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


Scheherazade’s Night – Nour Festival

Nour Festival of Art shining light on the best of contemporary art and culture from the Middle East and North Africa in venues across Kensington and Chelsea each October and November. And this year Arts Canteen presents an evening of entertainment bringing together an exciting mix of Middle Eastern and North African female artists, sharing their voice, experience and talents through poetry, music, dance and comedy. The line-up includes: Hala Ali, Roya Arab, Zahra Barri, Olcay Bayir, Tania Diggory and Nadine Khouri.



Thursday, 22 October 2015 from 7.00 pm to 10.00 pm

Doors open at 6.30 pm



The Tabernacle

34-25 Powis Square

W11 @AY London



About the Artists

Hala Ali:

Saudi Arabian-born, London-based performance poet with a unique and distinctive style, exploring text, language and meaning.

Roya Arab:

musician, curator and archaeologist, one of a handful of Iranian artists signed to a western label and recording with various artists throughout the 1990s. After a sabbatical, Roya is creating music again.

Zahra Barri:

Irish-Egyptian stand-up, actor and presenter, who hit the scene in 2011 with her special brand of comedy. 

Olcay Bayir:

London based Turkish-Kurdish songwriter, composer and classically trained singer with a velvet voice, her music is inspired by Anatolian musical traditions.

Tania Diggory:

English Jordanian dancer and creative producer, Diggory’s work focuses on the disciplines of Hip-Hop, Middle Eastern dance and Indian dance.

Nadine Khouri:

Lebanese-born singer-songwriter currently based in London. A guitar-wielding folkie, with a love for moody soundtracks and spoken-word.


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The Guardians

Adel Quraishi was commissioned to produce portraits of the eight remaining ‘Guardians’ of the Prophet’s Mosque by the Governor of Medina in Saudi Arabia. Once numbering in the hundreds, the Guardians are keepers of the keys to the Prophet Muhammad’s burial chamber. Quraishi is the only man to have been permitted to photograph these subjects, the last of their generation. Quraishi’s sensitive handling is evident in the emotion conveyed by his sitters, while his technicality shines through in the radiant composition of the photographs. Rendered on a large scale, it is impossible not to be moved by the connection between viewer and subject.



Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ


21 October to 29 November 2015

Monday to Sunday

10:00 to 17.30

Please note Leighton House is closed on Tuesdays


Free with entrance ticket to the museum £7 | £5 concession
020 7602 3316

High Street Kensington


In partnership with The Park Gallery

About the Artist

Adel Quraishi is a Saudi Arabian photographer. Born in Al Khobar in 1968, he grew up fascinated by the photographic medium and experimented with various cameras from a young age and into adulthood, before taking up the practice professionally in the early 1980s.


Birthmark Theory

londonprintstudio is delighted to present the work of Libyan / Canadian artist Arwa Abouon, Subtle and approachable, using historical traditions and idioms of her religious background to produce playful and questionable imagery, Birthmark Theory is Arwa Abouon’s first solo UK show. A narrative on identity, duality and spirituality is always present in her work, as are her family members. In return, the work challenges the observer’s pre-set conceptions of the taboos surrounding her identity as a woman and a Muslim. Presenting her work as diptychs, the images read together as one, a metaphor of being between two cultures and finding a balance where duality becomes a blessing, instead of a curse.

Curated by Najlaa Elageli, Noon Arts

In partnership with londonprintstudio



londonprintstudio, 425 Harrow Road, London W10 4RE



20 October to 7 November

Tuesday to Saturday | 10.30 to 5.30 pm



020 8969 3247



About the Artist


Libyan Canadian artist Arwa Abouon was born in Tripoli and emigrated with her family at the age of one. She studied art and photography at the Concordia University in Montréal. Arwa Abouon is represented by The Third Line, Dubai


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.