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12/05/2022 - 11/06/2022

Archive & Collaborative Show


Kalila Wa Dimna: Ancient Tales for Troubled Times

P21 Gallery is proud to present Kalila wa Dimna: Ancient Tales for Troubled Times, a collaborative art exhibition and public programme that brings together academic researchers, artists, curators, and community organizations. The project is inspired by the global journeys of an ancient collection of moral fables that travelled across time and space, language, religion and culture.

Known in Arabic as Kalila wa Dimna, the fables have a long and complex history. Of Indian origin and composed in Sanskrit possibly as early as the third century BC, they were translated into Arabic in the eighth century by the Persian writer and influential courtier Abd Allāh Ibn al-Muqaffa’. Over the centuries they have been translated into more than 40 languages and read and re-interpreted almost continuously by different audiences.

Kalila wa Dimna uses storytelling to understand the world and other people, revealing the messy complexity of life, the multiplicity of perspectives and voices that comprise it. The tales reveal that there exists not one world or truth, but many, and unequal at that.

Artists - Alice Kettle, Ali J.Dalloul, DemaOne, Dima Nachawi, Jean Morris, Rayan Elnayal, Vaishali Prazmari & East London Textile Arts (ELTA) and Play for Progress


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King's Cross 21 Chalton St, NW1 1JD