Announcing The Royal Institution as a festival partner with upcoming event

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As part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity,  join us for a discussion with expert speakers offering a global perspective of scientific progress and a radical retelling of the history of science, exploring how scientists from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific have shaped our understanding of the world.

The panellists include Dr Lawrence Dritsas (Edinburgh University), Dr Matheus Alves Duarte da Silva (St Andrews University), Dr Hansun Hsiung (Durham University) and Dr Federica Gigante (University of Oxford, History of Science Museum).

Tickets here for the event ‘Towards a Global Story of Science’

The National Museum of Australia is participating in the Khalili Foundation and UNESCO festival initiative

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We are delighted to be collaborating with the National Museum of Australia as part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity.

Firstly, on Saturday 13 May 2023, there will be a special event in association with the National Museum of Australia’s exhibition Feared and Revered: Feminine Power through the Ages.

Experience a tapestry of sights, sounds and tastes in this celebration of cultures and communities from around the world. Taste delicious food, browse market stalls, enjoy music and dance performances and get inspired with our family friendly activities and workshops at this free event.

We are also very excited to share the exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters that showcases five First Nations songlines from Australia’s Western and Central Deserts. It uses over 300 paintings and photographs, objects, song, dance and multimedia to narrate the story of the Seven Sisters and their creation of the continent as they travelled from west to east.

The exhibition is currently showing at Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

As part of the festival we will share a video of the visit of First Nations community representatives to the exhibition launch in April.


Khalili Foundation supports Museo De Arte de Lima in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity celebrations

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We are glad to announce that Museo De Arte de Lima is participating with three events in the UNESCO festival initiative.

Firstly, a workshop called  “The transformation of territory as seen through art” will focus on the transformation of the landscape through the centuries. Local problems will be addressed, such as population growth and its impact on the environment, the process of urbanisation and citizen transformation from migration. Participants will  think about possible solutions through collective artistic creation.

There will be a talk about museums for the promotion of sustainable development and well-being, as part of the Month of Museums. Guests will discuss the ways in which museums contribute to the promotion of well-being and enjoyment, the creation of sustainable futures, and the development of our communities through its exhibitions, educational and public programs, and research and community outreach activities.

‘The Courtyard Fair’ – ‘La Feria del Patio’ -seeks to promote the economic reactivation of artists and independent ventures, which were affected by the consecutive crises in Peru. The event is proposed as a platform for artistic projects, independent brands and ventures, to bring them closer to the public interested in learning about new proposals, and acquiring accessible artistic pieces and objects.

Find out more


Heritage Malta is participating in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity 2023

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We are delighted to announce a special opening of Fort St Elmo and the National War Museum with re-enactors bringing history to life in every corner of the museum. Travel back in time through Roman, Medieval, and Early Modern eras, right up to the French occupation of Malta and World War II.

Heritage Malta is the Maltese national agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage.

Find out more here

Announcing MAKAN, the Egyptian Centre for Arts and Culture, as festival partner

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Makan, the Egyptian Centre for Culture & Art was founded in 2002 to record and promote traditional music in Egypt, increasingly in danger. The centre documents and presents traditional music in Egypt as a vibrant and renewable resource, a multi-layered point of reference to the cultural richness of Egyptian music and arts.

The musicians of Mazaher, Um Sameh, Um Hassan, and Nour el Sabah are among the last remaining Zar practitioners in Egypt. Zar music unfolds through rich poly-rhythmic drumming: its songs are distinctly different from other Egyptian music traditions.

Photograph: Om Sameh performs on the stage of the Egyptian Centre for Culture and Arts-Makan in Cairo.

Enjoy this video that Makan has prepared especially for the World Day of Cultural Diversity.


The Vietnam National Museum of History is participating in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity

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We will be joined by The Vietnam National Museum of History in our 2023 festival celebrations. The museum will share a short film named “Vietnam’s betel and areca cultural heritage through the collection of artefacts at the National Museum of History”.

The video introduces the heritage of betel nut and the custom of betel nut eating – a unique cultural feature of the Vietnamese people.

To be released in May.

Introducing Matenadaran, the world’s largest repository of Armenian manuscripts, as festival partner

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We are delighted to share the Matenadaran in Yerevan, Armenia as a participant and partner in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity.

The project is a 3D tour of the whole Matenadaran museum complex. The virtual tour comprises of the permanent exhibition hall where selected samples of Armenian manuscript art and miniature painting are currently displayed. This hall gives an overview of the most diverse fields of Armenian historiography, literature, science and culture going back to the early Middle Ages.

You will also be able to experience the exhibition hall, which holds foreign-language manuscripts from Latin, Greek, Arabic, Persian, Georgian, Ottoman Turkish, Ethiopian and more, highlighting the cultural diversity of the collections. In addition, visitors can view the hall dedicated to the manuscripts from Artsakh and Utik.

The foundation is delighted to share this immense project with our audiences.

Explore the 3D tour here

SOAS Festival of Ideas participates in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity

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The Khalili Foundation is proud to announce the SOAS Festival of Ideas as a partner for the World Festival of Cultural Diversity. Under the theme ‘Thinking Through Music’, the 2022 festival offered live music, hands-on workshops, film screenings, specialist panels and intimate discussions with music theorists & music makers on decolonising music education, improvisation, dance, DJ culture and more. A highlight concert from leading Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko closed the festival.

Photographs 1-2: Kadialy Kouyate and Ballaké Sissoko by Mike Skelton

An evening of improvisational music conducted by Ahnansé and London-based Steam Down collective, joined by students and staff from the SOAS Music department. A beautiful coming together of cultures, musical styles and influences. Festival Director Caspar Melville led a discussion with writer Emma Warren, journalist Kevin Le Gendre and Steam Down leader Ahnansé.

Photograph by Aman Pathiara

Sound & Solidarity provides a space for collective explorations of music. Hosted by Sound Advice & Arman Nouri, the gatherings celebrate the power of music and collective discussion in articulating approaches to challenging colonialism and offering solidarity. In an intimate and relaxed setting, participants listen and discuss tracks altogether, resulting in a collective playlist.

Photograph by Humothy

We invite you to watch the 2022 SOAS Festival of Ideas event recordings.


Sir David Khalili’s investiture presided by HM King Charles III

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During the investiture presided by His Majesty King Charles III at Windsor Castle on November 16th 2022, Sir David Khalili was honoured with a Knighthood for his services to interfaith and charity.

In the announcement made by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Government in 2021, Sir David – founder and chairman of the Khalili Foundation – was described as “the embodiment of interfaith harmony.”