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From the Oscars to the UK’s theatre landscape and museums’ exhibition programmes, gender equality is a widely debated topic in the national and international discourse of culture.
International Equality hears from a number of female Arab artists appearing in Shubbak. Spanning different artforms, they speak about the creative impulses behind their work and what issues they face in the process of creating and presenting new works.
Chaired by film maker Maysoon Pachachi (Iraq/UK), the discussion includes writer Rasha Abbas (Syria/Holland), actor & singer Norah Krief (France), visual artist Dana Awartani (Palestine/Saudi Arabia) and artist Sulafa Hijazi (Syria/Germany).
Displaced Syrian author Rasha Abbas is currently based in Germany. A contributor to Syria Speaks (Saqi Books, 2014), her recent book Die Erfindung der deutschen Grammatik (The Invention of German Grammar) is about accidentally getting involved in the avant-garde art scene and learning German from hipsters.
Actress and singer Norah Krief has worked with many theatre writers and directors. In 2005, she was awarded the prestigious Molière award for Best Supporting Actress and recently appeared at the Barbican in Phèdre(s) by Krzysztof Warlikowski as part of LIFT.
Dana Awartani graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, London and a Master’s in Traditional Arts at the Princes School, London. Specialising in geometry as well as illumination, tile-work and parquetry, Awartani’s work explores the relationship between geometry and nature, as well as how truths can be translated through art using geometric principles, visualising a sacred language through a symbolic and multi-layered aesthetic.
Sulafa Hijazi is a Syrian artist now based in Berlin. Her new work Animated Images was commissioned by Shubbak in partnership with British Council and is currently showing at Richmix Mezzanine Gallery. Her works have appeared in the seminal publication Syria Speaks, and have been aquired by the British Museum. In addition to her artwork, Hijazi began her professional career since 1997 as a writer and director of animation TV series and other film and media production, with a particular focus on children education and social development. Hijazi has received more than 12 international awards for her work.
Maysoon Pachachi is a London-based filmmaker of Iraqi origin. She is the Chair of Shubbak Festival
Presented in partnership with Institut français du Royaume Uni as part of its series Women Shaping the World.