7 - 9pm, Thursday 23rd Jun


VELVET SOCIETY: Power and Glamour in 90s Damascus

P21 Gallery, in a collaboration with Litehouse Gallery, is honoured to present the first UK exhibition of creative acts of survival, Velvet Society tells the story of artist Heba Alakkad and civil engineer Raghad Mardini.

Two Syrian Muslim women from different backgrounds, they connected through the creativity of visual arts. Viewers can bear witness to their testimonies of liberation from religious and patriarchal violence. Photographs, art objects and items of fashion are displayed to create a commentary on feminism, female freedom, and Syrian history, linked by the medium of textiles.

Textiles carry powerful signs of non-verbal communication. Whether in the context of fashion or as an artistic medium, fabric covers us, representing individual identities that can be played with, disrupted, and challenged. Scraps of fabric wear with age, as do our bodies marked by class, gender, and culture. Clothing can conceal and reveal feelings and symbolically perform shifting social values.

By bringing these stories to UK audiences in a seductive display we’ll allow fashion fans and art lovers alike to consider the political nature of clothing and how it shapes the representation of women in fashion, society, and art. Audience’s beliefs about Middle Eastern women will be challenged, and they will have the opportunity to learn creatively about recent Syrian history.


King's Cross 21 Chalton St, NW1 1JD