal Abu Amneh placed under house arrest following a publication on social networks

Abu Amneh, an Israeli citizen, was arrested after posting an emoji of the Palestinian flag with the words "There is no victor but God" to her more than 340,000 followers on Instagram. The post has since been deleted.

She was accused of promoting hate speech and inciting hatred by the Israeli authorities. The singer was released on bail and placed under house arrest. Civil rights lawyers claim that the Israeli authorities interpret any expression of solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza as incitement.

Post on her Instagram: "My body, weakened by my three-day hunger strike, is now stronger. My faith in God is deeper. My conviction in my message and my work has increased tenfold. They tried to strip me of my humanity, to silence my voice, and humiliated me in every way. They insulted me and handcuffed my hands and feet, but they made me prouder and more dignified." - Dalal Abu Amneh.

Arab World

Is there a market for Arabic literature in Europe?

Following the decision by the Frankfurt International Book Fair to cancel the award ceremony for Palestinian author Adania Shibli, Arab publishers are wondering what their place is in this sector.

Speaking at the Arab Literature in Europe event, one of three round tables organised by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, Fahndrich says that commercially astute Arab novels are not finding a response in Germany.
Hartmut Fahndrich is a German intellectual and translator who has translated works by the Egyptian Salwa Bakr and the Syrian Zakaria Tamer, as well as Naguib Mahfouz and Alaa Al Aswany.

"I don't want to give the impression that I'm permanently pessimistic. But from what I can see, the major German publishing houses have not shown any real interest in Arabic literature."

Anne Millet founded Leila, an online platform promoting the translation and distribution of novels by Arab authors living in Europe.Founded by international literary organisations, authors and academics, and partly funded by the European Union, Leila was launched this month and is an impressive resource guide for interested publishers.

"We are not an institution per se, but a project built on the shared observation of our partners that there is a lack of translation of Arabic literature into European languages on the part of Arabs living abroad in Europe" - Anne Millet.

Photo: Hartmut Fahndrich, specialist in German literature, at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Copyrights: Zoran Mircetic / Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre


"Le Petit Rachid", the new book by Rachid Sguini

After the success of his Petit Manuel antiraciste pour les enfants (but not only!!!) and the highly acclaimed and nostalgic Souvenirs du Bled, Rachid 'Rakidd' Sguini is back with a new paper madeleine: 'Le Petit Rachid', in which he shares his memories of being a child of immigrant origin, but above all of being a Dorothée fan during the Mitterrand years. It's a book full of unhealthy things and childhood traumas. Do you know what 'Insh'Allah' really means? What is a cashir? Who used to be the emergency remote control? This book is as gentle, nostalgic and humorous as only Rakidd can make it.


"Nancy-Kabylie" by Dorothée-Myriam Kellou, published by Grasset

"You're on a quest! That's what her best friend says to Dorothée Myriam Kellou one day. She doesn't know what she's looking for. Yet all the clues are there. Her learning of Arabic, her intellectual career, her travels, and the need to recall her father's Algerian origins. What does she know about his youth? Very little. So he invited her to reread a film project he had sent her a few years earlier. Dorothée discovered that in 1960, her father and his family had been forced to leave their village of Mansourah, where people had been displaced under the control of the French army. A little-known chapter in a war about which many shadows remain.
Dorothée Myriam Kellou is trying to shed some light on this story. From Nancy, where she grew up, via Egypt, Palestine and the United States, the young woman sails to find her feet. In this very personal book, Dorothée goes back in time to when her parents - Catherine, a young Frenchwoman on a solidarity trip to Algeria, and Malek, a young Algerian film-maker with communist sympathies - met and fell in love. The author also talks about her childhood, her dual culture, and the strength and tension it generates. The weight of silence as a legacy: the war, the displacement of populations, the camps. All those truths that are kept silent, the violence felt when they finally come out. With her father, Dorothée will return to the places where this traumatic story took place: a house, a tree, witnesses from that time will bring it back to life. Father and daughter will make a film about it, and in so doing, repair the memory.
An investigation, an intimate story, a reflection on history, memory, identity and transmission, a voyage of initiation, a tribute to the father and his country: this first text by Dorothée Myriam Kellou is unclassifiable and remarkable for this very reason. It gropes, questions and recounts an Algeria that is sometimes painful, sometimes dreamed of, opening the way to appeasement and reconciliation.


