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Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2019 line-up revealed

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is taking place in the city and the 2019 event has the theme of Shadow and Light.

Music, art, performance, theatre, talks, workshops and family-friendly events are running from July 5-14.

The theme was inspired by Beau Beausoleil’s exhibition of the same name which is receiving its UK premiere at the Northern Lights hub in the Baltic Triangle from July 6-14.

Shadow and Light is a collaborative project honouring the lives of more than 400 Iraqi academics killed in targeted assassinations between 2003 and 2012 on university campuses, in the street and even in their homes.

A UK premiere also opens the festival on July 5, when US-born Lebanese performer Juliana Yazbeck presents her debut record SUNGOD in the Royal Court Studio.

Above: Julia Yazbeck. Photo: Carmen Zografou. Top: Chronicles of Majnun Layla. Photo: Saheer Obaid.

The festival will also showcase The Trace of a Butterfly, a tribute to Palestinian singer and activist Rim Banna who died in 2018, and which will feature performances from Arab musicians including Tania Saleh, Lebanese artist, singer and songwriter Tania Saleh and Palestinian pianist, composer Faraj Suleiman.

Theatre includes Chronicles of Majnun Layla (often called the Arab Romeo and Juliet) at the Unity, which will also play host to Lebanese visual artist and performer Yara Boustany’s dance spectaculars, ēvolvō and One Day and One Night Beirut.

Meanwhile LAAF welcomes artist Dana Dajani as its artist in residence for 2019, bringing her theatrical poetry with gesture and character to four festival events.

One Day and One Night Beirut. Photo: Nelly Teddy

They include the world exclusive of her one-woman show Heroine with a Thousand Dresses at Bluecoat on July 13, taking the audience through the diverse and eclectic wardrobe of her own grandmother - a boutique owner in Jerusalem whose love of fashion was her mode of self-expression.

The festival comes to a close on Sunday, July 14 with the annual Family Day at Sefton Park Palm House.

LAAF Chairman Mustapha Koriba said: “This year’s theme Shadow and Light invites us to reflect on the Arab lived experience and how arts and culture can be a powerful tool to help us navigate the paths between all aspects of it.

“So often Arab culture is presented in rigid ways, dominated by a single narrative, traditionally one of war, struggle or dispute.

“We continue to address this narrow perspective and instead find inspiration in the rich tapestry of Arab culture and the joy that new connections and exchanges of ideas can bring.”

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival runs from July 5-14. Full details from the website HERE

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