By Ryan Abdelbaki
In January of 2017, Nejoud Al-Yagout founded Co-Exist Kuwait to spread the tentacles of love, peace, inclusivity and tolerance locally. Though the essential idea was “an invitation to ascend into love via the reverberations of music, the message is now expanding to include all forms of artistic expression.” Al-Yagout adds that love is the only force that is inclusive of all, regardless of labels. And Co-Exist Kuwait came into existence to remind us that we are all on a journey together. To coexist with one another, she states, is to highlight the ‘unity’ in ‘community’, while accepting that “each one of us is a unique color on the palette of consciousness.” Here, Ryan Abdelbaki interviews Al-Yagout for bazaar to find out more about this initiative.
Co-Exist Kuwait is an initiative that is turning the tides of love. What do you think will stem from such a ground-breaking initiative for Kuwait’s evolution?
The concept of coexistence is not new. It has always been around, but the notion became commonplace in the Soviet Union during the Cold War as a way to bridge the divide between capitalist and socialist countries. Here, locally, there is no structure as yet; rather, love is guiding us to integrate all members of our local community. Every act of love begins in our individual hearts, spreads to the community, the nation, the continent, the world.
Do you aim to manifest the energy Co-Exist Kuwait sends out to the world by letting love become an ocean in which all of us swim?
The ocean, vast and inclusive, does not deprive anyone of its bounties due to skin color, nationality, gender, race, financial status, social status or ideology. So, we can learn plenty about love through nature, which knows no boundaries. At our Co-Exist concerts, there is no other, no us and them. The musicians are invited to an open jam session and we just bask in the collective reverberations of energy. This is our manifestation. No protest. No discussion.
The fact that you involve music in your vigils is fascinating. Do you think it could become a place where all art forms come to one place, to color the land, one step at a time?
Actually, for May’s event, Manifesto 13 is joining forces with us. They have invited us to host our Open Jam Session at their gallery. They are also extending an invitation to artists to engage in live painting – with the theme of coexistence in mind. How cool is that?
Describe your psyche in detail after each concert. What colors can you hear? What songs can you see?
I have yet to hear colors and see songs! But, might I add that I envision all colors of the rainbow and all songs on the spectrum of oneness.
Finally, define love in one sentence.
Love is unlearning everything we have been taught and operating from the space beneath conditioning.
Check out Co-Exist Kuwait on Instagram and Facebook: CoExistKuwait. You can follow Rayan on Twitter and Instagram @untitledpen; and Manifesto 13 on Instagram @manifesto13. You can find more information about Nejoud on Instagram @nejoud.alyagout or visit her website www.nejoudalyagout.com.