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River Stage Festival Weekend: Shubbak Festival

Shubbak Festival

12 – 14 July

River Stage Festival Weekend: Shubbak Festival

Shubbak Festival presented in partnership with Amal (a Saïd Foundation programme)

Shubbak (meaning ‘window’ in Arabic) is London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture. Shubbak takes over the River Stage for a weekend of music, performances, workshops and installations. Family activities, bands, spoken word and late DJ sets bringing the best of London’s and international Arab cultural scene to this free and iconic setting. 

For more on Shubbak Festival, visit their website.

Amal

Shubbak Festival River Stage programme produced in partnership with Arts Canteen, and presented with additional support from Qatar Foundation International. With thanks to Shubbak Festival principle partners Arts Council England, British Council, Bagri Foundation, A M Qattan Foundation.

Friday

Attab Haddad Ensemble

18.15 – 19.00

With roots in both Middle Eastern music and Flamenco, Haddad's compositions offer an instrumental journey through Andalusia and the Middle East. The result is a sound that can only be described as his own.

Produced in partnership with Arts Canteen. Presented with additional support from Qatar Foundation International.

Attab Haddad

DJ Noor Palette

19.30 – 20.15

DJ and radio presenter Noor Palette​ plays upbeat popular records infused with Middle Eastern and North African sounds. Previously opening for the likes of AWAN festival, Haramacy and Pride of Arabia, DJ Noor Palette is guaranteed to lift your mood and get you up, dancing and having a great time. 

DJ Noor Palette

Amira Kheir

20.30 – 21.30

Amira Kheir is rapidly becoming one of the new voices in the African renaissance. Her music is celebrative of Northern Sudan’s ancient culture, but rooted in a desire to break all the boundaries used to keep people divided.

Produced in partnership with Arts Canteen. Presented with additional support from Qatar Foundation International.

Paris/London exchange in collaboration with Institut des Cultures d’Islam.

Amira Kheir image

Hadi Zeidan

21.45 – 22.45

Cosmic synths, bellydance-inspired rhythms and obscure electro meet in Hadi Zeidan's quest to reshape the sounds of the Arab world and pinpoint his native Beirut on the geo-musical map of the world.

Produced in partnership with Arts Canteen. Presented with additional support from Qatar Foundation International.

Presented by Paris/London exchange in collaboration with Institut des Cultures d'Islam.

Hadi Zeidan image

Saturday

MO(VE)MENTS by Aïcha El Beloui

12.00 – 23.00

Aïcha El Beloui visits London to research the psychogeography and history of Moroccan immigration. She will display one of her distinctive maps: simply rendered in black and white, they are richly filled with textured incident and associative connections, charting routes between Morocco and London.

Aicha El Beloui

Dia Batal ‘Articles’

12.00 – 23.00

‘Articles’ is a playful sculptural installation for all ages that is inspired by the practice of using Arabic calligraphy and language in public spaces. It borrows articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to create a platform reflecting on their relevance. Participants are invited to slot sculptural Arabic words and phrases to shape alternative interpretations of the articles.

Dia Batal Articles

Bricklab ‘Geographical Child’s Play’

12.00 – 19.00

Bricklab, the designers of the first Saudi pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale create a new pop-up sculpture: 22 brightly coloured units, equalling the number of states in the Arab league. The pieces are arranged in different constellations to offer new viewpoints of geographies, nations and the power to imagine other realities.

Bricklab

Samira Saleh

13.15 – 13.45

Seasoned wordsmith Samira Saleh has been using spoken word as a tool for self-empowerment since she first stumbled upon the phenomenon online. 

Samira Saleh performing

EbsilJaz

14.00 – 14.45

EbsilJaz is a hiphop duo from Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon, now based in London and Birmingham. They are part of Alleyway Radical Theatre, which combines hiphop with shadow theatre, and have performed and collaborated with a range of artists in London including Akala, Mohammed Yahya and Lowkey. Their lyrics reflect on the experience of journeying from one exile to another.

EbsilJaz

Arts Canteen’s Arabs Are Not Funny

18.15 – 19.15

Arts Canteen's Arabs Are Not Funny is back with a line up of four comedians from different nationalities and styles. Mo Saffaf, Janine Harouni, Ella al-Shamahi and Serine Ayari's humour sheds light on and mocks the traps of representation, identity, home, prejudice and how to live life as an Arab.

