Founded in 1998, the LAAF is the UK’s longest-running arts and culture event dedicated to showcasing to UK audiences the best of Arab culture.
While held annually across numerous stages in Liverpool, during the coronavirus pandemic, the LAAF adapted itself by moving its 22nd edition online and then holding the 23rd edition (2021) as a mix of physical and online events.
Over the past years, the festival featured a large variety of creative content from the Arab world through visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature, storytelling, seminars, etc.
The festival is yet to reveal this edition’s full programme, however, the LAAF’s website indicates that it will include events such as ‘Curfew’ — a contemporary dance production presented by Hawiyya Dance Company and Al-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe; ‘Love in the Time of Apartheid’ — a dance piece by Sharaf DarZaid from Palestine; an exhibition by the Arab Image Foundation showcasing the rare photographs depicting 100 years of Arab history and culture compiled by Beirut Printmaking Studio; alongside a new video commission by emerging British-Algerian artist Hannaa Hamdache.
With its edition returning to physical venues, the festival will also feature a Family Day, an event that was suspended for two consecutive years. The Family Day brings together “contemporary and traditional Arab cultural music and dance, along with authentic food, drink, and family activities,” the website notes.
The venues revealed include Sefton Park’s historic Palm House, Unity Theatre, and the School of Art and Design.
“The festival creates a dynamic between traditional and contemporary Arab artforms, encouraging informed debate that explores and increases appreciation of Arab people and their rich cultures,” reads the festival’s statement.
“Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s work continues throughout the year, with a wide range of events and participatory projects that bring together artists and diverse communities. From Liverpool to the Arab world, LAAF builds connections that help more people to encounter and experience Arab culture in Liverpool and beyond,” the festival’s website said.
Chaired by Afrah Qassim, the LAAF is supported by the Arts Council of England and the Liverpool City Council.