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ASWAT Commissions
Saturday 30 Marc
h at 5pm
Rich Mix, London E1 6LA
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ASWAT (meaning 'voices' in Arabic) is a platform spotlighting emerging artists with a practice within performance art who identify as Arab Women.


This year, AWAN Festival is partnering with Artsadmin and Rich Mix to co-curate the ASWAT commissions for the AWAN Festival 2024. 


We have selected five artists for the commission to showcase their work in an exhibition at Rich Mix on Saturday 30th March.


Meet the featured artists:

Alia Hamaoui – British-Lebanese visual artist

Bint Mbareh – Palestinian sound artist

Jessica El Mal – British-Moroccan artist and curator

Riwa Saab – A cross-disciplinary artist working across theatre, poetry, and music

Tasneim Zyada – Palestinian poet, spoken word and writer


The commission includes a three-day residency at Toynbee Studios, a £1,500 artist fee, producer support from Artsadmin, Arts Canteen, and Rich Mix, and the opportunity to showcase work as part AWAN Festival on Saturday 30th March at Rich Mix.


Curated and co-produced by Arts Canteen, Artsadmin and Rich Mix. ASWAT commissions is generously supported by Cockayne Foundation.

An Exhibition by Malak Mattar
1 - 30 Marc
There will be a private viewing on Friday 1 March 2024 from 6 - 8pm

Rich Mix, London E1 6LA
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"CUTS" unveils a collection of responsive sketches by Palestinian artist Malak Mattar. Over the course of her eight-week residency at An Effort Art, Malak created more than 100 pieces in direct response to the tragic events unfolding in Gaza.


In a departure from her previous vibrant and colourful style, this exhibition reveals a raw and uncompromising emotional reaction. Here, we showcase a compelling selection of these works, offering a profound glimpse into Malak's unfiltered and powerful artistic response to the ongoing crisis.


There will be a public viewing of Malak’s work on Friday 1 March 2024 from 6-8 pm.




Malak Mattar (b. 1999) began painting at the age of 13. She started showing and selling her work online and, three years later, remarkably had a sell-out solo exhibition at the Palestine Museum in Bristol, UK.  Since then her work has been shown in almost 80 countries.


In 2018, she won the highest scholarship in Gaza – second across her year group in Palestine as a whole – to study abroad, and she graduated with a BSc in political science from Istanbul Aydin University (2022). Malak has a large international following and she is also a writer and illustrator: her celebrated children’s book Sitti’s Bird: A Gaza Story (2022) is a best-seller pending its third edition in 2024 due to high demand. In October 2021, Malak’s work was the cover for GQ Middle East.


As a talented and promising individual, Malak has an exceptional Global Talent visa to the UK and now lives in London, where she had another solo exhibition earlier this year and is currently studying a two-year Masters of Fine Art (MFA) programme at Central Saint Martins.


As a Gaza native, who survived numerous military assaults in Gaza, Malak has been using this difficult and emotional time to go deep into her practice and is using her time at the residency to document the humanitarian losses unfolding. The importance of Malak’s work on the contemporary Arab art movement cannot be understated. For many, her work has become the leading voice of her generation and an instantly recognisable symbol.


Produced by Arts Canteen.  Supported by Arts Council England, Bagri Foundation & An Effort Art Residency. Photos by @phoebewingrove

Fables of the Sea
An Exhibition by Rehaf Al Batniji
Fri 1 - Sat 30 Marc
Rich Mix, London E1 6LA
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Discover artist Rehaf Al Batniji's moving interpretation of stories from the Palestinian shores

Part of a wider photography project by the artist entitled ‘Who turned the light off’, the images in this exhibition raise questions about demanding or advocating for that we simply have given up dreaming possible.

Rehaf is a self-taught photographer and visual artist who has lived through four major conflicts. Her work captures the essence of life, culture, and identity. Choosing to be creative in the most challenging of times is one of the highest forms of resistance and love.


Rehaf too believes in the power of art as a source of healing and justice, and spends much of her time teaching photography to both youth and adults in Gaza, helping them simultaneously capture and process their extraordinary way of life.

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