Arts, culture, and feminism in MENA

Arts, culture, and feminism in MENA
Cosmopolite Scene
Wednesday 26. April 2023
The doors open at 17:30
Concert starts at 18:00
Ticket price
Free entrance
Age limit
18 years with valid ID

Arts, culture, and feminism in MENA

Prior to Souad Massis concert on the 26th of April, Cosmopolite Scene has invited Nasim Mashak (DJ), Enja Sæthren (Actress), Mariam Kirollos (Senior Advisor and musician) and Zeina Bali (Cultural Director) in an exciting discussion about the important role that culture and art play in the women’s rights movement in the MENA region.

The Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi has long been a resounding voice echoing calls for freedom, justice, and equality in her songs. On Massis latest album “Sequana” she has covered her eyes with daisies, explaining the symbolism by saying she “put this flower because beauty – art and music – gives a lot of courage. And a lot of hope to continue fighting.”

The question will take Souad Massis songs as an inspiration to ask: How can arts and culture serve as tools and platforms for cross-border feminist solidarity?

Prior to Souad Massi concert, Cosmopolite Scene has invited activists, artists and cultural workers with experiences spanning Morocco passing by Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, to Iran to share their reflections on feminism, intersectionality, freedom, equality and the role of culture and arts in international women’s movements from Norway to the Middle East, and beyond.

PS: The event is free and open to the public. The concert by Souad Massi is taking place 45 min. after the panel has ended, and the bar will be open.

The session will be in English at Belleville scene, and there will be time for Q&A.


Nasim Mashak
“I hope one day I can return to Iran and play in the roundabout at the Tajrish-square, where I grew up.”
Nasim was born in Iran and moved to Norway at the age of 16. Nasim has studied art at Oslo National Academy of the Arts and is a popular DJ at numerous nightclubs and events, performing as DJ Daeva.

Enja Sæthren
“Becoming an artist in Morocco involves higher risks and sacrifices than in western countries, thus making that choice tends to become a defining feature of your identity. I think that helps explain why I experienced the artist movement in Morocco as so powerful, and so politically important.”

Enja Sæthren is an actress and a political scientist, holding a master’s degree in international relations from Sciences Po Paris. Through her international diplomatic career, she has supported women’s rights in different regions and countries, including Sahel, Lake Chad, Nepal and Morocco. During her time in Morocco, she created and performed her own one-woman show (“Mes Mecs”) at the National Theatre and has featured in several international and national film productions from Morocco.

Mariam Kirollos
“Culture and arts have a very central position in the women’s movement in Egypt and many other countries in the Middle East, and is a source of great inspiration.”

Mariam is an Egyptian feminist researcher, activist and musician based in Oslo. She’s also a co-founder of Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment & Assault.

Moderated by Zeina Bali, Managing Director of Masahat for Arab Culture in Exile, an Oslo-based organization working on curating and presenting arts, culture, knowledge and history from the Arab world.

Souad Massi

Following the panel, at kl. 20.00 the Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi will give a concert to honor the International Women's Day. See separate event: