qatar-uk-logoAs part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) has partnered with Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) to take an exciting selection of contemporary Middle Eastern artists’ films to the Duke of York Steps in London, adjacent to the Institute, as part of its off-site project from 20 to 23 August 2013 offering audiences outdoor cinema on The Mall.

With a three-day programme proposing individually curated evenings, audiences will be able to watch artists’ films by some of the leading names working in the region.

From exhibitions held in East End car parks to inspired events at Glastonbury, the ICA Off-Site projects are proving to be enormous fun and this summer’s ‘Cinema on the Steps’ is no exception. The ICA is delighted to be working with Abdellah Karroum (Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha), Alia Al Senussi  and Abdullah Al Turki who will bring a spirited selection of Middle Eastern artists’ film to The Mall.

Each evening will include a series of short and feature length films. The programme is then curated as follows:

  • Tuesday 20 August 2013 – evening curated by Abdellah Karroum
  • Wednesday 21 August 2013 – evening curated by Alia Al-Senussi and Abdullah Al Turki
  • Thursday 22 August 2013 – evening curated by the artist Ahmed Mater

The screenings and performances are free of charge. Doors open at 7:30 pm GMT, the programme starts at 8:30 pm GMT (except Wednesday which starts at 7:45 pm GMT) and ends at 10:45 pm GMT.

Aisha Ghanem Al Attiya, spokesperson for Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, said:

This collaboration with the ICA provides people with opportunity to experience the work of contemporary Middle Eastern artists in an iconic UK location. This film showcase is an ideal celebration of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture which aims to cultivate mutual recognition, understanding and appreciation of Qatari and British cultures through events like these that both entertain and educate.’

Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture is a programme of cultural exchanges and events in Qatar and the UK coordinated by Qatar Museums Authority and the British Council which aims to forge new and support existing partnerships between the two countries in the arts, education, sport and science, while promoting an awareness and appreciation of each country’s culture, achievements and heritage.

Executive Director of ICA, Gregor Muir, said:

The ICA is delighted to work in partnership with the QMA to present an extraordinary three-day free programme of Middle Eastern films curated by Alia Al Senussi, Abdullah Al Turki and Abdellah Karroum. This programme represents the ICA’s continuing interest in art from the Middle East, this being the second time that the ICA has collaborated with Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha. I hope there will be many further opportunities in the future.’

ICA Off-site: Duke of York Steps is part of a series of off-site events that the ICA will stage across the UK this summer, which started in association with ‘Vogue Fabrics’ at Glastonbury Festival. This was followed by the ICA and Bowiefest at Latitude Festival (18 July 2013) which celebrated David Bowie in 1973, one of the most artistically important years in his career; A journey through London’s subculture: 1980 to Now at Old Selfridges Hotel (13 September – 20 October 2013) which will bring together up to 60 influential artists and art movements from London past and present; and rounding off the season is the ICA’s collaboration with Art on the Underground for Canary Wharf Screen (September – December 2013).

Alia Al Senussi said:

I’m delighted to be involved in the ICA’s outdoor cinema project as it feels very personal to me. The art world in the Middle East is like a family and I’m thrilled to be bringing together some old friends. I spent the first six years of my life in Egypt – historically a creative hub within the Middle East – and so showing works like Manal Al Dowayan’s film is particularly exciting as it has a feeling of nostalgia of a golden era of cinema, and illustrates the incredible transformation of female identity. As I’m half Libyan I hope that awareness of and within the Middle East through the arts will continue to flourish through projects like this.’

The Contemporary Middle East Film season is supported by QMA and the ICA is delighted to be working with additional support from the Mayor of London, The Royal Parks Agency and The Crown Estate.

For more information, visit Qatar UK 2013′s website.