Shubbak: two weeks. Every two years. Too much to see. Too little time.
Initiated in 2011 by London mayor Boris Johnson, the Shubbak festival of contemporary Arab arts and culture is the largest of its kind in the world. Embracing a wide range of mediums, from street art and underground music to dance and opera, Shubbak is a biennial festival occurring over a span of two weeks in July, across various venues in London. Although I always – for different reasons – miss the festival, I’ll do my best this year to catch the many sights and sounds of Shubbak; whether I do make it or not, though, I at least know what to expect of the 2015 edition, as a result of a chat over coffee one dreary spring afternoon in the city with the festival’s Artistic Director, Eckhard Thiemann.