Salon / NetworkPopChange

Pop Culture Meets Social Change Retreat 2021: Comedy (Day 2)



Thursday, 18 March 2021






By invitation.

Certain events will be live-streamed to Facebook and Youtube — check the programme.

Hosted by


Salon / NetworkPopChange

Pop Culture Meets Social Change Retreat 2021: Comedy (Day 2)

Day 2: Comedy

Please note this event is taking place online by invitation only. Select events will be live-streamed to Counterpoints Arts’ Facebook and Youtube; see below for links where available. All times listed are in GMT/UTC.

9:30 – 10:30
Coffee Hour
10:30 – 10:45 Comedy Sketch – Nabil Abdulrashid wows the judges and the audience at Britain’s Got Talent.
Daily Reflections / Day overview — Jo Glanville, Jamal Khadar feat. Mohammed Ali
10:45 – 12:00 In Conversation: Comedy, migration and social change — Suchandrika Chakrabarti (host), Nabil Abdulrashid, Fatiha El-Ghorri, Mo Omar and Abdulwahab Tahhan
Exploring the role of race, identity and migration in the world of stand-up comedy. Hosted by writer and comedian Suchandrika Chakrabarti with stand-ups Mo Omar, Fatiha El-Ghorri and Abdulwahab Tahhan, followed by Q&A. Plus a specially recorded interview with Britain’s Got Talent sensation Nabil Abdulrashid.
12:00 – 13:30 LUNCH Networking
13:30 – 14:45 How can we expand the critical conversation around standup comedy? Jamal Khadar, Brian Logan, K Biswas, Momtaza Mehri and Rachael Healy
What role do comedy writers, critics and reviewers play in shaping the conversation around stand-up and social change? What’s missing in the way we write and think about stand-up and identity? How much is it about who is doing the writing and how can we include a wider range of voices? Hosted by comic and writer/researcher Jamal Khadar, with Guardian comedy critic Brian Logan, poet and critic Momtaza Mehri, writer and activist K Biswas, writer and critic Rachael Healy. Followed by a Q&A.
14:45 – 15:30 BREAK
15:30 – 16:00 Reviews in Transit — Breakout Rooms
How can we influence/develop the critical conversation, including on open platforms.
16:00 – 16:15 Wrap up — Jamal Khadar
16:15 – 17:00 BREAK
17:00 – 17:15  Speed Networking
17:15 – 18:20 Lounge Chats
18:20 – 18:30 Wrap Up — Jamal Khadar
20:00 – 21:30
Bookings open to public
No Direction Home – Live!
(retreat guests will receive a link by email to join on Zoom)
Join us for an evening of laughter hosted by the brilliant Mo Omar and featuring new comedians from the No Direction Home Collective: Meron, Krzysia Balinska, Abdul Tahhan and Nour-Ani Sisserian. Plus special guest headliners Fatiha El-Ghorri and Britain’s Got Talent sensation Nabil Abdulrashid.
No Direction Home is a pioneering project featuring stand-up comedians from refugee and migrant backgrounds, mentored by award winning comedian Tom Parry. It was created by Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Camden People’s Theatre and Tom Parry. Since 2018 they have performed gigs around the country, including at the Southbank Centre in London and in a virtual UK tour online.


Abdulwahab Tahhan


Abdul is a comedian and a freelance journalist and host of the award-winning "Integrate That!" podcast about refugees by refugees. He is a member of the No Direction Home comedy collective.

Brian Logan


Brian Logan is the Guardian's comedy critic and the artistic director of Camden People's theatre (which partnered with Counterpoints Arts to create the No Direction Home stand-up comedy project).

Fatiha El-Ghorri


Muslim | Female | Hijabi | Comedian. Fatiha El-Ghorri has performed at comedy clubs across the country and was recently a guest on the ITV show Jonathan Ross Comedy Club.

Jamal Khadar


Jamal Khadar is a writer and researcher. He has written about comedy and identity for the Guardian. As a social researcher, he works to help organisations understand people, culture and new behaviour. Jamal also performs improv at theatres in London and Amsterdam and hosts a hobby pop culture radio show.

Jo Glanville


Jo Glanville is a journalist, editor and radio producer. Her writing on culture and current affairs has been published in the Guardian, London Review of Books, New York Times, Financial Times and Times Literary Supplement, among other publications.

K Biswas


K Biswas is a critic and essayist on everything from populism to the politics of grime music. In 2019, he founded The Race Beat, a network for journalists of colour working in the UK, and is the Director of Resonance FM, and the editor of Representology: The Journal of Media and Diversity.

Krzysia Balinska


Krzysia is a performer, drama facilitator, activist and an aspiring stand-up comedian with experience in theatre-making, facilitation, and organising. Krzysia joined No Direction Home at Counterpoints Arts in 2019 and is super excited to keep discovering the art of stand-up comedy.



Born in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Meron began exploring her love for comedy with No Direction Home and has already done several gigs online. Her background is in dancing, especially in African styles and teaching.

Mo Omar


Somali-born, Cardiff-raised and London-based, Mo Omar is a fast-rising stand-up comedian with a unique perspective on culture, faith and love. Recently making his TV debut on Harry Hills Clubnite on Channel 4, Mo was a finalist in the BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award and won the Leicester Square New Comedian Of The Year competition in 2017.

Mohammed Ali


Art meets faith, identity and social change in Ali’s work, adorning the canvas of walls and public spaces and continues to change the visual landscapes of the cities we live in. His art has inspired and informed a new generation across the globe, to boldly express their identity and ideals. He has been a pioneer in the street-art movement, fusing street art with Islamic script and patterns, delivering powerful and moving messages. Mohammed founded Soul City Arts in Birmingham.

Momtaza Mehri


Momtaza is a Somali poet, essayist and meme archivist. She is the co-winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize.

Nabil Abdulrashid


Nabil Abdulrashid is an English comedian of Nigerian descent. In 2010, at the age of 22, he became the youngest black comedian to perform stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo. Nabil reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2020 and will launch a nationwide tour later this year.

Rachael Healy


Rachael Healy is a journalist and editor whose work mostly covers culture and health and has appeared in publications including The Guardian, i news, Grazia UK, Vice, Huck and The Independent.

Suchandrika Chakrabarti


Suchandrika is a freelance journalist and comedian. Since starting out in comedy a year ago, she has written for The News Quiz and The Now Show on Radio 4. She was a semi-finalist in the Funny Women Stage Award 2020, and is a finalist in the upcoming BCG Pro Talent Awards for Performance 2021.

More about this

Pop Culture meets Social Change Retreat 2021

field note

5 March 2021

Welcome to our first online ‘Pop Culture meets Social Change Retreat’.