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Arts Canteen presents

AWAN Festival

Saturday 11 March
Venue 1
Venue 2
Main Space
All orders will be subject to a fee of £1.50 except if your tickets are free or if you are a member

In a nutshell

As part of Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) festival 2017, join us for a day of performances, film screenings, artist Q+A and networking.

Go on...

Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) is an annual festival and celebration of Arab women in the arts across a wide spectrum, as creatives, producers, writers, filmmakers, performers, musicians and artists. AWAN brings together a wonderfully imaginative, always-inquisitive Arab arts community and showcases new work created, envisioned and produced by women.

Join us on Saturday 11 March for a day of participatory activities and performances from emerging female artists from the Arab world. The day will provide an opportunity to be involved with artists Q+A’s where you will be given the opportunity to debate and discuss themes and topics relevant to the artist’s works. Networking between performance intervals makes this a truly unique event, which encourages artists and artists and artists and audiences alike to connect and exchange ideas.

Performances from emerging artists include spoken word poetry, video-art and documentary film showings. This is a unique day not to be missed.

Tickets for the evening concerts can be purchased here.

What to Expect

A myriad of art forms under one roof with new works from emerging artists. AWAN will take over the Rich Mix building for an interactive, thought provoking and entertaining day.

Who's Involved

Razan Hassan – ‘The Art of Losing’ – Video-art performance

Razan is a Syrian video artist born and raised in Damascus. After the conflict, Razan was forced to leave her country and university before finishing her studies in Media. Razan has since worked with an alternative Syrian media outlet as well as an editor for Al-Arabiya. Simultaneously she stayed active in the Syrian video-art scene and participated in ‘Syria off Frame’, a project in Imago Mundi, Italy.

She has exhibited ‘The Art of Losing’ in both Brussels and Eindhoven in addition to her short film experience " My Mirror". Razan is now applying for the Netherlands Film Academy to study Directing Fiction.

Rayanne Chami – Spoken word poetry

Rayanne Chami is a Lebanese poet and psychology doctoral-level researcher. She became involved in creative writing and poetry in 2012 under the influence of Dr. Michael Dennison, a friend and mentor who encouraged Rayanne to “write outside the lines” by accepting her style while it was still developing, regardless of the outcome. Her journey from written to spoken word poetry was realized during her time at Haven for Artists in Beirut in 2016 where she began working on performance poetry.

Through her writing, Rayanne aims to bring internal states into awareness, with the purpose of highlighting our common humanity. Her poems deal with such topics as identity, mental illness and social issues.

Tania El Khoury – Documentary screening – ‘Simply Lebanese’

Tania is a Lebanese graphic designer and artist who was born in Lebanon and since 2008 has lived in France. She graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Arts in Beirut in 2002. Today with her first documentary, she is interested in showing the reality of women in Lebanon today and exploring the increasingly unclear lines between politics, society and religion.

Laila El Balouty – Documentary screening - The Story Of “N”

Laila Samy was born in 1980 in Egypt. Between the age of 16 and 23 she was a member of El Warsha theatre troupe. She first studied English literature at Faculty of Arts then studied Cinematography. Laila played as an actress in various films including "Yaqoubian's Building", "Aquarium", "Those Days", and "In The Last Days of the City". She also was the D.O.P and camerawoman for a number of short fiction and documentaries, as well as a 35mm graduation project entitled “Solo” where she was both its director and D.O.P.  In The Story of N, she attempts to tell the story of one woman however faces restrictions in completing the film. The film explores the strength Egyptian women are developing to cope with an ever restrictive and belittling male dominated society. 

MH Sarkis – Panel discussion participant

MH Sarkis is an artist born to Lebanese parents, and was less than a year old when she moved to Lagos (Nigeria). She was raised there and moved to London (UK), where she now lives and works. Arising from personal history and experiences, Sarkis examines ideas of the "other", the self, relationships and power dynamics. In her paintings, these themes are explored via the female figure or abstracted geographies, which act as planes where these concepts are debated.MH Sarkis has exhibited internationally and her work is present in public and private collections in Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Upon completing her BA she received the Award for Outstanding Graduate, and has been featured by Saatchi Art in their Contemporary Surrealists collection. She is currently on the Goldsmiths Masters of Fine Art programme, described as one of the most influential MFAs in the world.

Dima Karout – Panel discussion participant

Dima Karout is a Syrian Canadian visual artist. With her installations, she combines images and texts to express the consequences of displaced lives in a complex world. Her artwork reflects human struggle and liberation in dealing with the Walls of Life. In the last ten years, Dima has exhibited her work in Damascus, Leipzig, Montreal and Paris. She has conducted workshops, participated in panel discussions and curated art projects. She has experience working in graphic design, communications, research and teaching.Dima’s journey began in Damascus and she has been travelling since 2005. She carries in her baggage a bachelor’s degree in visual communication from the Fine Arts University of Damascus, a master’s degree in contemporary art and new media from Paris VIII University, and a certificate in creative writing from Concordia University in Montreal. She presently lives and works between London and Montreal.

Nadia Bettoutia (Via Skype) – Panel discussion participant

Nadia was born in Dar el Beida-Algeria. She is an artist and shoe designer who has participated in several exhibitions on the history of footwear.

What people are saying

'A platform for people's stories' – Al Jazeera on AWAN 2016

Why does Rich Mix matter?

'It’s a unique platform for emerging artists from a diverse range art forms'

Find out more


Twitter: @ArtsCanteen

Facebook: /Arts-Canteen /ArabWomenArtistsNow/

Things you should know

This event is wheelchair accessible.