Produced in partnership with Arts Canteen. Presented with additional support from Qatar Foundation International.

Ella Al Shamahi

Shubbak Surprise Performances

19.45 – 21.15

Two surprise international genre-bending performances from Morocco and Lebanon – turn up and expect the unexpected.

Shubbak Festival

U-Cef

21.30 – 22.45

Composer, producer and DJ, U-Cef mixes London urban beats and New York Hip Hop with the Moroccan rhythms he grew up with. U-Cef puts gnawa music, dub, sinuous classic Arabic arrangements, electronic beats, MCs, big drums and crunchy rock guitars into a giant blender to produce fresh and original sounds.

U Cef image

Sunday

MO(VE)MENTS by Aïcha El Beloui

13.00 – 16.00

Aïcha El Beloui visits London to research the psychogeography and history of Moroccan immigration. She will display one of her distinctive maps: simply rendered in black and white, they are richly filled with textured incident and associative connections, charting routes between Morocco and London.

Aicha El Beloui

Dia Batal ‘Articles’

13.00 – 16.00

‘Articles’ is a playful sculptural installation for all ages that is inspired by the practice of using Arabic calligraphy and language in public spaces. It borrows articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to create a platform reflecting on their relevance. Participants are invited to slot sculptural Arabic words and phrases to shape alternative interpretations of the articles.

Dia Batal Articles

Claudine Toutoungi

13.00 – 13.15

Claudine Toutoungi’s poems have appeared in Poetry Chicago, Guardian and Financial Times, amongst others. Her plays have been on BBC Radio 4, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, and at the Lark in New York. Ian McMillan dubbed her debut collection Smoothie, ‘superb’.

Claudine Toutoungi image

Amerah Saleh

13.15 – 13.30

Amerah Saleh is a spoken word artist born and bred in Birmingham. Her Muslim Yemeni roots give her space to get lost and found between identities. Her work touches on identity, womanhood, religion and the obscure idea of belonging only to one place.

Amereh Saleh

Music Action International

13.45 – 14.15

Music Action International’s programme, Everyday People, supports young people newly arrived from conflict areas. The young people are joined by Syrian beatboxer Adz and contemporary classical singer Merit Ariane, to create compelling original music for this year’s Shubbak festival. The group will showcase material developed during therapeutic, creative music sessions that provide relief from daily stresses caused by traumatic experiences. Together with the audience, the group celebrate their newly acquired song and instrumental skills.   

Music Action International

Hakaya

14.30 – 15.15

The Palestine Community Foundation brings Hakaya to London – a group of young singers, dancers and drummers under the auspices of their ‘Bethlehem Link’ project as part of its cultural exchange programme. Join in with Hakaya as they perform and workshop dabke dance, drumming circles, and more!

Hakaya image

Juliana Yazbeck

15.30 – 16.30

Juliana Yazbeck’s debut record 'SUNGOD' is a political and spiritual cry; a journey of celebrating our pre-Westernised identities. Unapologetic and raw, Yazbeck’s lyrics challenge the effects of colonisation on cultural identities, the current state of love and relationships, and gender inequality.

Juliana Yazbek image

Flying on Wings of Birds with Merit Ariane

17.00 – 17.45

A magical family concert with Merit Ariane’s international ensemble, weaving together Middle Eastern sounds with folklore from around the world and jazz. Fly across borders with this interactive programme of songs and stories about birds and birdsong, selected especially from Merit Ariane’s imaginative repertoire.

Merit Ariane image

Summer pop-ups

Cheese Iron

Tasty grilled sandwiches made with British cheeses and plenty of cheesy sides.

Cheese Iron Toastie at the National Theatre

Apothecary Cocktail Bar

Our pop-up cocktail bar returns, using the best regional produce from across the UK.

Apothecary cocktail

Melt

Our vintage van serves a range of Northern Bloc’s irresistible ice creams, made with 100% natural ingredients. Including gluten free and vegan options.

Northern Bloc ice-cream

River Stage weekend takeovers