Hafsia Herzi in "Le Ravissement"

For her first feature film, Iris Kaltenbäck looks at the life of Lydia, a midwife who is very committed to her work and in the midst of a romantic break-up. At the same time, her best friend Salomé tells her that she is pregnant and asks her to monitor her pregnancy. For "Le Ravissement", actress Hafsia Herzi took part in an immersion course with midwives, where she helped deliver babies.

"I put myself in Lydia's shoes. I tried to understand, without judging her, why she goes through with it. I tried to draw inspiration from all those people who commit irreparable acts. They are often discreet. You don't see them coming, like a child about to do something stupid. What interested me was this slightly mysterious side. I tried to say as little as possible, not to be too expressive and not to let you guess too much about her feelings." - Hafsia Herzi for France Info.

DanceNew Talents

New talent : Amir Sabra

Amir Sabra is a dancer and choreographer who is currently director of the Stereo48 Dance Company. He started out as a break-dancer in 2008, then joined the Hawaieh dance group, with whom he represented Palestine in several dance competitions in Denmark, Belgium and Jordan. In 2015, he joined the Belgian-Palestinian dance show "Badke" by choreographer Koen Augustijnen/ Les Ballets C de la B.

In 2017, he was a dancer and rehearsal manager for the Ya Samar Dance theatre. In 2017, he began his choreographic career with his first piece "Hiphopgeez" and is currently in residence in France working on his fourth dance production "Journey to Jerusalem", a new production by Stereo48, of which he is the founder.

Stereo48 is a young Palestinian organisation working in the field of performing arts and in particular contemporary dance and theatre. It was founded in 2014 by a group of break-dancers from the city of Nablus. Their mission is to highlight the artistic and performing arts scene in Palestine through several programmes: producing dance and theatre shows, workshops and hip-hop classes in refugee camps and always believing in the positive impact of culture on people living in marginalised areas. In addition, their Dance Competitions Program focuses on the expansion and dissemination of dance and hip-hop culture and encourages professionals to take part in friendly competitions.

Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia

Festival Al-Nahham

The festival, organised by the Saudi Theatre and Performing Arts Authority, includes several activities in the city of Damman, from 27 October to 2 November. There will be plays, exhibitions and a "Nahma" art competition involving artists from all the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with the aim of showcasing marine arts.

Arab World, Persian Gulf, Palestine

42 Arab and Asian countries broadcast jointly with Palestinian television

In a show of unity and solidarity, 42 Arab and Asian countries have agreed to take part in a joint broadcast with Palestinian television. This collaborative effort is organised by the Islamic Cooperation Organisation's Broadcasting Union in partnership with Palestinian Television and was broadcast on 19 October at 13:00 GMT for one hour.

It should be noted that the coordination of this special joint programme was led by Dr Amr Al-Laithi, President of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Radio and Television Union, and Minister Ahmed Assaf, Head of Official Palestinian Media. The initiative aims to show support for the Palestinian cause and to remedy the serious violations resulting from the Israeli aggression.

Palestinian television, through its network of correspondents, will provide comprehensive coverage and a dedicated programme schedule to convey a complete picture of Gaza and all the Palestinian territories. This content will be broadcast on the television and radio channels of the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Maghreb, Palestine

Letter of solidarity from the Maghreb towards Palestine

The North African Decolonisation Network, which includes a group of Maghreb intellectuals, has published a petition condemning the crimes of the occupation in Palestine and stating that there can be no peace without liberation from colonialism in Palestine.

Signatories of the petition in support of the Palestinians include: Fadma Ait Mous, Mohamed Nour El-Din Afaya, Najib Aksabi, Younes Agray, Mehdi Aliwa, Abdel-Ahad Al-Sabti, Walid Ayoub, Mahi Binbin, Rahal Boubrik, Moubarak. Bouhachi, Latifa Bouhasini, Yasmine Al-Shami, Shawqi Al-Hamel, Ali Al-Safi, Nadia Jassous, Hisham Hudhayfah, Idris Ksikes, Salah Al-Din Al-Muaizi, Khaled Al-Yalamahi, Donia Mesfer, Karima Nadir, Hassan Rashiq, Muhammad Samouni and Abdullah Taïa.

