Join borough-based cultural space, The Mosaic Rooms at their 226 Cromwell Road gallery this April and May for music, film and discussion and the best of contemporary Arab culture…

Concert: Yazz Ahmed Quartet performs Alhaan Al Siduri

Thursday, 5 May: 8pm-10pm @ The Mosaic Rooms

Until the discovery of oil in Bahrain in 1932, the pearl diving industry was the main economic activity on the island. Each of the boats employed a professional singer who took no part in the work of pearl fishing or sailing but encouraged the workforce with appropriate songs. The songs often speak of loneliness, melancholy, of yearning, sighing for the beloved waiting on the shore. Although there are no longer any working pearl boats on Bahrain, the music has survived and become closely associated with Bahraini national identity.

Alhaan Al Siduri is a character mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, she is a goddess of the Gulf that lives on an island at the edge of the sea. Yazz describes the piece as “a combination of fragments of traditional Bahraini songs, translated into English and my own daydreams, musings on my homeland, written in this melancholy style”.

Tickets: £10 and can be booked via the website

Space and Memory in the War-Torn City

Wednesday, 18 May from 6.30pm @ The Mosaic Rooms

This special event features eight short films exploring people’s relationships with cities in the Arab world that are being altered and destroyed by conflict. Through the films, we enter the physical and mental landscape of the city, along with the shifting social relationships that accompany such urban transformations. The films offer complex and nuanced perspectives generally unavailable in mainstream media reporting of conflict in the Arab world.

Tickets: £6.50 can be booked via the website

The 2016 Edward W. Said London Lecture – Let Them Drown: The Violence of Othering in a Warming World

Wednesday 7.30pm @ Royal Festival Hall

Naomi Klein will be giving this year’s lecture in memory of Edward Said.

Introduced by Shami Chakrabarti, the lecture will build on Said’s legacy to examine how these same tools of racial hierarchy, including Orientalism, have been the silent partners to climate change since the earliest days of the steam engine, continuing to present day decisions to let entire nations drown and others warm to lethal levels. The lecture will also look at how Said’s bold universalist vision might form the basis for a response to climate change grounded in radical inclusion, belonging and restorative justice.

Tickets: £10-20 (ex. booking free) can be booked here.

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