Socialist Worker

Jeff Perks | Mark Wallinger: State Britain | Diwan 2: Rachid Taha | African Soul Rebels

Reviews round-up

Issue No. 2034

“The Times. Page 45. 655,000 dead Iraqis.” by Jeff Perks

“The Times. Page 45. 655,000 dead Iraqis.” by Jeff Perks


Jeff Perks exhibition

Since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, artist Jeff Perks has been creating and printing graphics in response to the news. Over 30 of these anti-war graphics are going on display in Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Derbyshire, from Saturday 20 January to 10 March. Entrance to the exhibition, Words Out Of War, is free.


Mark Wallinger: State Britain
Tate Britain, London SW1
until 27 August free entry

This provocative specially commissioned work from one of Britain’s leading sculptors recreates the display of placards put up in Parliament Square by anti-war protester Brain Haw – a display that was torn down by the police on 26 May last year.

Socialist Worker cartoonist Leon Kuhn contributed two of his works to the reconstruction of Brian Haw’s display, which were then weathered to make them look as if they had been outside for many months.

The work is intended to raise “challenging questions about issues of freedom of expression and the erosion of civil liberties in Britain today”, according to the Tate – but its anti-war resonances will not be lost on anyone.


Diwan 2
Rachid Taha
Wrasse Records

The french-Algerian musician Rachid Taha – who performed at an electrifying Stop the War gig in London last year – revisits his north African immigrant heritage in his new album Diwan 2.

Taha blends traditional music – embodied here by the Cairo String Orchestra and the mondoluthe player Hakim Hamadouche – with his distinct modern arrangements

Racism and exile are two themes running through this work. Taha reminds us of how some of the north African musicians who emigrated to France during the 1950s and 1960s would change their names to hide their origins.

Others, in contrast, would play in the bars and cafes of Paris’s immigrant quarters, giving solace amid drinks and cigarettes to north African immigrant workers toiling away in the hardest of jobs.

Taha’s album is not just beautiful music – it brings to life the experience and the cultures of a generation of north African workers that official France would prefer to remain invisible.


African Soul Rebels
touring Britain from Wednesday 14 February

Don’t miss this chance to see African musicians Femi Kuti, Akli D and Ba Cissoko play on the same bill as part of the African Soul Rebels tour.

For details of dates and venues go to www.musicbeyondmainstream.co.uk – tickets for these concerts are bound to sell out fast, so you’d be wise to book early.


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Reviews
Sat 20 Jan 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2034
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