Fundraising Gala for Syria | New music reviews, news & interviews
Fundraising Gala for Syria
Details of this week's Syrian Festival fundraiser in London
In answer to the desperate need for humanitarian relief for the Syrian people inside their country as well as in Syrian refugee camps in neighbouring countries, Mosaic Initiative for Syria has announced a fundraising gala taking place this Saturday, 17 March. It will support Syrian artists and showcase Syrian culture at Kensington Town Hall, as part of the Reel Syria 2012 festival which runs 15-18 March.
All proceeds from this event will benefit the communities affected by the current humanitarian crisis. On the Sunday Bill Drummond will recreate the "Surround for Damascus" show he performed in Syria and is looking for volunteers. See below.
Gala programme, Saturday 17 March:
4:00 pm: Syrian-style bazaar with traditional food from the region.
6:00 pm: Series of short Syrian films.
7:00 pm: featuring the renowned Syrian composer, singer and poet, Samih Choukeir (pictured below), as well as a performance by Khyam Allami on the oud. There will also be an audience with Ali Ferzat, the celebrated Syrian political cartoonist.
Venue: Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX.
Notes on artists
Samih Choukeir is a Syrian composer, singer and poet. In 1983, he released his first album, Liman Oughany, and he has since toured Arab and European countries. He composed "Ya Heyf" (What a Shame) only one month after the uprising began in Deraa’, and the first song to become a theme for the Syrian pro-democracy activists. Choukeir has sung predominantly about the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and most notably put to music the poems of the late Palestinian award-winning poet Mahmoud Darwish. He was a guest of honour at the 47th anniversary of the Palestinian revolution, Paris in January.
Ali Ferzat is a celebrated Syrian cartoonist who was awarded the 2011 Press Freedom Prize by Reporters Without Borders and Le Monde. For denouncing the corruption and abuses of Bashar Al-Assad’s rule, he was attacked in August by masked gunmen, who broke his hands as a warning. He has been nominated for Index on Censorship's 2012 award for artists, filmmakers and writers whose work asserts artistic freedom and battles against repression and injustice.
Khyam Allami was born in Damascus, Syria to Iraqi parents in 1981, and is now based in London. He took up the ‘ūd (or Oud) in 2004 and has already been on the cover of the UK’s Froots Magazine. In 2010 his dedication and hard work was recognised nationally when he became the first recipient of the prestigious World Routes Academy scholarship from BBC Radio 3. http://www.khyamallami.com/site/
Other events at the Reel Festival include
Thursday 15 March
- 7:00 pm – Reel Syria in association with Frontline, screening of Syrian documentary film, A Flood in Ba’ath Country by Omar Amiralay as part of DoxBox Global Day. Q&A with Syrian Director Reem Ali. £10/£8 (Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2 1QJ)
Friday 16 March
- 5:00-7:00 pm – Literary panel discussion and readings – Culture Under Fire: Creative resistance in Syria. Join some of Syria's best known authors, artists and poets for a discussion of cultural repression and resistance. Featuring: novelist, Manhal Alsarraj, novelist, Mamdouh Azzam, musician Steve Chandra Savale, academic, Donatella Della Ratta.
- 8.30-10pm – Screening of Syrian film(s) + Q&A
Free entry (Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA)
Sunday 18 March
- 1:00 pm – Bill Drummond – SURROUND in Damascus, a piece of work created for Syria in 2011 by legendary artist and musician Bill Drummond, will now take place in exile in London. 100 volunteers are needed; all will become members of The 17, Bill Drummond's international choir.
To take part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
The pithy princess of femme-pop on affable rather than thrilling form
Rocket-fuelled groove-jazzers take off into sonic space
Clowes' third album condenses and refines her exquisite control of instrumental colour
Leicester's finest may not be critical sweethearts but, in concert, they smash it
Newer songs have their subtleties quashed by the demands of rock's big tent
Compelling arrangements breath new life into classic material
A jazz festival finale of rare brilliance
An exciting new chapter in award-winning artist's development
Mind Fair take us for a wild, psychedelic ride on their debut album
Hypnotic acoustic Malian grooves for the closing day of the EFG London Jazz Festival
All-star Blue Note sextet brings the audience to its feet
Boyle's in fine vocal form, but sticks too closely to the path well trodden