Striking, surprising and provocative, the award winning Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (LAAF) is a kaleidoscopic celebration – and exploration – of Arabic culture. This year, it’s back, bigger and bolder than ever, and runs from 02-11 July throughout the city, with The Bluecoat its unofficial hub – and events taking place everywhere from FACT to the Maritime Museum.
The packed programme spans the visual arts, literature, dance, film, food and music. Egyptian superstar Mohamed Mounir personally introduces a special screening of Yousef Chahine’s acclaimed film Destiny, in which the singer – who fuses Nubian rhythms with western pop – also stars. There’s a musical exploration of Palestine, and acclaimed curator Rose Issa has devised Arabicity – a new exhibition showcasing six contemporary Arab artists working in film, photography, painting and stencil.
There’s a reading by Lebanese poet Hyam Yared – member of the Beirut39, a literary award formed by the Hay Festival last year to celebrate the most exciting group of young Arab writers under 40. And, on July 3, The Bluecoat is transformed into a colourful Arabian bazaar for its Family Day: let’s hope the weather holds.
2-11 July, Various Venues, Liverpool
Pic: Robert Cook