Maya Wind and Eran Efrati from the dissident organization Anarchists Against the Wall will speak at the Levantine Cultural Center on their work challenging the dividing wall Israel built both along the Green Line and on Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank. The group works in cooperation with Palestinians in a joint popular struggle against the occupation. Since Anarchists Against the Wall launched in 2003, the group has participated in hundreds of demonstrations and direct actions against the wall specifically, and the occupation generally, all over the West Bank. All of AATW's work in Palestine is coordinated through villages' local popular committees and is essentially Palestinian led. AATW activists argue that it is the duty of Israeli citizens to resist immoral policies and actions carried out in their name, and believe it is possible to do more than demonstrate inside Israel or participate in humanitarian relief actions. Read more about Anarchists Against the Wall here, and here. This program is presented by the Levantine Cultural Center, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA and LA Jews for Peace. Café Rumi open earlier for Middle Eastern mezze, dinner, coffees, teas and more.
Are we addicted to war? Have you had it up to here with the war economy? Want to work for peace? Peace Anonymous will hold its first gathering at the center on April 1st (no fooling). Johnny F., author of Peace Anonymous, The 12 Steps to Peace (Xlibris 2013) will lead the workshop. This initiative models itself on the successful AA system, in which millions of alcoholics and addicts, regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation, have been able to join hands and work together to solve their common problem: The spiritual malady of addiction.
An addict defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Based on that definition Peace Anonymous asks: Are we addicted to war? If so, can the same 12 Steps utilized the world over to bring peace into the lives of those afflicted with the disease of addiction be adapted as a program to deal with our addiction to war?
On Thursday, April 10th, see this exciting, very funny show, laugh with six Middle Eastern American stand-up comedians to humor that is satirical and universal.
Come watch Academy Award nominated 5 Broken Cameras followed by a conversation with co-director Guy Davidi about the film and filmmaking. Davidi will discuss the creation of this film, the directorial choices and complexities of directorial collaboration such as writing and editing and making decisions during shooting.
5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later given to Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit.
$10 general, $8 members, $6 students. Presented by JVP-LA in its new monthly film night series. RSVPs to 323.413.2001.
Café Rumi open early for dinner or mezze.
Ava Nahas world percussion series for the doumbek (Arab tabla) at the Levantine Cultural Center is a two-day workshop to harness the power, style and artistry of the doumbek, a singular and essential drum in the panoply of Arabic music, from Morocco to Iraq. Sat., March 29, 11:30 am-1:30 pm and Sun., March 30, 1:30-3:30 pm. Ava Nahas is a world percussionist who performs with MESTO, Bedouin-X and her own world music ensemble. She teaches at Remo and other studios around the southland. Visit her Facebook page.
Register early by March 15th and save, just $65 for both workshops or $40 for one; regular price $85 for both; $50 for one. You can register by phone, call the LCC, 323.413.2001 or email email@example.com with "Ava Nahas" in the subject and include your phone number. Still have questions? Contact Ava directly, 310.433.3531.
The Levantine Cultural Center presents an evening devoted to the exploration of contemporary Turkey, first with the documentary screening of Başlangıç (The Beginning), a new film that tells the story of the Gezi Park anti-government protests which gripped Istanbul, Turkey from May 2013. What began as an occupation of a central Istanbul park by environmental protesters angry at plans to develop it into a shopping center, quickly developed into nationwide protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his increasingly conservative Islamic policies. Directed by Serkan Koç, produced by Dominic Brown, the film is sure to spark conversation as the unrest in Turkey continues.
After the screening the audience is invited to enjoy a concert of Turkish music in English and Turkish (every ticket includes a complementary arak, or raki). The Istanbul singer known as Kutsal along with Burak Besir will perform a one-hour show. In addition to some of Kutsal's original material, Kutsal & Burak will also be singing some protest songs from the 70's & 80's period of Turkiye & US, songs that underscore the uprising soul of the documentary. The duo will also be covering pop/rock songs from the same era. Guest singer/violinist Elif Savas Felsen will be accompanying Kutsal & Burak on some of the songs.
The Inside/Outside Gallery at the Levantine Cultural Center presents دورود Dorood: New Art from Iran, with an opening reception on March 28, 2014. Dorood will be on view daily through April 27, 2014. This exhibition includes dozens of new and recent works from younger/underground artists working in Tehran and other cities in Iran, curated by Azeri-Iranian American artist Marjan Vayghan, who travels back and forth between her two countries and very much experiences life "being between worlds." Many of the artists in Dorood are showing work in the United States for the first time. The term "Dorood" is a formal ancient Persian term for "Hello" or "greetings" and was inspired by one of the artists, Elaheh Mahdavi, showcased in the exhibition.
Notes curator Marjan Vayghan, Dorood is not an exhibition about "saving Iran" or "giving Iran's youth a voice"; Iran and the youth of Iran are not apart of some entity that needs "saving." The artists in this exhibition, she points out, are not subalterns in need of exposure. Rather, the works showcased are extant of raw, pure talent and contain strength that can only be forged within the gears of adversity. Life in Iran's Islamic Republic presents many challenges to individual freedom of expression, yet Dorood recognizes the fact that these artists are in some sense already empowered and the exhibit therefore is a site for cultural exchange. Dorood is bringing the voices of young Iranians to the West so that we can benefit from the epic knowledge, perspective and audacious talent of Iran's youth. Gallery exhibitors are welcome to address comments and thank you letters directly to our artists.
An evening at the Levantine Cultural Center explores Pakistan and Pakistani-American identity, with special guest Shahan Mufti, author of the new book The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War. Joining Shahan Mufti in conversation are two other American artists born in Pakistan, actor/writer and comedienne Mona Shaikh and painter/animator and writer Adnan Hussain. After Shahan Mufti presents his book on Pakistan, the three young Pakistani Americans will engage in a free-ranging conversation on politics, immigration, identity and the arts. Everyone is welcome and a Q & A with the audience will ensue.
About The Faithful Scribe former US Ambassador to Pakistan Ryan Crocker has written, "If you want to understand Pakistan and the Pakistani-American relationship, read this book." Lesley Hazleton, author of The First Muslim and After The Prophet, writes, "After reading Shahan Mufti, a political junkie like me feels as though she's begun to understand Pakistan for the first time. Movingly and compellingly written, The Faithful Scribe is invaluable reading for anyone who's ever asked 'What's really happening there?'" The New Yorker notes that Mufti's "talent for explaining the political through the personal—particularly the 'tormented embrace' between his home countries—benefits from the uncanny convergence of his family's milestones with Pakistan's."
Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -3:30 pm, March 15, 2014. Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. The Levantine Cultural Center is located at 5998 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90035 between La Cienega and Fairfax. Info/reservations 323.413.2001 or just show up. Grab a drum or bring your own and join the fun! Visit carpetconcert.com or rowanstorm.com.
Suggested contribution Part One ~ Basic Lesson: $10. Part Two ~ Rhythm Circle: $10. Suggested contribution for both parts: $15.
Journalist and documentarian David Sheen has studiously documented the plight of the African asylum-seekers and Israel's draconian response. In his first Los Angeles appearance, he will screen footage he has shot on location and provide context for Israel's drive to deport Africans as but the most recent manifestation of the country's efforts to limit and reduce the proportion of non-white non-Jewish people in the country. This public forum is presented by Jewish Voice for Peace-Los Angeles and made by possible with underwriting provided by Anonymous (2). Read a recent article by Sheen at muftah.org. More info, visit David Sheen's web site.