The signatory intellectuals stated that "the resounding silence of the international community regarding the war crimes committed in Palestine today is a further argument that racial differentiation between races has always been at the heart of Western colonial and imperial projects".

The petition also mentions "the moral and political importance of withdrawing from the normalisation agreements, which only increase Israel's sense of its ability to escape sanctions".


Death of Heba Abu Nada

The novelist, poet and educator Heba Abu Nada was killed in her home south of Gaza City by an Israeli air strike. She was 32 years old.

In her last tweet, written in Arabic on 8 October, the author wrote: "The night of Gaza is dark without the glow of rockets, quiet without the sound of bombs, terrifying without the comfort of prayer, black without the light of martyrs. Good night, Gaza."

In 2017, Abu Nada won the Sharjah Prize for Arab Creativity for "Oxygen is Not for the Dead".


« Amman – Jérusalem 70 km »

The Cairo Amman Bank gallery is hosting the exhibition "Amman - Jerusalem 70 km" by Hani Hourani, featuring 40 works that tell the story of the proximity of the two cities. Using canvas, wood, oil, acrylic and photography, the artist mixes media and materials to tell the story of the two cities, so close and so far apart, separated by colonisation.

Hourani belongs to the founding generation of the Jordanian visual arts movement. He began painting in the early 1960s and studied with the great artists of the first generation, such as Mohanna Durra, Saleh Abu Shindi and Tawfiq Sayed.

Arab World

Mazzika Orchestra celebrates Arab divas in Paris

"rom Fairouz to Oum Kalthoum, via Warda, these women have fascinated more than one generation. Each of them has charted a unique course and displayed a distinct style, but all have embodied the dream of an egalitarian and progressive society. Even today, they remain the symbol of a golden era, full of enthusiasm, dreams and hope. The Mazzika Orchestra, whose mission is to revive the legends of Arab music, will be revisiting the most beautiful tunes from their repertoires and reinventing a few gems and rarities from live performances during this concert. - press release.

The concert takes place at Le Bataclan on 8 and 9 December.

Circus Arts

Paris: "Fiq!" show by the Tangier acrobatic group at La Villette

Press release: "The young guard of the Tangier Acrobatic Group give free rein to their energy, suppleness and humour in a dizzying collection of acts at the crossroads of disciplines. A colourful awakening. Fifteen artists chosen at a major audition held in Morocco in autumn 2018. Their specialities? Traditional and modern floor acrobatics, dance, break, taekwondo and freestyle football. A mix of styles, personalities and techniques, giving the collective a unique vitality. To stage it, Maroussia Diaz Verbèke has devised a luminous collection of acrobatic numbers, with fantasy as the only rule. There are red plastic crates, a motorbike, a football and a thousand magical tricks. To set the tone, DJ DINO is on stage and rap is not far away. To add colour, the visual universe of photographer Hassan Hajjaj inspires the clothes and surrounds the acrobats. FIQ! (WAKE UP!) is driven by a joy that permeates every idea, sketch and quotation. Drawing on the tradition of Moroccan acrobatics and the energy of youth, the show creates a modern alchemy. Fifteen young people take a tender, profound and playful look at the Morocco of today.

To be seen from 8 November to 2 December.

Recent Journals

28 - 12 - 23

"عيب" by Sarah Bahbah Sarah Bahbah is a Palestinian Jordanian artist and director born and raised in Australia. Raised by Immigrant parents, her culturally conservative upbringing led to a great rebellion of Art. Over the past decade Bahbah has become renowned for her signature style, giving birth to visually striking, culture-shifting stories that combine her most intimate psyche appearing as subtitles placed over cinematic stills. Bahbah’s art explores the power of vulnerability by way of giving voice to the vast spectrum of chaos and desire in imperfect relationships. She believes in embracing emotional vulnerability to break taboos and celebrate the liberation of guilt and shame. In 2020 Bahbah released her most impactful series yet titled “3ieb!” in Arabic / “Shame On Me!” in English; a series where she provocatively posed in front of the camera for the first time, expressing her desire for sexual liberation from her cultural restrictions. The subtitles appeared in both English and Arabic calligraphy which caused an uproar within the MENA community, while simultaenously giving voice to many women who held the same desire. Bahbah’s work has been featured in countless publications including New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, The Cut, Vogue US, Hollywood Reporter, Vice and many more. In 2023 Bahbah released her first ever luxury fine art book, "Dear Love".

