Nour Festival of Arts 2016


Nour Festival 2016 Call for Submissions Now LIVE

Nour Festival welcomes submissions for the 2016 programme, celebrating the best of contemporary arts and culture of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) every October and November in venues across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.


Nour prides itself on the high quality, contemporary nature of the work it features, and is non-political and non-religious in nature but recognises that both can inspire great art. It offers audiences insights into the diverse make-up of the Middle East and North Africa today, challenging stereotypes of this region and its people through cultural expression. Above all, Nour Festival looks to inspire, and be inspired by, these reflections that have established Nour as a crucial meeting point for East and West.


Nour welcomes artists, creatives and cultural practitioners of these regions, their diaspora communities, and those whose work is inspired by this region of the world, to submit proposals that demonstrate the vision and values of the festival.

Your Submission

Please ensure you read in full the Nour 2016 Submission Brief here, before submitting your proposal using the online submission form here.


Submissions should be as detailed as possible, particularly in the funding requirements. As the Festival’s commissioning resource is limited, proposals that already have funding in place or a strategy for fund-raising will be at an advantage.


The Closing Date for submissions is 17:00 GMT on Friday 8 April 2016


Submissions will be considered throughout April, during which time the Festival Team may be in touch with you. Proposals will then be shortlisted, with the programme finalised in June. If you have not heard from us by the end of June, your application has not been successful this year. Given the high volume of submissions, we cannot provide individual feedback on unsuccessful submissions.


If you have any enquiries with your submission, please contact the Nour Festival Organisers | 020 7361 3618

Arts Service Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


Arab Women Artists Now

This is the Launch event of Arab Women Artists Now a one-day festival coinciding with International Women’s Day and will be a showcase for exceptionally talented Arab women artists working in the UK on 12 March.

It will increase the visibility of their work and expose new audiences to these under-represented communities and cultures.

Special guest : Juliana Yazbeck

Juliana Yazbeck was born in New Jersey, USA, to Lebanese parents who fled the Civil War. At the age of five, she moved to Lebanon and was raised there until, at 22, she moved to London. Juliana’s mixed background has influenced her musical style and political lyrics. Combining poetry and music, Western and Middle Eastern styles, and tribal beats with smooth harmonies, her songs tell stories focused on gender, war, displacement and love. Juliana is also a writer and music entrepreneur and is currently finishing her debut album.




March 2nd at 8.00 pm – 11.00 pm


Rich Mix

35-47 Bethnal Green Road

London, E1 6LA


020 7613 7498


The Journey

Joha explores the themes of loss of identity, home, diaspora and overcoming the physical and psychological boundaries created by conflict, specifically in his own personal story of growing up in Palestine.


اكتشف موضوعات: فقدان الهوية والمنزل والشتات والتغلب على الحدود المادية والنفسية التي أوجدتها الصراعات، وتحديداً في قصته الشخصية من النمو في فلسطين.

“The Journey’ operates on a number of levels. It is primarily a creative journey through the work of Mohammed Joha. However, it is also a journey of human experience in which determination, resilience and joy are affirmed” Valerie Grove


“الرحلة” تعمل على عدد من المستويات وهي في المقام الأول رحلة الإبداع من خلال أعمال محمد جحا. ومع ذلك، فإنها أيضاً رحلة التجربة الإنسانية التي تقرر وتأكد المرونة والفرح “فاليري غروف

Mohammed Joha – The Journey

A public viewing and music concert

Wednesday 3 February 8pm – Rich Mix


محمد جحا – الرحلة

معرض وحفل موسيقي

الأربعاء ٣ من فبراير الساعة ٨ مساءً 



Mohammed Joha bio:


Mohammed Joha was born in Gaza in 1978 and graduated in Art Education from Al-Aqsa University in 2003. Through mixed techniques of collage, painting and photography, much of his work has explored the questions and experiences of childhood, and the loss of innocence and freedom experienced by the current generation of children in Gaza. He was winner of the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award in 2004. He has been selected for workshops and residencies in Amman, Jordan and Cites des Artes, Paris.


Besides participating in exhibitions worldwide, he had his first solo exhibition, Dreams in Black and White, at the Mosaic Rooms, London, 2011. Most recently, his ambitious project, The Jasmine and Bread Revolution, was shown in 2012 at The Courtyard Gallery, Dubai as well as exhibiting at Rich Mix, London as part of Despite, 2012, Traces and Revelations, Oriental Museum – Durham University 2014.


The private view featuring “Watan Trio” classic (muwashahat and maqamat) and popular Arabic music of the mid-20th century, the programme will include a selection of instrumental and vocal pieces from historically interconnected cultures in Palestine and from the wider Middle East.


The Trio includes


Saied Silbak, a highly respected composer and master of the Oud


Elias Farsoon, a renowned singer and Qanoon player


Iba` Abu Khalaf, an established percussionist and singer


Afterwards DJ Faisal Hamdan who will play an hour of his collection of Old Vintage Arabic Vinyl Record Albums.


Independent curator : Aser El Saqqa


Please join Arts Canteen for the Open House on 3 February, 6pm.

The event has free entry



Not Towards Home, But The Horizon

The Mosaic Rooms present the first UK solo exhibition by Syrian artist Marwan, featuring paintings, etchings and works on paper. Marwan is considered a leading artist from his generation, both internationally and in the Arab world. Marwan is now 81 years old and this exhibition is a celebration of his life’s work. Featuring works selected from the artists studio to showcase the breadth of his practice, from the 1960s up to the present day, it offers UK audiences a rare chance to encounter Marwan’s unique and inspiring oeuvre.


The exhibition journeys through stylistic approaches, with the main motif always remaining the human head. The early works tend towards a more formally figurative approach, with aspects that challenge the traditional, including a flatness of plane, a disproportionate rendering of the skull, limbs appearing and disappearing. From here the expression becomes stylistically freer, larger in scale, more focused on solely the face, beginning to abstract it with vivid brushstrokes and colours. This leads to the visual language audiences are perhaps more familiar with: bold strokes of paint and layers of colour forming the faces themselves; emerging from and submerging into the paint. Form is shaped through the tension between one brushstroke and another, suspended between surface and depth.


Marwan’s latest works, on show here for the first time, see a reduced layering of the surface, a pared down sensibility, which leaves the faces and marionettes floating amidst the white of the canvas. Throughout the artist’s body of work the head is used as multifaceted form to encompass and project the depth of human experience.


Also on display for the first time in London will be Marwan’s 99 Heads series, ninety-nine etchings made between 1997 and 1998, which reference Sufism and the 99 names of God. A space is always left to represent one hundred, a place of light, the attainment of God.


Marwan Kassab-Bachi was born Damascus, Syria, in 1934, and is based in Berlin. He studied Arabic Literature at the University of Damascus (1955-57) before moving to Berlin, Germany, to study painting. From 1980, he held a professorship at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. Marwan has exhibited mainly in Germany, but also in the Middle-East and U.S.A., and has works in many public collections, including Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, Darat al Funun, Amman; National Museum, Damascus; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; British Museum, London; Tate Modern, London; Barjeel Art Foundation; Sharjah; Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi; Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; and Städel, Frankfurt.



The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road

London SW5 0SW



9 October to 28 November 2015

Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 am to 6.00 pm




020 7370 9990




About the Artist

Marwan Kassab-Bachi (b 1934) was born in Damascus, Syria. He lives and works in Berlin. He has exhibited widely internationally in group and solo shows. His work is represented in major national and international museum collections.