Pathogen of War

Shubbak Festival
Yasmin Fedda

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Time: Every hour, 2pm to 7pm

Tickets: Pay What You Can (Recommended Price £6)*

*all orders will be subject to a transaction fee of £1.

Running Time: 30 mins

Age Recommendation: 14+

This event takes place in person in our Members Bar and New Committee Room. 

Shubbak Festival and BAC present the preview of Pathogen of War: An immersive experience exploring a mysterious killer born of war. In 2023, this pathogen kills between 50,000-100,000 people a year. 

We’ll take you forward to 2073, a decade after the Bio-Rift – the moment when all bacteria became resistant to all our antibiotics, resulting in the deaths of around half the human population.

This speculative interactive work combines real science with a possible near future looking at the dangers of antibiotic resistance. As participants, you’ll be undertaking learning module mandated for all citizens of the Recovery Administration showcasing new research by their Museum of Medical Archaeology about what caused the Bio-Rift and what lessons can be drawn to prevent it from happening again.

Iraqi medical anthropologist Dr. Omar Dewachi will take you on a journey to understand the how Acinetobacter baumannii went from being a relatively benign bacteria, to a “perfect killer”, also known by its US moniker ‘Iraqibacter’ or the ‘invisible enemy’.

Together you’ll reveal the many layers of this bacteria’s social history – from the microscopic to the geopolitical, unearthing how the consequences of war can drive pathogens, which threaten the viability of antibiotics, and our health, globally.


Shubbak Festival is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab arts and culture. Shubbak Festival is taking place across London, key UK locations, and online throughout 23rd June – 9th July 2023.

Cutting-edge artists feature alongside distinguished names in its ambitious programmes of premieres and new commissions. With a vibrant mix of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature and debates, Shubbak showcases the diversity and innovation of contemporary Arab arts and culture, and celebrates what makes it distinctive to itself.




This event takes place in person in our Members Bar and New Committee Room. These spaces are on the first floor, with step-free access via a lift.

If you have booked a ticket you will receive an email from us before your performance detailing important information about your visit.


If you require the assistance of a friend or helper to attend, we can make a free ticket available for your companion. You can book access companion tickets online or contact the Box Office to book by 

To book a free access companion online:

  • log in to your account here
  • go to ‘Other preferences’ and tick ‘I require a personal assistant/companion’.
  • Choose the performance, date and seats you would like and if you add at least 2 tickets to your basket, then one of these will automatically become free.



  • Loud music
  • Potentially distressing scenes
  • War trauma related content

Printed transcripts of the full audio experience and spoken text will be available for all performances.

All performances will be Relaxed. We invite you to make yourself comfortable and move around if you need to and if you need to leave the performance at any point you will be allowed to return to the space when you feel ready.




Director: Yasmin Fedda
Executive Producers: Anagram
Producer: Dan Davies – Black Leaf Films

Developed with CPH:Lab and at the National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio residency.

Supported by Queen Mary University of London.
Generously supported by Arts Council England.

We believe in making our shows accessible to as many people as possible.

We offer tickets on a Pay What You Can basis for the majority of performances throughout the year. Tickets usually start at £8, and we have recommended pricing to help you to choose a price that works for you.

We know that ticket price is a huge barrier for some, and the Pay What You Can model offers people who can afford to pay the recommended price or more the chance to support others who can’t.


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