Hadeel Eltayeb is one of a pair of artists and curators behind Fadaa (Space) - the other being Khalid Al Baih - an initiative aimed at brokering fresh relationships between creatives and spaces in different locations. They've welcomed back artists into spaces to create, share and present new works and invited audiences to return. The result is When the World Closed for Shubbak Festival 2021; five events in five cities livestreamed globally on Twitch. It is an initiative that aims to open up possibilities again and connect us together in spirit of curiosity and generosity.
Hadeel is a curator, writer and oral historian from London. Her research background is in socially-engaged art, museum and gallery practice, using oral history and explorations through sound as sites of research. She has curated exhibitions and produced research projects in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Sudan and the United Kingdom.
We asked Hadeel to answer some quick questions to find out more about her.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
People don’t remember what happened, they remember how you made them feel.
Who is your biggest influence and why?
As a cultural figure, Nawal El Saadawi is a forever inspiration for many reasons, not least her tenacity. She never softened or shrank for others.
Who is the one person you would like to have dinner with and why?
Anthony Bourdain, like I am sure everyone else will say, because of course.
Where is your favourite place on this planet?
Clissold Park in Hackney.
What’s currently on your playlist?
What gives you inspiration?
Safia Elhillo’s poetry
What is your favourite film of all time?
Mermaids with Cher and Winona Ryder
What’s your favourite meal?
Shakshuka made with an entire bulb of garlic.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
I would dream up some kind of dance project with FKA Twigs.
What’s the last conversation you had that inspired you?
A conversation with my friend Hala about food adventures in Cairo and Khartoum.
What is the truest, most beautiful life you can imagine?
A life where you live every day open to the possibility of connection with others. The kindness of strangers, a surprising conversation, sharing a story, is always more interesting than avoiding a connection.
What was your first job as an artist/curator/producer?
My first museums role was as an intern at the V&A/Black Cultural Archives project Staying Power.
Who or what has been your biggest influence?
On a more personal note, my aunt Nafisa who moved to London on her own in the 80s and made a life for herself despite what anyone had to say. A courageous spirit.
When the World Closed takes place on Twitch live from Khartoum (4th July), Beirut (8th July), Gaza (10th July), Doha (12 July) and Tangier (14th July). Part of Shubbak Festival 2021.