Organised together with Goethe-Institut, with contributions from Rabih Beaini, "Damascus in Exile" is a series of musical dialogues between Berlin and the Middle-East. Local as well as newly-arrived artists come together to present different voices and currents from their hometowns and cultures.
Saturday 22.10. | 20:30-22:00
Masih Tajzai & DJ Mo (DJ-Set)
Masih Tajzai, a young director and filmmaker from Kabul, had to flee from his homeland in autumn 2015. He got to know Mo Loschelder, a longstanding force on Berlin’s electronic music scene, at a Berlin refugee housing initiative where Loschelder was volunteering. Several months ago, Loschelder and other dedicated people formed the idea of FACES, a party with Syrian, Afghan and Berlin-based DJs that would combine their different cultures through dance and music. Masih has since become one of the events residents. Together with Loschelder, he has shaped an evening combining classical and current songs from Afghanistan and worldwide club sounds.
Sunday 23.10. | 20:00-22:00
Lady Falalfella & Nasri (DJ-Set)
Lady Falalfella is an alter ego of Rima Najdi, an artist, who was born in Beirut and currently lives in Berlin. Najdi does multidisciplinary work and is mostly interested in ‘one-on-one’ and interactive participatory performances, where there are no passive spectators. Najdi has won this year’s CTM’s Radio Lab open call and will be premiering, “Happy New Fear”, an exploration of fear and everyday violence, at CTM 2017 Festival. Born and raised on Sonnenalle, Lady Falalfella is a food taster with criminal tendencies. She spends her time unpacking the tastes and flavors that she grew up with, coming from the near by restaurant: Falafel Al Madina. Lady Falafella’s inspiration and affiliation to the electronic and noise worlds, was saprked when she listened for the first time to the beautiful police sirens sounding through her Kiez.
Based between Beirut and Berlin, Nasri is a watchman of words, images, and sounds. He is an actor and cultural journalist, and also a DJ who mixes Asmahan with Delphine Seyrig, Grace Jones, Adawiya, Jeanne Moreau and Yasmine Hamdan.
Wednesday, 26.10. | 20:30-22:00
C-drík Fermont (DJ-Set)
Born in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Kongo), and currently based in Berlin, C-drík is a musician, activist, curator, DJ and author. He runs the label Syrphe, with a special focus on publishing contemporary electronic and noise music from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Together with sociologist Dimitri della Faille, he recently published Not Your World Music: Noise in South East Asia, a book & CD about noise music in Southeast Asia in all its aspects covering topics from art to politics to history, identity, gender and global capitalism.
Saturday, 29.10. | 20:30-22:00
Sohrab & Rabih Beaini (DJ-Set)
Berlin-based by way of Tehran, Sohrab works with independent label, Touch. He also produces and performs as Ahu and runs the record label Shahr Farang. His DJ sets mix traditional songs and instrumental ensembles along with his own sleek house productions.
Lebanese-born producer and DJ Rabih Beaini (formerly known as Morphosis) has, through his Morphine label, telescoped in on key (and often overlooked) voices in avant-garde electronic and outernational music, often revealing the richness of experimental, off-the-western-grid artists and musical currents. Beaini’s genuine musical ability and a range of influences—from the Middle Eastern heritage to Krautrock to New Wave—seep into his inventive, dark, and emotional productions and immersive DJ sets.
Monday, 31.10. | 20:00-22:00
Pieces From Exile showcase with Tom Berkmann, Raman Khalaf. Khaled Kurbeh, Rik Watkinson (Concert)
This evening presents Pieces From Exile, a project by producer Khaled Kurbeh and designer Rik Watkinson, which will be followed by a short performance by trio Kurbeh (synth and drum machine), Tom Berkmann (bass) and Raman Khalaf (oud).
Pieces From Exile takes the form of a record, released in an edition featuring 25 different album covers, each depicting a fragment of a late medieval tile-panel from Damascus now to be found at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The music, that combines hip hop and echoes of trip hop with gentle oud melodies and faraway-sounding quotes in English and Arabic, and the album edition were created in memory of those lost, abducted and displaced by the war. All proceeds oft he album sales will be donated in support of The White Helmets.
Khaled Kurbeh is a Syrian music producer living and working in Berlin. He released his first EP, Pieces From Exile, during Art Week Berlin 2015, in collaboration with initiative kommen & bleiben, and is working on a forthcoming EP with Khlalaf and other Berlin-based musicians, which will be released in early 2017. The project is commissioned by Shubbak, London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture.
Rik Watkinson is a visual designer that co-founded the art and design initiative kommen & bleiben in 2013. Together with Khaled Kurbeh he realized interdisciplinary exhibitions in BOX Freiraum and Smac Gallery Berlin. In 2016 his book about multi-script typography, Type This Way, was awarded by the Type Directors Club NY and nominated for the German Design Award 2017 by the German Design Council.
Contrabassist Tom Berkmann studied at the Jazz Institut Berlin and then as DAAD scholar at Manhattan School of Music in New York. He was a semifinalist in the International Double Bass Competition "Bass 2010" and he received the German Academy Award for the Best Filmscore in 2013 and the German Critics Award at the Berlin Film Festival for the Soundtrack of the Feature Movie "Oh Boy”.
Syrian Oud player Raman Khalaf has performed in various venues and festivals in Germany including the Philharmonie, Potsdamer Tanztage and Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Saturday, 05.11. | 20:00-22:00
Milad Khawam & Al Hasan Al Nour (concert)
This evening showcases an improvisational session between trumpet player Milad Khawan and percussionist Al Hasan Al Nour.
Damuscus-born Milad Khawam began studying trumpet at the age of 10, becoming principal trumpet player in many youth orchestras before continuing higher studies in classical music with Maestro Nahel al-Halabi. In 2015 he co-released the first Qotob Project album, an oriental fusion/instrumental project created by members Maher Khoddor and Bassel Abu Fakher in Damascus. Since relocating to Berlin in 2015, he has participated in several concerts around Germany: Don Giovanni by W.A. Mozart with a International Orchestra, Die kleine Barock Band and Refugees Welcome Jam feat. Ibrahim Keivo, and XJAZZ Festival 2016.
Al Hasan al Nour is a Syrian medical doctor and musician. He is a qanun player (a kind of large Middle Eastern zither) and a volunteer musician with ensemble, N7na. He has also been band leader of the Nabd Ensemble for 2 years. He has joined Banda Internationale in a few concerts since moving to Berlin in 2016.