We are so delighted to announce the return of our Friday Hangout talk series, in partnership with MENA Arts UK. This “Hangout Takeover” will focus on platforming MENA+ professionals (Middle East, North Africa and surrounding area) working in the live and recorded arts, inviting them to discuss their work and answer live questions from the public in an informal setting via Zoom.
Open to all, the Hangouts aim to be a friendly space where both speakers and attendees can share their professional and personal experiences, whilst also discussing wider industry issues and topics. All conversations will be led by members of the MENA Arts UK Steering Group, many of whom the guests know personally and have worked with in the past.
Please note this series is now finished. View the event recordings for the Hangouts on our Youtube channel via the links below.
The Takeover welcomed to the Hangouts:
5 February: Sally El Hosaini, a feature film writer / director whose acclaimed debut feature, My Brother The Devil, picked up major prizes at Sundance, Berlin and London Film Festivals.
19 February: Abi Zakarian, an award-winning British-Armenian writer whose plays include Perfect Myth Allegory, produced by Jermyn Street Theatre; I am Karyan Ophidian, produced by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; and Fabric, produced by Tremers for Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016, winning a Fringe First Award.
5 March: Amir El-Masry, an award winning British Egyptian actor who has most recently been named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit and earned a Best Actor nomination for his lead performance in the critically acclaimed feature film, Limbo.
19 March: Khyam Allami, an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, researcher and founder of Nawa Recordings.
All Hangouts are free to attend, but registration is essential. Sign up to each event individually by clicking on the hyperlinks above!
Our first series of the Friday Hangouts ran from March – August in 2020. Rapidly devised days after the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, the Hangouts were created to encourage a sense of cultural community during the Covid-19 outbreak, and offer a platform for guests to reflect on the lockdown and talk about their work in a time when for many it had been severely uprooted. Over 12 weeks, hundreds of people attended Hangouts with guests including chef Sami Tamimi, artists Manal AlDowayan, Amado Alfadni and Ghadah Alkandari, actor Youssef Kerkour, organisations Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and MARSM, writer Selma Dabbagh, and many more. You can watch them back here.
MENA Arts UK was formed in 2020 to celebrate artists working in the UK live and recorded arts with a connection to the Middle East, North Africa and the surrounding area. Their objectives include lobbying for appropriate representation, advocating for change, and seeking to increase UK work opportunities. The organisation has launched the UK’s first ever online directory of all MENA+ professional artists, including creatives, technicians and academics, and is encouraging all in the UK scene to sign up for a free listing.