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The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Shubbak Festival 2021

Shubbak Festival 2021. A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture

Join a guided tour of a distant city where nothing seems to make sense. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

In this city, daily life is stranger than fiction: you can see the sea but are forbidden to touch it, being honest is illegal and those with ancestral connections to this place are forbidden to enter it. Propelled by a need to tell the city’s story before it is forever forgotten, a resident records the stories behind his favourite places. 

Your journey to this mysterious place will take place within the area surrounding the Barbican. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and an open imagination. Headphones will be provided for audiences to follow the story along the tour. Co-created by Ramzi Maqdisi, a Palestinian actor, filmmaker & writer and director Olivia Furber.

Duration: 70 minutes walking. Age Guidance: 15+

The performance contains sensitive material and references to violence. The headphone soundtrack includes some loud and sudden sounds. You will have access to control the volume yourself. Headphones are sanitised before each use. You'll just need comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for any potential wet weather.

Performed in English


Sat 3 July, 3.30pm
BSL-interpreted performance

The route of this tour will be accessible for wheelchair users.

Presented by the Barbican and Shubbak Festival. London premiere commissioned by Shubbak Festival.

The piece was developed with the support of The British Council, Hoch X, The Albany, Ensemble 52 and the Blast Theory Residency Programme.



‘An invitation to share experience and a provocation to look beyond the surfaces.‘
Claire Brennan, Journalist
‘With wit and imagination, it takes us on a tour of two places at once. It is beautifully performed, powerful and left me thinking about it for days afterwards‘
Matt Adams, Artistic Director, Blast Theory

Digital programme

Barbican Centre