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Lama El Homaïssi: Not Harem Material x Artistic Freedom Initiative's Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound

Lama El Homaïssi: Not Harem Material x Artistic Freedom Initiative's Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound

October 14, 2023

Lama El Homaïssi returns to Joe’s Pub with a debut of her solo cabaret, Not Harem Material, in which she weaves storytelling and music to immerse audiences in a multi-sensory chronicle of her experiences as a Lebanese, immigrant actor in the United States. Delivering a performance that is provocative, funny, and touching, Lama reflects on notions of identity, authenticity, and home all while playfully confronting monolithic Middle Eastern tropes in Western media. Not Harem Material is presented as part of Artistic Freedom Initiative's Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound festival.

Lama is an actor, singer, and writer and is currently in residence at the Safe Haven Incubator for Musicians, a residency program run by AFI, Tamizdat and Westbeth Artists Housing. She was also a member of the 2022-2023 Joe's Pub Working Group as well as a SPACE on Ryder Farm resident in 2022.

Not Harem Material was developed with generous support from Joe's Pub, Westbeth Artists Housing, and Artistic Freedom Initiative

Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound is a celebration of the extraordinary queer artists and fierce allies who are fundamental to the fight for artistic freedom worldwide.

This multidisciplinary, multi-day arts festival is presented by Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI). It centers intersectionality, LGBTQIAP+ identities, and allyship, featuring cutting edge artists BIA FERREIRA (Brazil), LAMA EL HOMAÏSSI (Lebanon), FARAZ ARIF ANSARI (India), and MEHRDAD HASANI (Iran). Wielding the power of performance and storytelling, Bia, Lama, Faraz, and Mehrdad demonstrate how queer musical, theatrical, and film narratives disrupt dangerous norms and uplift those that venerate free expression.

Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound honors the many diverse and beautiful forms queer identities, art, and allyship can take. Further, this festival acknowledges that queer artists from countries or communities where sexuality, gender identity, and artistic freedom are restricted face heightened levels of persecution, censorship, and forced displacement. Finally, this festival champions LGBTQIA+ artists around the world who courageously exercise the right to artistic freedom. It champions the rights to create, move, live, and love freely - unbound and without fear.

AFI is unwavering in its commitment to promote freedom of artistic expression. To that end, we provide pro bono immigration representation and resettlement assistance to persecuted and censored artists.

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell


October 14, 2023


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SAT 10/14 7:00 PM