Coastal town has Arab connections going back to 1890s
The North East of England boasts a proud maritime and industrial heritage that has all but disappeared from today’s landscape along the River Tyne. Over the course of 100 years, thousands of sea men from Yemen settled in the small
town of South Shields and made it their home. This multimedia exhibition features interviews with and portraits of 14 of these sailors, the last survivors of the first-generation who settled in South Shields.
The works in the exhibition reveal the heritage of this community, whilst challenging the boundaries of conventional modes of representation and authorship associated with social histories and archive. Collectively, this exhibition creates a historical portrait depicting formerly unheard migration stories that span across the British colonial and post-colonial era.
The exhibition also features the film \"The King of South Shields\" which
revisits the Yemeni-British men who met Muhammad Ali when he came to
the North East of England in 1977 and had his wedding blessed in
Shields’ Al-Azhar Mosque, the first purpose-built mosque in Britain.
South Shields has had a vibrant Arab connection stretching back to the
1890s. This exhibition also offers a timely exploration and
understanding of the complexity of British-Arab identities.
The project was initiated in 2005 by Iranian film director Tina
Gharavi founder and Creative Director of Bridge + Tunnel. Gharavi was
educated in the US and France. She is currently a Lecturer in English
(Digital Media) at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Bridge and
Tunnel commissioned internationally renowned Egyptian photographer
Youssef Nabil to create a series of photographic portraits for the
The exhibition is on at the Mosaic Rooms (nearest tube: Earls Court)
until March 22, 2013.