On Tuesday, February 8th, 2022, in partnership with Noor Theatre, TIMEP hosted the final installment of our three-part series on representation of Middle Eastern artists in film and media featuring Khalid Abdalla (Egyptian-British actor and activist), Raphaelle Macaron (Lebanese illustrator and comic artist), Rana Roy (actress, producer, and director), Rania Lee Khalil (Egyptian-American visual artist and performer), and Joumana Altallal (Iraqi-Lebanese writer, researcher, and artist) and moderated by TIMEP Executive Director Ramy Yaacoub.
In parts one and two of the series, TIMEP invited a number of renowned artists and creators to share their personal stories about the community’s struggle for authentic portrayal in Western creative spaces, while also providing insight to improve in all aspects of the industry.
In Part III, TIMEP introduced a new set of voices to the conversation: visual artists and other storytellers whose mediums go beyond traditional media and include theatre, written and spoken word, and even comics as a form of subversive communication. Through the inclusion of these important voices, TIMEP aimed to facilitate a candid conversation about these specific fields and grant audiences a better understanding of the industry through the lens of Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern artists.
Noor Theatre is an Obie-winning company dedicated to supporting, developing and producing the work of theatre artists of Middle Eastern descent.
Watch the conversation here:
Rana Roy began her 23-year career in the arts as a professional dancer in the Middle East, leading to an album deal with Universal Records and touring with Rihanna in the U.K, and making her way to the U.S.A, acting for film, television and Broadway. In recent years she has shifted her focus to directing, writing and producing. Her threatre credits include the play Ink on Broadway, nominated 6 times for a Tony award, and her TV credits include The Blacklist (NBC), Gossip Girl Reboot (HBO Max), Ramy (A24-Hulu), Queen America (FbWatch), The Night Shift (NBC), Life Sentence (CW), Underground (WGN), Switched at Birth (Freeform), Social Distance (Netflix), Britannia High (ITV). She directed, wrote, and produced the upcoming film Chicken.
Khalid Abdalla is an actor, producer, writer and filmmaker. Among his film credits are leading roles in United 93, Green Zone, The Kite Runner, The Narrow Frame of Midnight, and In the Last Days of the City – which he also produced. Upcoming roles include Dodi Fayed in The Crown. He also appeared in the Oscar nominated documentary, The Square. Khalid was a founding member of three collaborative initiatives in Cairo – Cimatheque, Zero Production and Mosireen. Cairo and London are his two cities.
Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese writer, researcher, and artist who was born in Baghdad, and grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program and is the recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writer’s Conference, and the Radius for Arab American Writers. Joumana is the founder of the Grief Hotline, an anonymous audio project archiving messages of grief, and is currently working on her first book. You can find her on Twitter @joualt, or by visiting www.joumanaaltallal.com
Rania Lee Khalil makes performances and moving images for live audiences. Her artworks reflect on the beauty and disappearance of indigenous plant, animal and human (culture)s. Her work has been seen in places including The Ontological-Hysteric Theater and HERE Arts in New York; Aomori Art Museum Japan, Al Ma’mal Contemporary Art Foundation Palestine, Zawya Cinema Egypt, Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art Finland and the 56th Venice Biennale. The daughter of Egyptian immigrants, she lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, and is the mother of one daughter. She teaches in the MFA program at Parsons School of Art, The New School and is the founder of the upcoming World Majority Free School. www.ranialeekhalil.net
Raphaelle Macaron was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon where she completed her studies in illustration and comics. Since 2012, she has been working as a freelancer in illustration, comics and design. She is an active member of the collective Samandal. She loves music, concerts and collects records impulsively. She is currently based in Paris where she is working on her first graphic novel.