An avant-garde interpretation of belly dancing paired with a musical pursuit of freedom in an occupied nation

Age limit 18 yrs
Doors open: 18:30
Start: 19:30

Oslo World and MUNCH present a double concert with Khansa and Bashar Murad – two groundbreaking artists with queer backgrounds who represent the range and potential of contemporary Middle Eastern pop music.   
The Beirut-based artist Khansa is a male Lebanese belly dancer, which is quite rare in an art form that has long been dominated by women. He is a multifaceted artist, and in addition to belly dancing, he is using vocals, recorded music, and performance art to express himself. “The goal is to break many stereotypes of classical and traditional Middle Eastern values regarding masculinity,” he says. Born in Ghobeiry, one of Beirut’s southern suburbs, Khansa got interested in gender-bending performance from a young age, and was inspired by Arab stars like Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. He is part of a long tradition of the type of belly dancing that traces its origins to Egypt and today has distinct styles present there as well as in Turkey and in Lebanon.  
Khansa wants to make room for something new. Through movement and genre-bending music, he aims to express power and eroticism. His avant-garde electropop weaves a universe of sensual electronica that flirts with contemporary baladi dance. His performances are a series of vignettes with different cultural references spanning from religion, art or having a coffee with an ex, to sharing untold stories about the SWANA region that celebrate love, intimacy, eroticism and Arab queer identity. 
Bashar Murad is a Palestinian pop artist, singer/songwriter, and filmmaker producing globally influenced pop music rooted in the Palestinian spirit. His music challenges stereotypes and highlights social issues facing Palestinian youth, including living under occupation and within patriarchal settings. Whether performing in a wedding dress or singing about gender diversity, Bashar is always taking risks and expanding critical thinking. His single “Klefi/Samed” was a collaboration with the Icelandic Industrial Punk band Hatari, who gained attention for unfurling scarves with the Palestinian flag during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest held in Tel Aviv. Bashar also performed with them on Icelandic television and around Iceland, Roskilde Festival, and Tallinn Music Week. Bashar’s musical sounds span pop, electronica and modal inflections rooted in his expansive and creative sonic world.  
His latest EP "Nafas" was followed by his participation in the Icelandic Eurovision National Selections with the song "Wild West," which landed him in second place in Iceland’s Eurovision final. Murad will be visiting Oslo World during this summer’s Pride week and we’re excited to welcome him back during this year's festival at MUNCH

Photo:  Anna Maggy