Rapper and producer Oddisee talks to Brownbook on diaspora identity and how his music is shaped by everything from field hymns to Khartoum wedding music.
Rose Issa, curator, publisher and writer talks about becoming a catalyst for visual arts and films in the Arab world
The Iranian-British-American film director, screenwriter and university professor Tina Gharavi is currently making a gangster film about Iranian women in 1980s Paris. She speaks to Brownbook on collective amnesia, the lack of empathetic storytelling, and why she relocated to Newcastle, UK.
With his wealth of humanistic beliefs and intellectual aspirations, Redha Moali quit his job as a banker at the BNP Paribas in Geneva to found Dar Al Mamun – an international residency center for artists and literary translators that features an exhibition space and a social sciences library that stocks books in Arabic, French and English.
Born in Morocco, Hassan Hajjaj made the move to London at the age of 14 where he quickly assimilated into the vibrant local music scene. Hajjaj has gone on to become well-known for his ability to juxtapose European and Arabic influences through his various platforms.
A Cairo-based initiative to encourage creativity and set up by three founders – Nada Abdel Salam, Noha Zayed and Ahmed Kamel – Studio Zafir is a concept store that offers funky home-grown Egyptian products designed by a wide range of artists and designers. The founders stock their T-shirt brand, Zafir which come in witty slogans referencing Egyptian pop culture and social issues.
Tunisian water engineer Amine Draoui left the city behind for a life in sync with nature. Now, Draoui’s life is perfectly synchronised with nature’s rhythm. ‘I start my day with the sun,’ he says. ‘I’m bound by it and can’t sleep longer because when it rises all the animals demand their breakfast.’
Earning his education in Paris, Beirut-based Karim Bekdache looked to influence the region’s creative landscape with his own brand of architecture. Starting Karim Bekdache studio, he looks to re-appropriate vintage design through his own eyes.
A new wave of urban architects – Gregers Tang Thomsen and Selva Gurdogan have set up Superpool – an architectural studio in Istanbul that uses good design to solve social issues.