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CASABLANCA Experience the classic movie come alive at the V&A plus live music


Experience the classic movie come alive at the V&A 

on Friday, 22 June, taking place throughout the museum, from 6pm till 10pm (free admission)


On Friday, 22 June, Celebrating Sanctuary London and the Victoria and Albert Museum are partnering up to create a truly special celebration for Refugee Week 2012: Casablanca – the movie, and its related moral and human struggles will come to life in the extraordinary and beautiful settings of the V&A. Optional dress code: black & white, just like the movie.


The iconic Casablanca premiered 70 years ago. It powerfully and poignantly played with themes of flight, refuge, identity, romance, Morocco, North Africa and, of course, piano music. And that’s the inspiration for this ‘North Africa and the Middle East meet Europe’ event at the V&A which explores refugee and migrant experience from the 1940s into the 21st century.


The event will feature free screenings of the film, introduced by journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, and a triptych of grand pianos played by refugee artists around the museum – three amazing reincarnations of Sam in Rick’s café.


- Maurice El Médioni, Jewish Algerian pianist, together with Khyam Allami, Syrian-born, London-based Iraqi musician. It’s a new piano meets oud collaboration, curated especially for Casablanca, bringing together two generations of refugee artists – a tale of two careers: one that started in the 1940s and one starting in the 21st Century.


- The Reem Kelani Quartet featuring renowned Palestinian singer Reem Kelani in the company of three UK Jazz rising stars – Reem’s hot new project which brings together Palestinian songs, works by Sayyid Darwish and Jazz.


- Alex Wilson (UK/Sierra Leone), genius Latin Jazz pianist displaying his virtuoso skills, solo. Amongst Alex’s many  collaborators, you’ll find Courtney Pine, Jazz Jamaica and current megastars of world music, Rodrigo & Gabriela.


There will also be classical Arabic and Andalusian music by Algerian trio El Andalus, Electronic Gnawa Fusion by Soundspecies and Morrocan Gnawa Master Simo Lagnawi, plus performances by Dance Around The World, JC Kamau, Ben River, Zakura and See-Saw; movie mask workshops; Souk soundscapes and conversations.


The programme is free and drop-in unless otherwise stated. Film screenings of Casablanca and discussion with Samira Ahmed must be booked in advance on the Refugee Week reception in the main entrance. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.


Casablanca is one of three free events that make up the biggest and best Celebrating Sanctuary London ever and are adding a loud buzz to this year’s Refugee Week.  The other two events are Celebrating Sanctuary London on the South Bank on Sunday, 17 June and Round The Bloc at Rich Mix on Saturday, 23 June.



Twitter: @cslondonfest @RefugeeWeek

Original “Casablanca” trailer:



Friday, 22 June 2012, 6 – 10pm

Celebrating Sanctuary/ Refugee Week and V&A present

CASABLANCA at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL,

Free admission

Download the full programme (subject to change):

Jimmy Vaughan Podcast

"We break all the rules - we don't care what they  think about how you're supposed to do things these days!"   Jimmy Vaughan podcast Listen to it here

World Music Section

L A Guitars



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