Artist studios hosting events, live music, talks & screenings


Poets of Protest, Q&A, live poetry

EXCLUSIVE sneak preview of work in progress Al Jazeera documentaries.


Poetry in the Middle East lives and breathes like few other places.


An open forum discussion where the filmmakers will be talking about the making of the Poets of Protest series of documentaries and the role of poetry as a form of protest. We are also proud to present Ghalia Kabbani a Syrian fiction writer, journalist and columnist who will be reading some poems from the poets in the film.


5pm Friday May 4th, click here for FREE tickets


Poets of Protest uses narrative observational documentary to reveal the hazardous lives of six contemporary poets, while beautifully filmed interludes provide visual interpretations of their works – a glimpse of the soul of the Middle East.


From the Egyptian folk hero whose poetry was performed in Tahrir Square, to a Saharawi war poetess in the Al Auin camp – this unique series of beautiful films will challenge pre-conceptions in both its content and visual form.


One of the documentaries extacts include  “Yehia Jaber – Laughter is My Exit”, directed by Roxana Vilk. A moving and comedic journey with the acclaimed Lebanese poet Yehia Jaber, a former communist soldier whose disillusion with war forced him to swap his gun for a pen. This film takes us from his busy artistic life in downtown Beirut, where he performs his comedic poetry, to the graves of his parents in southern Lebanon, his memories of battle and the inspiration for his darker work.


Director: Roxana Vilk
Camera: Ian Dodds
Editor: Ling Lee
Sound Design & Music: Peter Vilk


Screening in partnership with Al Jazeera English ArtscapeKitchen Sink Film, Reel Festivals , Scottish Documentary Institute.


Ghalia Kabbani is a Syrian writer who has worked as a journalist since 1979 and is currently a columnist at Al-Hayat newspaper. In 1992 she published a volume of short stories and in 1998 her first novel, The Mirror of Summer, in Cairo. Her second collection of short stories was published in 2003, and her third in 2005. She recently published her second novel Secrets and Lies which deals with Syrian lives under Assad’s family regime. In 2008 she was chosen to be a member of the first jury for Arab novel prize IPAF,(the Arabic version of the Booker) and she is a board member of Exiled Writers InK in London.