Anne Louise Kershaw and Mustafa Alachkar introduce Celebrating Syria Festival…
For the Refugee Week Arts Festival this year I got to work with a lot of great groups, collectives, festivals and artists from around the city. One of the highlights was the Celebrating Syria Takeover which was a wonderful success and saw our cafebar full of Syrian art, music and creativity. Building on the success of that I’m really pleased that we are Partnering with their 2018 Festival.
We have three wonderful events lined up including Is Home Really Where The Heart Is? on Tue 9 October, an informal gathering and discussion asking: What does ‘home’ mean to us? What emotional connection do we have to the word and the concept?
That same evening we will have Legends of Love and Pain: An Evening of Poetry and Music With Samir Kanou and Peshang Abdulhannan, where the meeting of Syrian Arabic poetry and Syrian Kurdish music promises to be a stirring and unforgettable night!
Finally on Thu 11 October we have Women, Art and Revolution: Panel Discussion, which asks what it is like to be a female artist at a time of war and revolution. How do Syrian women artists express themselves as individual women while still represent their people’s struggle for freedom and dignity?
The festival runs across Manchester until Sun 14 October and, ahead of festivities, we’re pleased to have Mustafa Alachkar tell us more…
For many people, the little they know of Syria and its people and history comes from media coverage of the conflict. However, Syria is so much more than that. Its beating heart is filled with the treasures emanating from that deep well of artistic creativity. The Celebrating Syria Festival 2018 provides opportunities for the people of Manchester and beyond to taste some of those riches.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Celebrating Syria Festival, the 2018 festival will run for nine days from Sat 6 to Sun 14 October, at various venues in and around the city of Manchester.
The theme of this year’s Festival is ‘home’. Home can be construed in so many ways, but a common thread throughout all of the festival events and activities is that the cultural heritage from which they originate is the country that the Syrian people call home. Memories of home will shine through many of the performances, creations and events that we offer you. The various interactive workshops, discussions and meetings with authors and artists also aim at building a bridge between Syrians and their wider community in the city of Manchester which, to a lot of Syrians, has become a home.
Events include film showings, talks, concerts, discussions and workshops, together with an exhibition which will run for the duration of the festival. For full details and for the festival programme, please visit the festival website.