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Arts Canteen presents


Until Saturday 18 March 2017
Mezzanine Gallery

In a nutshell

Showcasing artistic works emerging from contemporary Arab women artists in the UK and Europe.

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Multitudes is the first exhibition from SOAS university graduate and emerging curator Joud Halawani Al-Tamimi.

Multitudes is presented at a time when Arab women continue to be misrepresented in the media and used as part of a narrative that portrays the Arab world as backward and regressive. The exhibition aims to increase understanding around Arab women’s realities and concerns while providing an alternative, more nuanced narrative around the Arab region and its peoples.

Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) is an annual festival and celebration of contemporary female artists from the Middle East and North Africa. AWAN brings together a wonderfully imaginative, always-inquisitive Arab arts community and showcases new work created, envisioned and produced by women across a wide spectrum of forms from spoken word, music, visual arts, theatre and dance. AWAN is open and invites new audiences to experience and interact with artists and artwork that might not otherwise have a platform. Building on the last two editions of the festival, this year AWAN continues to offer its platform to a multitude of voices for an experimental, inspiring and thought provoking three days at Rich Mix from 10 – 12 March 2017.

What to Expect

Multitudes deconstructs what it means to be an “Arab Woman Artist Now” by taking the audience on a journey from the political, to the social and personal and ultimately to the purely aesthetic.

Who's Involved

Héla Ammar is a Tunisian based visual artist. In addition to her training in visual art, she holds a Phd in Law. Generally, her photographs and installations lie in the framework of a reflection on the stakes of memory. Identity is often at the centre of her concerns, that of the individual, of a collectivity or an entire population- often drawing on themes like Orientalism and ‘the Other.’ Her work also explores issues surrounding gender in the Middle East.

Alia Ali is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American multi-media artist and visual storyteller. Having travelled to fifty-three countries, lived in seven and grown up among five languages, her most comfortable mode of communication is through image and multi-sensory mediums. Her work reflects on the politics and poetics of contested notions surrounding the topics of identity, physical borders, universality, mental/physical spaces of confinement, and the inherent dualism that exists in everything.

Izdehar Afyouni is a Jordanian multidisciplinary artist with a background in academic figurative drawing. She works with a range of material forms: sculpture, painting, sound, text and performance. Her current work explores themes of political identity, sadomasochism and the body as a revolutionary tool.

Lubna Abdel Aziz is a young self-educated fine art photographer from Alexandria, Egypt. Lubna's photographs are not only for viewing, they are for participation. The viewer is required to unfreeze that which is hidden in these beautiful and thoughtful tales. Lubna has taken photography into an uncharted realm that reveals aspects of human nature, both brutal and beautiful. These are deep, visual stories that afford the viewer the possibility of altering one's state of consciousness.

Asmaa Al Anbari is an Iraqi artist, architect and visual director based in London. The underlying thread of her practice is bringing together visual art and the general public. Iraqi born and multicultural in her approach, her language of choice is that of semi-abstract expressionism. She uses it to bring alive ideas and stories from contrasting cultures, anthropomorphizing objects and harnessing the power of compelling story telling. The human body, maps and satellite images are key to her work for their power to record and narrate. Her work also often references her experience as a woman and encompasses reflections on the artist’s internal landscape.

Nessma Djhouri is a London based Algerian artist currently studying Fine Arts and Art History at Goldsmiths University of London. Nessma Djhouri’s practice began with an exploration of the notion of barriers through a fixative observation on the expressiveness of hands. She used them to create feelings of restriction and scathing. Her work has evolved from a comment on the physical conditions of the individual to an expression of what the affects are of a transgressed culture in a collective of people. It is the materialization of a speculative imagination of Algeria’s political and cultural collective memory through various spaces and time.

Nour Malas is a London based Syrian artist currently studying Fine Arts and Arts History at Goldsmiths University of London . As an Arab woman raised in the U.A.E., her strong familiarity the Middle Eastern culture lead her to work with the notions of being a woman within this context. Nour’s work mainly concerns the taboo of intimacy, and family relations within an Arab social structure, and its affects. Following Lucy Lippard’s words of ‘materializing anxieties’, Nour’s keen interest in psychology her research to be focused on Melanie Klein’s concept of the internal object and the self.

Maya Beano is a British-Jordanian artists born in Amman. Most recently she has been exploring photography as an art form. Drawing on themes of loss, memory and nostalgia, Maya’s aim with her photography is to transform surreal moments in nature into visual narratives. Most of her work is characterised by a deep sense of wistfulness and a yearning for simpler, softer times.

Dala Nasser is a Lebanese artist. The defiance in Dala Nassar’s work, of conventional conceptions of painting, is clear. Working with liquid latex, resin and pigments, her materials interact both with each other and with the external environment, namely oxygen, to change form and appearance over time. Her work therefore offers the viewer temporally distinct experiences.

Find out more


Twitter: @ArtsCanteen

Facebook: /Arts-Canteen /ArabWomenArtistsNow/

Things you should know

This event is wheelchair accessible.