Arab Hip-Hop, Musical Rebels and Sudanese Art: Shubbak Festival of Arab Culture Launches in London

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Ghada Khunji: The Wall Whisperers

The Shubbak festival of Arab culture begins tomorrow in London, with 15 days of concerts, films, theatre, exhibitions, family activities and debates to look forward to.

“These are turbulent and challenging times for the region,” said Festival Chair Omar Al-Qattan, “but they are also rich with expectation and hope. No-one can guide us better through them than the region’s writers, artists

and creators, and London is one of the best places to celebrate that extraordinary vitality and creativity.”

Have a look through the festival programme and you will find plenty of interesting and unexpected events, such as a party at The Flyover Portobello showcasing young Arab hip-hop, soul and reggae artists from America, the UK, Jordan and Palestine.

“What we wanted to do was look at the whole range and not limit ourselves to the classical art forms,” said the festival’s Artistic Director, Eckhard Thiemann.

Other highlights include a double bill at the Barbican starring two musical rebels from Algeria, rock and rai performer Rachid Taha and singer-songwriter Souad Massi, and an exhibition of work by 83-year-old Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi at Tate Modern. There are also free events for families in Kensington Gardens and Lyric Square, Hammersmith.

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