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Filotico Arts presents

Magic and Power in Alf layla wa layla: The Thousand and One Nights

Friday 18 November
Venue 2
From £5.00
to £8.00
All orders will be subject to a fee of £1.50 except if your tickets are free or if you are a member

In a nutshell

Picking threads of magic and power in The Thousand and One Nights.

Go on…

How did the relationship between the East and the West change when 18th century Europe chose science over magic?

And can we think of magic as a tool for ‘Othering’?

Through tales of enchantment, an illustrated talk, and debate, Egyptian storyteller Chirine El Ansary, mythographer and writer Marina Warner invite you to listen to, engage with and discuss stories of magical transformations from The Thousand and One Nights. You will dive into tales of Jinn and divinatory astrolabes as well as discuss the importance of stories both to create histories and imagine new futures. 

What to expect

The evening will open with an illustrated talk by Marina Warner on Stories as Thought Experiments: The reason of myth, fairytale and magic

Following on, internationally acclaimed storyteller Chirine El Ansary will premiere a new body of work, especially composed for the night, plucking the strand of enchantment throughout the incredible product of the human imagination which is The Thousand and One Nights.

To close the evening Marina Warner will host a panel discussion and Q&A session with Chirine El Ansary on the role stories can play in creating new futures, on memory, loss and community.

Who’s involved

Chirine El Ansary

Chirine El Ansary is a storyteller and a performer from Cairo. She has performed in ancient buildings, streets and markets in Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo as well as in prisons, refugee camps, remote villages, forests and world-class cultural centres all across the world. Chirine is currently completing a PhD at Goldsmiths.

Marina Warner

Marina Warner's books include Stranger Magic: Charmed States and The Arabian Nights (2011) and Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairytale, just out in paperback. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College and a Professorial Research Fellow, SOAS.

Filotico Arts

Filotico Arts is a new cultural organisation promoting diversity and silenced stories through events, partnerships and artistic support. We combine literature, stories, politics, anthropology and magic to come up with thought provoking and enchanting events. 

This event is brought to you by Filotico Arts and a host of generous and adventurous partners including Mend Mariwany, Treadwell’s Bookshop, the Mosaic Rooms, Write Idea Festival, Surrey University, the Magic Language and Society network, and Rich Mix.

What are people saying

'El Ansary borrows from the historic Arabic storytelling tradition, injecting new perspective into age-old tales, linking history to current affairs in the Middle East' Yasmine El Rashidi, New York Review of Books

'Marina Warner is a veteran magus, and an adept mythographer of the vast global traditions of magic, metaphor and myth' Harold Bloom, The New York Times

Why does Rich Mix matter?

'Rich Mix is one of those rare venues where interesting conversations meet with kindness and art.'

Find out more


Twitter: @LiviaFilotico

Things you should know

Suitable for ages 16+

This event is wheelchair accessible.