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09 October 2012
Some of London's best know institutions including the V&A and Science Museum have joined forces with the Royal Borough in Kensington and Chelsea to deliver the two month long Nour Festival of Arts to show case Middle Eastern and North African art and culture.Nour was created by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at Leighton House Museum and has expanded this year to include the V&A, Science Museum the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, the Ciné Lumière, The Tabernacle and the Mosaic Rooms.Speaking at the launch at the V&A (Monday 1 October 2012) the Royal Borough's Deputy Leader, Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown, said: "In just two years the borough's Nour Festival has grown into one of the most important festivals exploring Middle Eastern arts and culture in the UK. Not only is it part of our commitment to bringing international cultural excellence to the borough, but it also fosters closer ties and understanding with this part of the world and our Arabic speaking communities in the area. "The involvement of the V&A, Science Museum and other leading venues is a testament to the quality of success of the Festival to date. With their involvement we can reach new audiences and explore new avenues into the region, its cultures and art forms." A feature of Nour 2012 is the organisers' call to cultural organisations, big and small, across Kensington and Chelsea to get involved with events that: reflect and celebrate the arts and culture of contemporary Middle Eastern and North African regions promote film, literature, music, visual arts, fashion, dance, cuisine demonstrate artistic excellence and work that is thought-provoking and challengingNour Festival 2012 includes:British Palestinian author Selma Dabbagh as festival Writer-in-Residence. Known most recently for her acclaimed novel Out of It, Selma will deliver a series of workshops on writing and publishing on the following dates.Thursday 15 November, from 7pm to 8.30pm (Creative writing workshop)North Kensington Writers' GroupNorth Kensington Library108 Ladbroke GroveLondon W11 1PZSaturday 17 November, from 2.30pm to 4.pm (In-conversation talk)Al-Manaar: Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre244 Acklam RoadLondon W10 5YGwww.almanaar.org.uk/Sunday 18 November from 3pm to 4pm (In-conversation talk with writer and journalist Bidisha)Leighton House Museum12 Holland Park RoadKensingtonLondon W14 8LZwww.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums.aspxA programme of major concerts at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, including local musician and composer Reem Kelani, Tunisian singer-songwriter Amel Mathlouthi, and Lebanese musician Charbel Rouhana.Leighton House Museum will host a ground-breaking exhibition of work by photo-journalist Bradley Secker highlighting the often forgotten plight of gay and lesbian refugees from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Cutting edge contemporary graphic design by Muiz and spatial design by Dia Batal will be showcased at Leighton House Museum.The V&A opens `Light from the Middle East' an exhibition of photography that reflects elements of the region's social, cultural and political life from the end of the 19th century to the present day.Contemporary Moroccan artist Abderrahim Yamou has his first ever UK exhibition at The Mosaic Rooms.Film screenings from up-and-coming Middle Eastern and North African film makers will be shown at Leighton House Museum in association with the London MENA Film Festival. For more information visit www.nourfestival.co.uk or follow @NourFestival on Twitter.
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