23 Jun 2018 / 12.00 - 18.00

Eid Festival 2018

Counterpoints Arts is delighted to be partnering with the London Mayor and London Assembly to bring a special Refugee Week programme to the Eid Festival 2018 in Trafalgar Square.

Join us for performances and artists including:

Maya Youssef & Urnina Women’s ensemble

Called after Urnina, goddess of music in Mesopotamia and ancient Syria, our ensemble is leading a revival in the tradition of female music-making by women in the Arab world. In the courts of Baghdad, Cordoba, and Medina women were highly trained in musical composition and performance, as well as in poetry composition and recitation, dance, calligraphy and shadow-puppetry. Despite being slaves, these sophisticated women – known as qiyān – had courtly privileges, and were vital curators of the arts from the 8th to the 13th centuries. 

In revitalising this women’s tradition we will recover neglected Arab repertoires, jewels of the classical heritage that have been forgotten. We offer hope to counter the turbulence of the contemporary Arab world, manifesting the collaborative strength of women’s creativity, and recuperating an artistic heritage that deserves celebration.


favourite 3



Awate is a rapper and producer from Maiden Lane Estate in Camden. He learned from mentors such as Poisonous Poets rappers, Stylah and Lowkey, BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex and one of his heroes, Yasiin Bey. As a refugee from Eritrea via Saudi Arabia, Awate’s lyrics are a complex train of thought on subjects like self-esteem, racism, pride and class.

Poetry from:

Zia Ahmed – a London Laureate and was shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16 + a former Roundhouse Slam winner.

‘Bards Without Borders’ are a refugee and migrant poetry collective formed in 2015 to respond to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare. Featuring: Fatima Diriye – a Somali London-based poet, who explores the realms of vulnerability, identity and personal reflections; Hamdi Khalif – a writer from London who was born in Mogadishu and is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing while also working on two publications; Laila Sumpton – a member of the Keats House Poets since 2010 and an Associate Writer at Spread the Word

Suhaama Elmi – a passionate writer who expresses herself through poetry inspired by her Somali heritage.

Hanna Ali – a writer, poet, project lead, teaching fellow and PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London where she specialises in Afro-Arab identity.

White City Youth Theatre

Children aged 9-10 years old have been creating a piece of theatre called ‘Abu Kassem’s Slippers’ inspired by their Arab World Project where they have been learning about Arab culture and stories. They have worked with storyteller Alia Alzougbi from the Shubbak Festival and this diverse theatre group from White City are excited to share their new performance with you in Trafalgar Square.

Farhad Berahman – Afghan Camera

Iranian photographer and artist Farhad Berahman is based in the UK. The Afghan Camera, or ‘kamra-e-faoree’, is still used as a traditional method of capturing memories by veteran street photographers in Afghanistan and Iran. The hand-made wooden camera acts as both the camera and darkroom, thus working as a ‘2 in 1’ machine. This enables capturing and instant printing of photographs, an individual copy handed to visitors upon processing of the image.

23 Jun 2018
12.00 - 18.00

Trafalgar Square, London


Sign up for email updates about events, news and offers

Counterpoints Arts is committed to protecting your privacy. See our privacy policy for more details.
Collecting your postcode will help us streamline the events we email you about.