Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) – the U.K.’s biggest annual celebration of Arab arts and culture – has revealed a host of new performances and attractions to join the exciting programme of events made public in spring.
Newly announced details include works exploring border discrimination, migration, and Trump’s travel, alongside fun-filled free events like a food trail down Liverpool’s famous Lodge Lane and music performances by the London Syrian Ensemble.
The nine-day festival of theatre, music, visual art, dance, literature, film, food and family fun takes place from 8th-16th July 2017. This year LAAF explores the theme of ‘The space between us’, responding to Liverpool’s city-wide 67-17: 50 Summers of Love season, celebrating the release of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s album. The title is taken from a lyric from Within You Without You a track on side two of the album written by George Harrison, which tells of overcoming the forces that prevent us from recognising what unites the world.
As ever, LAAF will be punctuated by fun-filled, free events for all the family, and organisers have now announced more details of some of the activities and performers on those key dates.
Artists taking the stage at Eid on the Square (8th July, Tiber Square, Lodge Lane) – a joyful community celebration marking the end of Ramadan will include Anwar Ali and Dave Owen, Sound of Yemen, and Reham Al-Hakimi as part of a colourful, packed programme of family friendly cultural entertainment, food, arts and crafts, made possible thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
As part of the day’s activities, Kuwait-born food writer Sarah Al-Hamad will lead the Lodge Lane Food Trail, taking food lovers on a tour of some of the diverse independent restaurants and food businesses in the area – the go-to place for world cuisine in the city.
At LAAF at the World Museum (Saturday 15th July, Liverpool World Museum), people of all ages can discover the creativity, captivating stories, and fascinating traditions of the Arab diaspora. Added to the bill announced in spring are London Syrian Ensemble, a collective of some of Syria’s finest musicians based in the UK, who will play a diverse repertoire of classical and traditional music from the region, and resident storyteller Alia Alzougbi, who will share humorous and evocative tales from the Arab world.
As is now tradition, LAAF will close with the LAAF Unison Family Day (Sunday 16th July, Sefton Park Palm House) which returns bigger, bolder and brighter than ever before. As well as ‘the new star of Nubian pop’ Alsarah and the Nubatones, audiences will have the chance to see London Syrian Ensemble perform, as well as high-energy traditional and modern street dance performances from a collective of Cairo’s best dance talent. Reham Al-Hakimi and the Al Awadhel Band will be back by popular demand. Along with the programme of international music and dance acts there will be an Arabian souk, cultural cuisine, and activities for all the family.
Taher Qassim, Chair of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, said: “We work hard to bring the best and most exciting talent to Liverpool each year, and 2017 is no different. While the events, from music to dance to performance to a food-led celebration, are very different, many of them share a common theme – that of bringing cultures closer together. And of course, the theme of this year’s LAAF explores the boundaries and spaces between us
“It’s certainly going to be a stimulating, thought-provoking and entertaining nine days.”
For more information on the full Liverpool Arab Arts Festival programme, and to book tickets, visit www.arabfestival.com.