Here you will find a full list on all the previous exhibitions we’ve hosted in the Centre. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for then just let us know!

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
20 – 28 March 2014

In March 2007, tragedy struck the heart and soul of Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual community. Al Mutanabbi Street was destroyed by a car bomb which killed over thirty people and wounded more than one hundred. The bustling street filled with bookshops and outdoor stalls has for centuries been a meeting place for poets, political dissidents and literary aficionados, and is named after the famous 10th century classical poet, Al-Mutanabbi.

The targeted attack-on-thought resonated as far afield as San Francisco, provoking fellow poet and bookseller, Beau Beausoleil to start the project and coalition Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Seven years on, the collective undertaking has grown exponentially and Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here has since become a global phenomenon with an international community of over four hundred artists.

Out of Arabia: Landscape Throughout the Arabian Peninsula
25 – 29 November 2013

This showcase will bring together nine artists, seven born in Saudi Arabia, one in Egypt and one in the USA, all of whom had participated in the Out of Arabia online art competition organised by the British Council in 2012.

The competition, initially developed as a wraparound activity for a touring exhibition of artworks from the British Council Collection entitled Out of Britain, provokes a creative exploration of the idea of what constitutes landscape throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Mister President’s Circus
24 – 28 June 2013

A medal wasn’t the only thing President Gamal Abdel Nasser brought back from Moscow in 1958. The medal is in a museum now, Nasser is long dead, and his MIG warplanes are rusting across Egypt, but something survives from the era of Soviet experts.

Black and white photos by John Perkins and stories by Mona Abouissa take you inside a magical governmental department of lions, dynasties, acrobats, and bureaucrats.

Photographs by Numbers
22 – 28 March 2013

The 12 pieces use photography taken from trips to Iraq in 2012 and 2013 to interview Iraqis about their hopes for post-conflict stabilisation. Whether in Erbil, Najaf or Baghdad, the collective narrative Iraqis recounted was a complicated one. The past ten years have been marked by progression, recession and stagnation – development has been anything but linear.

The Libyan
22 – 30 November 2012

The Libyan, curated by Noon Art and supported by the British Council, will bring together, for the very first time in London at the Arab British Centre, the incredible work of eight living Libyan artists. Male and female, from the ages of 24 to 67, their unique and individual work includes painting, short film, photography, sculpture and installation art.

The mixed show will offer a wonderful sample collection that draws on the Libyan’s preoccupations, from portrayal of the Libyan lifestyle and culture, Libyan women’s beauty, as well as touching on the political oppression under Gaddafi and the promises of the recent February Revolution.

The Death of a Time Slot, Not a Medium
29 November – 2 December 2011

The Death of a Time Slot, not a medium was originally conceived and made for the group show How Can I (or You) Resist exhibited at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) in June 2011. Lily was inspired by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an initiative by the late Palestinian literary scholarEdward Said and world-renowned composer Daniel Barenboim. The orchestra was created as a platform for exchange between musicians from Palestine, Israel and various other Arab countries.

Breathing the Air
4 – 21 July 2011

Majed Shala is a contemporary Palestinian artist of compelling and beguiling talent, who is attracting a growing international reputation.

Shala’s exhibition Breathing the Air depicts human figures stripped of identity and weighed down by words in Arabic. This series of powerful paintings is his response to the conflict and confines which govern him but do not define him; a message which reaches out to the world well beyond Gaza.

Frequency: Converging Media

9 – 18 February 2011

Kholoud Sharafi’s first solo exhibition in London, which brings together highlights from her TelfazUmm Kulthoum and Istewana series. Born in Dubai in 1987, Sharafi is one of the UAE’s brightest young talents. Her work—a mixture of calligraphy and symbolic imagery—expands on the shapes and patterns used in classic Islamic art and architecture. The artist’s style is unique, infusing energy into her work by transporting tradition onto new media and presenting it through innovative compositional arrangements.

Orient Street Souvenirs
8 – 17 December 2010

The exhibition presents an anthology that is interpreted through travel related formats such as the guidebook, a projection piece and post cards. Streets named after Middle Eastern locations in London remap the city; cars wrapped in dust covers allude to clichés of an orient veiled in mystery; whilst images seized from the flow of television plot the projection of unfulfilled longing. An archive of fragments documenting juxtapositions of sign and place moving West to East, East to West.

10 – 14 August 2010

Up-and-coming photographer Inzajeano Latif (whose work includes the signature image for the 2010 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery) has put together a series premiering at the Arab British Centre which aims to dispel the myths and stereotypes of the Palestinian people.

The exhibition shows Palestinians’ diversity and the various roles they play in our society, giving the viewer an honest experience in which they come face to face with Palestinian people from different walks of life.

A Patch On My Evil Eye
6 – 26 May 2010

A showcase of paintings, photographs, prints and sculpture by young artists from the Middle East and Britain, A Patch on My Evil Eye fiercely challenges the worn stereotypes too often associated with the Arab world. Featuring the latest work by Noor Al Suwaidi, Ruba Asfahani, Juan Carlos Farah, Daniel Louis MacCarthy, Hazem Harb and the celebrated Palestinian photographer Yazan Khalili, this exhibition offers a nascent perspective on subjects that are repeatedly misrepresented by the media and misunderstood by the public.

Curated by Juan Carlos Farah, the works are presented through art forms ranging from abstract interpretations of the Middle East’s turbulent socio-political events to figurative insights into the lives of Arabs in London, both in ordinary and extraordinary situations.

Exotic Transformations
5 – 31 March 2010

A new art installation by British-Yemeni artist Sousan Luqman. Transfiguring the notions of femininity and transverses cultures of East and West, this body of work is multifaceted taking into account the different representations of the Middle Eastern woman in society.

Exotic Transfigurations alludes to the 1001 Arabian Nights, Islamic geometry and 19th century European Orientalist art. This fusion of cultural paradigms attempts to demystify traditional concepts of the Middle Eastern woman-historically and metaphorically.

Bridging the Gap
18 January – 3 March 2010

An exhibition of photographs taken in Syria by Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian teenagers. The exhibition is part of the refocus project, a grassroots organisation which runs participatory photography courses for minority groups and marginalised people. 

Bridging the gap explores the power of photography as an alternative route to social change. The photographs transmit values and understanding belonging to the people involved – not those which are imposed upon them to create an outside view of their situation.