I am a co-founder and co-programmer of Highlight Art where I have managed, produced or curated festivals, events and workshops. A selection of these include:
2018 - No Time to Sleep.
On October 10, 2018 – World Day Against the Death Penalty – Justice Project Pakistan and Highlight Arts presented a ground-breaking 24-hour live streamed performance charting the final day of a death row prisoner which reached 1 million viewers.
2016 & 2015 - Learning Labs with Counterpoints Arts: Stories of migration, conflict and place
Daylong workshops exploring the changing nature of digital storytelling and film production in the context of the Syrian war and other places of conflict.
2015 - Found in Translation - A digital poetry project in Iraq
A series of nine short films filmed in Iraqi Kurdistan and featuring poetry recitals and translations by UK and Iraqi based writers.The poetry derives from workshops that took placein Shaqlawa, Iraqi Kurdistan where the poets participated in four days of translation workshops and collaborative poetry experiments.
2014 - Syria Speaks - UK Tour
Marking the publication of Syria Speaks, a unique anthology of uprising literature, art and culture, showcasing the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria, Highlight Arts programed events across the UK.
2013 & 2009 - Reel Iraq Festivals
Marking ten years since the US and UK led invasion of Iraq, Reel Iraq Festival 2013 was a huge endeavour with over 50 events in 9 cities throughout the UK.
Reel Iraq 2009 brought film-makers, writers, artists, lecturers and musicians from, or focusing on, Iraq to Edinburgh.
2012 - Reel Syria (UK)
Reel Syria was a week long festival which presented a nuanced portrait of the country and its people, and to raise funds for humanitarian aid to help those caught up in the violence and repression in Syria. Artsist invited included Ali Farzat, Samih Choukeir, Bill Drummond and Ghalia Kabbani.
2011 - Reel Syria & Lebanon
A trilateral festival of contemporary film, music and literature between Scotland, Syria and Lebanon. Held in Lebanon and UK.
2008 - Reel Afghanistan Festival
A festival that brought together musicians, film-makers anbd artists together in a celebration of Afghainstan, beyond the media headlines.
Highlights Arts is fascinated by the chemistry of encounters, in the scope of the imagination, in unlikely and extraordinary outcomes in untested territories.
We connect a network of emerging and established artists and cultural practitioners from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Arctic, Iraq, the UK and more to follow. We have been working together since 2007.
We create and share alternative stories forged at the intersection of arts, rights and social justice. Stories which challenge preconceptions and stereotypes, explore personal and political narratives, open spaces for local and global conversations and engage new audiences.
Our collective work includes producing and curating festivals, collaborations and new commissions in a wide range of art forms, including film, literature, visual arts, theatre, Live Art, spoken word and music.