Ahead of the launch of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) this Friday, 5 July, we caught up with one of its 2019 artists, queer British-Syrian writer and activist, Lisa Luxx, to find out more about her work and what she has planned for her Liverpool visit.
Lisa will be performing at VideOdyssey at Toxteth TV this Saturday 6 July, alongside, Palestinian writer, performer and activist and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s Artist in Residence for this year, Dana Dajani, and Yemeni-Scouse poet, Amina Atiq, for They Write the Shadows Into Light.
These three inspiring voices, who form part of LAAF’s powerful female line-up for 2019, will unravel themes including refugees, belonging, love, war and diaspora. Lisa’s performance will even include her recent work, Lesbian, which you read about online at Diva magazine.
Make sure you don’t miss out by booking here.
Who runs your world?
I run my own damn world. I worked hard to create a life where I could be my own boss, where I could make decisions based upon my own integrity and curiosity and desires. However, my sisterhood is full of my greatest guides. Two I’d like to mention today are: Salma el Wardany, the poet, essayist and business owner who teaches me how absolute conviction in yourself is the greatest self protection. And who always gives me, the nomad, a soft environment to stay and create my best work in. Also Tania Safi, the filmmaker and video journalist, who reminds me of the stunning value of true concentration and who also nudges open my capacity to love when my heart starts to close itself again.
Which woman empowers you?
Sabrina Mahfouz. She is my mentor for the novel I’m writing, Honey Eyes. Her belief in me has been one of the most spell-binding forces of motivation. It helps that I respect her so, so highly, so when she expresses respect in return the impact is phenomenal.
What do you think the future holds for women?
An ever-growing understanding and trust in sisterhood. As messy and ecstatic as it can be, our relationships with one another will be what strengthens our place across societies. The more we can learn to listen to one another, the richer we become.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Don’t try to be a leader alone. Dismantle the pyramid system, which means dismantling the notion there should be one icon at the top. Work within a network to positively shift the structure of society into a web formation rather than the ‘leader’ and ‘followers’ shape that perpetuates oppressions. Do it by sharing resources, time, money and responsibility with other women in your community. If you don’t feel you have a community, find one, build one and put your faith into it.
What are you most looking forward to at LAAF and what does it mean to be part of it?
Being a part of LAAF feels like being welcomed into a family, to take a seat at a table as if that seat had always been waiting for me. And it’s an incredibly supportive, artistic, intellectual and emotionally astute family! This will be my first time at LAAF though I’ve been working alongside the team for some months, so I can’t wait to see their visions actualised. As well as my own performance on July 6th alongside Dana Dajani and Amina Atiq – They Write the Shadows into Light – which is going to be such a special, magical, stunner of a poetry night! – I am really psyched to see Chronicles of Majnun Layla on Sunday 7th July which is produced by the beautiful soul, Alia Alzougbi. We’re all very lucky to have something like LAAF in the North of England.
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) runs from 5 – 14 July at venues across the city, for full programme details, visit: http://arabartsfestival.com
Featured image credit: Suki Waterhouse