This roundtable discussion examines how to learn from, make, and interweave storytelling practices across multiple disciplines.
Storytelling is a fundamental need and a practice that has existed for centuries; it allows space to contemplate everyday life and experiences within it. Narratives construct identities by sharing a multiplicity of stories; it becomes an act of knowledge transmission, keeping (collective) memories in circulation and informing their preservation.
In this roundtable, Farah Hallaba, Naïma Ben Ayed, Nadia Ghanem, and Nadia Mounier will discuss how they interweave narratives from the SWANA region into their diverse practices, ranging from design, art, and filmmaking to anthropology and curation; and how they use storytelling as a tool of cultural, communal and pedagogical mediation. The event is moderated by Noureldin Ahmed and Randa Hadi.
For Us With Us, By Us – لنا، عنّا، معنا is a series of conversations centered around voices of cultural practitioners in the SWANA region, exploring themes of transnational identities beyond the western canon. Through two online roundtable discussions and an offline event in Cairo, the program aims to promote an active exchange between Arab cultural workers and their Swiss-based counterparts.
Farah Hallaba is a social anthropologist and visual ethnographer. In 2019, she started @anthropology–bel3araby انثروبولوجي بالعربي, aiming to publicize anthropology in an accessible way and in Arabic. Through online videos and collaborative workshops, her work addresses topics around social class and migration to the Gulf.
Naïma Ben Ayed is an independent type and graphic designer from France, based in London, UK. Her work with different foundries and individuals in the art and cultural sector ranges from designing retail and custom Arabic and Latin typefaces to creating visual identities. Her approach to design is telling stories with letters.
Nadia Ghanem is a filmmaker based in Cairo. She worked as an assistant producer and director for commercials, series, and independent film projects. In 2021, she finished her first short film as a director, “Three Disappearances And A Song,” which premiered at the 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.
Nadia Mounier is a visual artist working with photography and video. She is part of various art collectives that are interested in the city, image production, motherhood, and politics of representation. Currently, She is co-managing the Arts and Culture program at The Arab Digital Expression Foundation.
For Us, With Us, By Us
The offline event in Cairo will be held in May. “Practice” will be a culmination of conversations that took place in “Ontology” and “Narrative” how they affect a way of making.
This program is a collaboration between For Us With Us, By Us—لنا، عنّا، معنا (Mayar El Bakry, Noureldin Ahmed, Randa Hadi, Sherine Salla, Nada Ezzeldin, and Sohaila Khaled), Archief Cairo, cifrcifrcifr, and Futuress.
Archief Cairo is a multilingual lab for research, preservation and communication in Egypt. Their interest lies in researching, documenting, and understanding the visual/ aesthetic fabric of the city.
Cifrcifrcifr is an independent artistic research practice, working to create instances (virtual or physical) to collectively learn and unlearn, question the status quo and initiate critical conversations with, and about, their surroundings.
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