21 - 12 - 23

"I'm 33 and I've never been on a plane" It took five years for Abdel Rahman Zagout, a Gazan photographer, to complete a project on the Egyptian border with Gaza, which won the 2018 Red Cross photography competition. This photograph is part of the project, portraying a young Palestinian at the border, his hands open in front of a closed window. Abdel Rahman Zagout graduated in media at Al-Aqsa University and graduated in 2008. He worked for ten years as a freelance photojournalist and photography consultant. His project recounts the hopes and dreams of Palestinians, shattered by poverty and fences. Most of the photos were taken at the Rafah crossing, which links Gaza to Egypt. It is considered to be the main exit from Gaza, and is only opened sporadically.

14 - 12 - 23

@dyaladesigns "As cliché as it may sound, I've always been creative. Somehow I always knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I've never been that passionate about anything other than art and design, so why would I spend my life doing something I didn't really love? It's my passion and I intend to use my creativity to make a difference in this world." "As a Palestinian artist, I definitely feel a responsibility to use my platform to highlight the ongoing conflicts and express my emotions about them in a beautiful way. Art is my passion, and my country is my passion, so combining these two aspects of my life is something that excites and motivates me. My work is a reflection of who I am, and I think it's important to represent people who feel that their voices aren't always heard. I want people to look at my work and see the beauty and relevance of who they are and where they come from. I feel it's our global duty to show our support and unite in times of need. I feel that my work highlights the importance of acceptance and inclusion. Given the world we live in today, where people are bombarded by an unrealistic digital society, my art plays a role in breaking down those boundaries and redefining those expectations." Dyala Moshtaha

07 - 12 - 23

"I will continue to draw until Palestine is free. I will continue to draw the Palestinian flag everywhere in the streets of Egypt." - Mohamed Moataz Mohamed Moataz a décoré l'un des plus anciens quartiers du Caire, Al-Khalifa, qui est par ailleurs inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO depuis 1979. Il s'agit de quatre peintures murales qui dénoncent l'horreur du génocide de Gaza. Mohamed Moataz a décoré l'un des plus anciens quartiers du Caire, Al-Khalifa, qui est par ailleurs inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO depuis 1979. Il s'agit de quatre peintures murales qui dénoncent l'horreur du génocide de Gaza. Mohamed Moataz's career as a street artist began on the streets of the Egyptian capital with works celebrating Arab heritage, featuring iconic figures such as football star Mohamed Salah and the Star of the Orient, Umm Kulthum. However, current events soon caught up with him, and in recent months he has focused exclusively on the genocide perpetrated by the State of Israel in Gaza.

30 - 11 - 23

Gaza, Humanitarian truce, 28 November 2023. Mohammed Salem is a Palestinian photojournalist based in the Gaza Strip. He holds a degree in media studies from Al-Azhar University in Gaza. Mohammed has worked with Reuters since 2003, mainly covering the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. He received the Dubai Press Club Media Award, won the International Press Photo Competition in China in 2004 and was awarded second prize in Spot News at the World Press Photo Competition in 2010. His latest photos of the Gaza Strip in October 2023 have been selected by Reuters as one of the "best press photographs of 2023". "A picture should not be taken just with the eye; it should have a meaning in the heart" - Mohammed Salem.

