In 2023, we chose joy, love, and connections that dig deep when everything around us can feel atomising. We invited our audiences to pause and take a breath. A breath inspired by the works of Arab and South West Asian and North African (SWANA) artists, makers and cultural practitioners.
Shubbak 2023 kicked off with a weekend of music, performance, workshops and installations at the National Theatre River Stage. Activities for all ages, bands, dance and late DJ sets brought the best of London’s and international Arab cultural scene to this iconic setting. Our groundbreaking wider programme covered themes from the personal to the geo-political, with many of our artists also being activists - whether by choice or necessity. From a groundbreaking call for climate justice highlighting the ripple effect of Western-centric behaviours on silenced communities, to the marking of 75 years since the Nakba with a cyclical play by a Tunisian troupe, and a searing commentary on the intersection of Blackness and womanhood in the Arab world.