Symbols of Resistance and Transnational Cross Stitch by Alina El Assadi and Zineb Dinia


COMMUNAL RESISTANCE: a night to come together, share experiences, and explore the power of community as a tenet of resistance.

Join us for the final night of Elixir Festival, where curated performances will amplify marginalised voices united through the theme of communal resistance. Creative workshops led by members of Young Shubbak will also be taking place.

If you’d like to participate in the workshops, please arrive early 6.30pm onwards. Performances will begin 8pm onwards.

6:45 PM to 7:45 PM 

The following workshops led by Young Shubbak, a creative social and community action space.

Symbols of Resistance and Transnational Cross Stitch by Alina El Assadi and Zineb Dinia

A participatory workshop on cross stitch embroidery basics, with a small discussion on how cross stitch is used in Ukraine and Palestine during the times of occupation as a way to resist the oppression and highlight self identity that the oppressor denies. We would also explore symbols of Palestine (orange, olive branch, watermelon) and their use in resistance and hope. The workshop would start building a collective tapestry of marks, symbols, and ideas on a large piece of fabric that everyone contributes to – responding to the theme of Communal Resistance.  The aim is for every individual to leave a stamp or a stitch on its own or to make a composition, to collectively understand, share, and respond to the symbols of Palestinian identity and history as a form of safeguarding heritage. People are welcome to come sit down and embroider using aida on a big fabric as one collective work together, or on pieces of aida and take it home. No experience needed.

Breaking Verse – Communal Poetics by Anayis N. Der Hakopian

A spoken word and creative writing workshop that focuses on responsive and collaborative making and performing, playing with free verse exercises and building new poems from shared writings.
The session is designed to start raw conversations and discussions within smaller groups, encouraging listening and improvisation skills through a series of short prompts and quick-fire tasks to create free verse and allow room for spoken collaborative performances. Participants will be encouraged to share their work at the Open Mic later that evening.

8:00 PM to 10:00 PM – Performances and Open Mic

Kardelen – Contemporary Dance

Kardelen is a British-Kurdish contemporary dancer and aspiring legal academic based in London. This piece is an artistic portrayal of the Kurdish feminist movement – Jineolojî. The music is an instrumental piece of traditional instruments, Tembûr and Tonbak. A beautifully emotive piece with vacillations of speed, intensity, and expression – a mirror of the waves of embarking on a path for justice. A battlefield within the self and within the communal. Resistance is a life path. I believe communal resistance is effective when your internal struggle connects meaningfully with the external struggle. Resistance begins from your own experience – the struggle with your life, of self-awareness, a deconstruction of a colonised mind and body – to the communal, external struggles that we collectively feel.

ILAF – Spoken Word Poetry  

ILAF is a doctor, spoken-word artist and singer of Kurdish heritage from Iraq, who’s writing reflects on the nature and intersections of war, capitalism, and occupation in the region. Art is storytelling - we live for, and through stories. My art is my way of raising awareness and inspiring others to do their research. We each have individual responsibility to take action against injustice of self, others, and the planet, and together we are stronger - together we will liberate each other.

Aleksander Varadian – Dramatised Reading

Aleksander is an Armenian-American-Norwegian queer multidisciplinary creative based between London, Oslo and New York. Their writing explores the absurdity of contemporary globalised society through satire and allegory, often on themes of tribalism, displacement and diasporic identity crises. Performing a dramatised reading of excerpts from their original play Tamzara; an exploration of nationalism. The satirical odyssey of two diaspora siblings on their quest to reconnect with a “motherland” they’ve never known. Through their morbid yet ridiculous encounters with the land and its inhabitants, we explore the absurdities of digitised warfare, and the complexes of tribalism in a globalised world.

Mohammed Salih – Music

Mohammed Salih is a London based musician of Sudanese heritage, and the guitarist for the rising group Ghuraba. Exposed to various instruments relating to his heritage from a young age, Mohammed blends psychedelic fusions of Malian, Turkish, Arabian styles and more, creating intricate and layered soundscapes that draw listeners to the inner depths of their minds and souls. Offering a solo guitar performance of three original pieces of music.

The evening will end with an Open Mic, inviting artists and writers in the audience to share their own voice. Sign-ups at the door.

We look forward to gathering with you in community and solidarity!


Thu, 2 May 2024

Workshops 6:45-7:45 PM

Performances: 8:00 PM onwards followed by Open Mic



Download Programme PDF

Grand Junction

Rowington Close
London W2 5TF