23 - 11 - 23

"A boy eating watermelon", Adam Rouhana “There are a number of things that come to mind when I look at this image and, honestly, it’s about the boy… It’s sort of like he’s making love to the watermelon, right? That is what it looks like. So, it’s this idea, I guess, of a passion for the land and his own relationship with the land. You can see he’s in this kind of olive grove and the earth is around him." N.B. The watermelon is a symbol of Palestine. Adam Rouhana is a young Palestinian photographer who graduated from Oxford. He grew up in Boston. Each year, he returns to his homeland with his camera, and focuses on Palestinian youth, which represents half the population. A soldier, a fence, a football pitch, but also laughter, somersaults on the beach and back to school moments. The young photographer, who plans his first exhibition with curators Zainab Hasoon and Sara bin Safwan at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, captures these everyday infrastructures, characters and emotions of Palestine. He claims the "permission to narrate" developed by Edward Saïd - in other words, the commitment to sharing an individual rather than a collective story, not dictated by an oppressive regime or locked into a given prism such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Adam Rouhana therefore offers new perspectives and new narratives of Palestine. ‘Instead of reproducing the representations of occupied Palestine that are so ubiquitous and so obvious, I was able to capture the quieter moments and try to work to create new representations of Palestine’ – Adam Rouhana

09 - 11 - 23

"Climbing walls", Khaled Hourani Born in Hebron, he is an artist, writer, commentator, curator, and a critical voice in Palestine. Operating within a socially and politically constrained system, Hourani conveys his awareness of the nuances and vagaries that permeate different aspects of social encounters in Palestine. In his pivotal 2011 project ‘Picasso in Palestine’, Hourani borrowed Picasso’s ‘Buste de Femme’ from the Van Abbemuseum in The Netherlands, to display it in Ramallah. The symbol was powerful knowing the piece was painted during WW2. What was already an unusual lending process turned into a political quagmire considering that Palestine was not - and still isn’t - internationally recognised as a state, therefore making it impossible to insure the piece. The painting had to be militarily guarded: no insurance company took the risk. Picasso’s painting was exhibited in a specific room, always with two guards. This photograph was taken at the time, and has since been exhibited multiple times, also under surveillance. A mise en abyme revealing the complexity and constant struggle of a life under occupation.

30 - 11 - 23

"Kiss of Freedom", Rami Kanso Rami Kanso is a Lebanese-Slovak graphic designer, motion designer and visual artist based in Doha. He currently works for Alaraby TV. Rami combines his work in broadcasting with his passion for creative animation. He was head of visuals for the West End music production "Umm Kulthum: The Golden Era", which premiered at the London Palladium in March 2020. He also co-produced and co-directed a series of award-winning poetry videos with his wife, Dana Dajani. In October 2019, Rami's drawing for the Lebanese revolution became a viral icon of the resistance movement. His art blends calligraphy, collage, texture work, typography and symbolism to express contemporary Arab identity.

26 - 10 - 23

"Women sleeping" by Malak Mattar "Being a feminist is not about hating men; it's about believing that men and women don't have to compete with each other, but that they complement each other. This harmony can exist between two genders when there is equality and recognition of each other's roles and abilities, without degrading anyone's status." Malak Matar was born in 1999 in the Gaza Strip. She started painting in 2014 to escape the aggression and violence she and her family experienced daily while living in the Gaza Strip. Her first solo exhibition, which she organised a year later at the age of fifteen, enabled her to forge links with international journalists and gain recognition for her work on social networks. After winning the distinction of best high school student in the Gaza Strip (and second best in the whole of Palestine), Malak Matar left Gaza in 2017 to study political science in Turkey. She is publishing a bilingual Arabic-English children's book, "Grandma's Bird", about the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with writings and drawings that describe her own experience.

19 - 10 - 23

"Palest*n*ans: a story of displacement and pain. For decades, the world has been a silent witness to their displacement, the bombing of their refuge and the loss of loved ones. Today, with no access to food, water or medicine, they are faced with the agonising decision to leave the land they hold dear, with the uncertainty of their return, or quite simply, to die. Their story is part of the wider story of refugees around the world. The location of this work has not been added to avoid the shadowbanning I have faced in recent days." - statement by Egyptian visual artist and graphic designer Hassan Ragab, about the tragedy that Gaza goes through today, in front of everyone's eyes. The word 'Palestinians' has had several letters removed to avoid the censorship currently rampant on social networks. Hassan Ragab was trained as an architect and now lives in Southern California. Between design, furniture renovation, installations and graphic design, he participates in the development of digital art and in particular the use of Artificial Intelligence in this field.