Community Jameel x Afikra COP28 Live Conversation

In this live recording session taking place within the wider context of COP28, panelists working at the intersection of the arts, health and climate action will explore the role of art and arts organisations in responding to the climate crisis through the lens of health. Areas of discussion will include artists’ deeply-engaged, thought-provoking and artistically-savvy responses to physical and mental health, wellbeing and climate change. Panelists will also focus on the role of the arts in translating science and its impact on human and planetary health into compelling stories that can shape our values and behavior for years to come.

 This conversation is part of the Community Jameel x Afikra COP28 Conversations, a collaboration that aims to amplify local communities, youth, experts/non-experts voices to foster a more inclusive and informed discussion and build a forum for intergenerational collaboration and engagement around climate action.

 This session is moderated by Cléa Daridan, Senior Curator – Cultural Lead at Community Jameel, and Michael Muhanna, Founder and Executive Director of afikra.

Guest speakers are:

  • Nadia Christidi, PhD candidate at MIT, Researcher, writer and arts practitioner
  • Uns Kattan, Deputy Director – Head of learning and Research, Art Jameel
  • ‍Marina Romanello, Executive Director of Lancet Countdown
  • Nisha Sajnani, Co-director of Arts & Health @NYU
  • Stephen Stapleton, Founder and CEO of CULTURUNNERS

 The conversation is a collaboration with the Jameel Arts & Health Lab, which has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, the Steinhardt School at New York University, Community Jameel, and CULTURUNNERS. Focused on overlooked and underserved communities, the lab will coordinate and amplify scientific research into the effectiveness of the arts in improving health and wellbeing. Leveraging data, artist-led advocacy and a global ‘Healing Arts’ campaign, the Lab will drive policy implementation across 193 UN member states. 

Nadia Christidi is a researcher, writer, and arts practitioner. She is currently a PhD candidate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. Her dissertation research looks at how cities that face water supply challenges which are expected to intensify with climate change are imagining, planning, and preparing for the future of water; the cities she focuses on are Los Angeles, Dubai, and Cape Town. Nadia has a particular interest in the roles that art, design, and architecture are playing in that future imagining and future planning process.

Uns Kattan is Deputy Director and Head of Learning and Research at Art Jameel. Uns oversees Learning strategy and programmes at Art Jameel – from school visits and children’s materials through to research initiatives and the Jameel Library. She has a particular interest in visual culture and alternative histories and, over the past ten years, has worked across research, programming and content-development. Previous roles include managing the Global Art Forum at Art Dubai and research and curatorial at the Sharjah Art Foundation. 

Dr. Marina Romanello is the Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown, and climate change and health researcher at UCL. She trained as a clinical biochemist in the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and holds a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK. She is a member of the working group on health co-benefits in climate change mitigation policies of Italy’s Superior Health Council. 

Dr. Nisha Sajnani is the Director of the Program in Drama Therapy and Theatre & Health Lab; founding Co-Director of the Arts & Health @NYU. She is a founding co-director of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab established in collaboration with the WHO, NYU, Community Jameel and Culturunners to measurably improve health and wellbeing through the arts.

 Stephen Stapleton is an artist, social entrepreneur and founding director of Edge of Arabia and CULTURUNNERS. He is known for developing platforms for cultural exchange with the Middle East. He is a founding co-director of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab established in collaboration with the WHO, NYU, Community Jameel and Culturunners to measurably improve health and wellbeing through the arts.

Community Jameel advances science and learning for communities to thrive. An independent, global organisation, Community Jameel launched in 2003 to continue the tradition of philanthropy and community service established by the Jameel family of Saudi Arabia in 1945. Community Jameel supports scientists, humanitarians, technologists and creatives to understand and address pressing human challenges. The work enabled and supported by Community Jameel has led to significant breakthroughs, including the Jameel Clinic‘s discovery of the new antibiotic Halicin, critical modelling of the spread of COVID-19 by the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London, and a Nobel Prize-winning experimental approach to alleviating global poverty developed by the co-founders of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

 afikra | عفكرة is a global organization that aims to promote intellectualism and the diversity and richness of the Arab world’s cultures and histories. Through events online and around the world, Afikra has built a global community of volunteers, thinkers, and explorers. afikra started in Brooklyn in 2014 and has since expanded to 30 chapters all over the world.



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