As a monthly publication, we thrive on the efforts of a dynamic team, and believe that the phrase “the more, the merrier” rings true in enabling bazaar to create and curate content that is original on a monthly basis. Since our last feature about Nuqat (June 2014), we’ve kept our eyes open for any news about their chosen topic for this year’s upcoming annual creative conference. Upon learning that the theme of this year’s conference is “The Missing Link: Practicing the Collective Approach”, our excitement could not be contained. The annual conference, which continues to be a resounding success since its inception in 2009, will address a range of topics including: fostering dialogue, executing collaborative projects and heightening exchange between creative individuals. This notable shift in thought, where creativity is no longer the product of an individual effort, yet results from the conducive efforts of the collective, is refreshing to say the least.
Nuqat, initially launched and recognized as “Nuqat Ala Al Huroof,” started off with one objective in mind – to develop Arab creativity on all levels, be it in design, advertising, architecture, fashion, production, and all creative and cultural fields. Established out of the frustration and lack of spirited exchange in the region, the Nuqat team is made up of like-minded cultural visionaries from Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Dubai.
The conference will be held over the duration of seven days from the 13th to 19th of November 2014, starting with a rich assembly of 24 lectures and a dynamic weekend of cultural entertainment. In addition to the lectures, 11 workshops and seminars will be led during the week by world-class artists who will host lively debates and teach new skills to participants. “The Missing Link” conference will be held for the third time in a row in the Al Amricani Cultural Center under the management of Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah, in addition to events held at Beit Al Sadu and AlMakan.
The conference theme was chosen in recognition of the Middle East’s history as a prominent arena for innovation, cultural exchange and shared knowledge. However, due to recent social and political developments these characteristics have been put under duress to the point of becoming endangered. For this reason, this year’s Nuqat conference will shed light on the collaborative potential of the Middle East – with the aim of nourishing collective projects and creative experiments that are led by forerunners in the cultural field. Nuqat will offer a series of talks and workshops on collaboration in a range of exciting and challenging fields – including creative education, screenwriting, art curating, film-making, product design, psychology, publishing and musical improvisation.
The list of participating presenters this year are: actress and filmmaker Ahd Kamel / artist Ahmed Mater / curator Alanood Alsharekh / publisher Ali Khadra / art therapist Dr. Amar Behbehani / curator Aya Ali Reza / curator Barrak Alzaid / art gallery director Bayan Al Barrak / writer Bothayna Al Essa / writer and director Darine Hotait / designer Doreen Toutikian / creative director Huda Abi Fares / artist Jassim Nasrallah / actor and producer Khaled Abol Naga / product designers Massoud and Mahmud Hassani / engineer and inventor Nasser al-Khalidi /incubator Onqoud / designer Pascal Zoghbi / curator Raneem Farsi / designer Samer Yamani / fashion designer Sarah Hermez/ communications specialist Suzanne Talhouk / graphic designer Tarek Atrissi/ musician Tarek Yamani / organisation waraq.org / service designer Yara Al Adib / design director Yara Khoury / product designer Younes Duret / actress and director Zeina Daccache.
The lectures will be held over three days (13 to November 15, 2014) and will cover the experiences and viewpoints of creators in the Middle East. Each presenter will discuss collaboration in their respective fields, helping to promote the concept of participation and to further elevate “the collective approach” to a wide range of cultural, creative and social platforms.
The lectures will cover topics such as: the Arabic language and its role, creative dialogue and the functions of the creative mind, Kuwait Bedouinism and the arts, contemporary design and the importance of cooperation in design. Throughout the three days the lectures will illustrate how collaborative work changes our lives and how collective efforts in all art forms helps cultural work reach its full potential, making social change through drama therapy, among other approaches.
The workshops will be held from November 16 until 19 and are designed to provide participants with specialized insight and practical experience in various creative fields. The workshops’ objective is to create a positive collaborative environment, taking only a limited number of participants in order to assure productivity and valuable one-on-one time with the lecturers. Workshop subjects include: product design, modern and classical calligraphy, type design & advertising, furniture design, collaborative musical improvisation, screenwriting, jewelry design, wearable technology, design thinking and novel writing.
Open discussions will be held among the four or five lectures dealing with different topics and asking questions about “the collective approach.” The interactive panel discussions are an essential part of the conference, as they open new audience participation channels, raise important questions and bring around constructive and collectively-driven solutions.
Among the activities of the conference are three cultural events designed to promote networking and mutual exchange between the participants, giving all involved some time to unwind and have fun. The first of these events is a filming screening of “Scheherazade’s Diary.” On November 14 the award ceremony and exhibition of the winning font from the Horouf bilingual type design competition will be held, and on November 15, Nuqat will hold a book signing with Yara Khoury, author of the book “Nasri Khattar: A Modern Typotect.”
“The Missing Link: Practicing the Collective Approach” conference is held under the auspices of gold sponsors IKEA – Al Homaizi ltd., Gatehouse Bank and Elevation Burger and in association with Al Amricani Cultural Center and Bait Al Sadu, with the support of Arte Casa, Choowy Goowy, Snaprint and Chocolateness.
Additionally, Almakan and Blackpearl jewelry have provided their efforts towards producing the conference, along with 29LT, Breakthread, Fab Lab, Madina, The Yard, the Khatt Foundation, Studio Azza Fahmy, AlMohtaraf, Bab Nim Nim, Cinephilia Productions, Rosetta and Inner Works.
The media partners for the conference are: bazaar, Sorbet, Canvas, WTD magazine, Khaleejesque, Way Communications, Saudi Art Guide, The Bustop, Transform magazine, Sketchbook, and the Obai and Hill company. MPrints Advertising is the Nuqat conference production partner, with Raw Design Studio serving as the branding partner, the software partner being Software Senior, the payment partner is Tap and the event’s official carrier is Jazeera Airways.
A pop-up shop in collaboraton with The Yard, food kiosks, musical entertainment and a calligraphy exhibition will be held on the conference days in the courtyard of the Al Amricani Cultural Center.