The Nour Festival will be celebrating contemporary arts and culture from across the Middle East and North Africa, starting on the 1 October and running until the 1 December. It will be a borough-wide event based in Kensington and Chelsea and will take place at venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre and the Mosaic Rooms.
The event will cover both photography from and about the Middle East. It will also present new Syrian art and electro trip hop explorations of identity and gay culture. The purpose of the event is not only to present new art but also to challenge perceptions of life in the Middle East and North Africa, and the title of the event, “Nour” means “light” or “illumination” in various Middle Eastern languages.
The line-up will consist of film, exhibitions, talks and debates, literature, music, politics, visual arts, fashion and cuisine, including: Light from the Middle East, an exhibition of contemporary photography from the Middle East, an evening of song with Emel Mathlouthi, a discussion of the role of art and culture in Syria with journalist Malu Halasa and an evening with poet Al Saddiq Al-Raddi whose work reflects his identity as an African poet writing in Arabic.
The Nour Festival of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African Arts and Culture, 1 October until 1 December, Kensington and Chelsea, London, www.nourfestival.co.uk
1, Shadi Ghadirian. From the series Qajar, 1998
2, Detail of the Arab Hall, courtesy of Justin Barton, Leighton House Museum
3, U-Cef by Kay Wahlig
4, Nour Souk