PRODUCED BY LIVERPOOL ARAB ARTS FESTIVAL
Led by leading artists, creatives and activists, this series responds to the theme of climate crisis
and its impact in the Middle East and North Africa.
OUR CAMP ON FIRE
Our final event looks at the connection between patriarchy and the climate crisis. How is the climate crisis impacting women and people of marginalised genders? Are there feminist solutions to the crisis - perhaps rooted in cultural traditions and practices which have been upended by consumerist habits? How can artists help illuminate the parallels between society's treatment of women and nature?
This panel will feature artists who have contributed to LAAF's 22 project, exploring Arab responses to the climate crisis
Penny Babakhani (Chair)
OUR CAMP ON FIRE
18:00 - 19:00 - WEDNESDAY 13th October
Our Camp on Fire looks at the perspective of the climate crisis through the eyes of refugees and people under threat of displacement. The triple threat of climate, colonialism and conflict means that water shortages, inhospitable land and reduced access to food can exacerbate existing crises and lead to further instability. This talk will platform artists exploring these ideas, working on projects to heighten awareness and demystify the ideas and challenges surrounding the crisis.
Ahmed Masoud is the author of the acclaimed novel Vanished – The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda. Ahmed is a writer and director who grew up in Palestine and moved to the UK in 2002. Last year he worked with Maxine Peake on Obliterated, a theatrical experiment and artistic protest. Ahmed’s theatre credits include Application 39 (WDR Radio, Germany 2018) Camouflage (London 2017) The Shroud Maker (London 2015-2019), Walaa, Loyalty (London 2014, funded by Arts Council England), Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea (London and Edinburgh 2009) and Escape from Gaza (BBC Radio 4, 2011) Ahmed is the founder of Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre (2005) where he wrote and directed several productions in London, with subsequent European Tours. After finishing his PhD research, Ahmed published many journals and articles including a chapter in Britain and the Muslim World: A historical Perspective (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011). An earlier version of Vanished won the Muslim Writers Awards (London 2011 supported by Penguin Books).
Zena Agha is a Palestinian-Iraqi writer and poet from London. Zena was a 2018-2019 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. Her poetry collection, ‘Objects from April and May’, was a finalist for the Alice James Book Award and the Omnidawn First/Second Book Prize and her media credits include the BBC World Service, Voice of America, and BBC Arabic. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships including the Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School and she was awarded the Kennedy Scholarship to complete her Masters at Harvard University. Zena’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The Independent, Foreign Affairs, The Margins, NPR and El País.
Hamza Hamouchene is a London-based Algerian researcher and activist. He is currently the North Africa Programme Coordinator at the Transnational Institute (TNI). He is also the co-founder of the North African Food Sovereignty Network (NAFSN) and Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA).
Mohamed Sleiman Labat is a Sahrawi artist based in Samara Refugee Camp, Southwest Algeria. He runs Motif Art Studio, a small space for art creation and experimentation built entirely from discarded materials collected from Samara Camp. Over the last two years, he has been working on an artistic research project in Helsinki, Finland, called PhosFATE, together with Finnish artist Pekka Niskanen. The project is following and pariticpating in the emerging phenomenon of small-scale family gardens in the refugee camps, where the Sahrawi have been living for over 40 years in the inhospitable part of the Algerian desert called Hamada. The gardens provide nutritional value for refugees, protect from extreme heat by providing shade, and offer tranquility amidst the harsh desert environment.
This event will be co-streamed on HowlRound.
18:00 - 19:00 - WEDNESDAY 15th SEPTEMBER
The triple threat of climate, colonialism and conflict means that water shortages, inhospitable land, reducing access to food can exacerbate existing crises and lead to further instability. Artists are exploring these ideas, working on projects to heighten awareness and demystify the ideas and challenges surrounding the crisis.
In this first event we reflect on Democracy. Is the climate crisis impacting models of government? How have people stood up or disrupted in order to achieve large scale systematic change? What about the role of citizenship during a global crisis – do we need to change how we empower ourselves, our communities, communicate information and become more active citizens against the politics that are driving us into chaos.
From citizen assemblies to challenging those in power, does democracy in 2021 have what it takes to survive the climate crisis?
Magid Magid is a Somali-British race and climate justice activist/organiser and author who came to the UK as a refugee aged five. He is Founder & Director of Union of Justice, a European, independent, people of colour led organisation dedicated to racial justice and climate justice. He was a member of the European Parliament representing Yorkshire & the Humber, Mayor of his beloved city, Sheffield and was also an elected councillor representing his community. Magid was named one of TIME’s 100 rising stars shaping the future of the world. Magid is also a custard connoisseur.
Sama Alshaibi’s artwork situate her own body as a site of performance in consideration of the social and gendered impacts of war and migration. Her work complicates the coding of the Arab female figure found in the image history of photographs and moving images. In 2021, Alshaibi was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography. Alshaibi’s monograph, Sand Rushes In, was published by Aperture, NYC. It features her 8-year Silsila series, which probes the human dimensions of borders, migration, and ecological demise. Her biennial participation includes the 55th Venice Biennale (Italy, 2013), the 13th Cairo International Biennale (Egypt, 2019), and the 2017 Honolulu Biennial (Hawaii). Her over 150 group exhibitions include Pen + Brush Gallery (NYC, 2019), American University Museum (Washington D.C., 2018), Marta Herford Museum of Art, Germany (2017). Born in Basra to an Iraqi father and Palestinian mother, Sama Alshaibi is Professor and Co-Chair of Photography, Video and Imaging at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Akram Salhab is the Campaigns Officer at London-based charity Migrants Organise, and an organiser for Palestinian rights. He has written widely on the topic of migrant justice; Palestinian history; and recently presented a short documentary for Channel 4 about the silencing of Palestine in Britain: www.channel4.com/news/activist-akram-salhab-on-the-palestinian-experience-of-british-colonialism