Tarabot Storytelling Lab: Designing and Narrating a “Relatable Gulf”
This event has been postponed. We apologise for any inconvenience. A new date will be announced soon.

Building on the programming debut of Akkaz Collective and the ongoing conversations of Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum, join us for a hands-on workshop and mini laboratory asking how we may design and narrate a “relatable Gulf”.

This session invites storytellers, designers and practitioners of all backgrounds to reimagine what a “relatable Gulf”means. Operating at the intersection of method, theory, and everyday civic intuition, the participatory workshop invites a collective investigation of the diverse relationships that make up this region of the world.

With a thematic introduction by curator Shama Nair followed by case study presentations by Adib Dada, designer of Tarabot and founder of theOtherDada (Lebanon) as well as Aziz Motawa, Maryam Mohammad and Sara Al Zeer of research kitchen Akkaz Collective (Kuwait and Bahrain) the session will look at relations between human and more-than-human life, and their positionality among ecologies, communities, cities and histories, inherited or currently being written.

A dynamic series of mini-exercises in writing, drawing, mapping and translation will invite us to ask how communities and ecologies across the Gulf engage with their representations in the fields of culture, science, and the arts. As an outcome, the session hopes to equip participants with a new vocabulary and visual imagination to describe how they build relationships and proximity with the regional landscapes, ecologies, cities and multiple forms of life. Thereby, regenerating how the Gulf region is narrated, designed, and represented. 

The session is open to all and free to attend. Refreshments and materials provided. RSVP here.

Shama Nair is a curator and writer engaged in community programming. Drawn to the intersection between urbanity and visual culture, her work investigates our spatial, temporal, and aesthetic relationship with an ever-expanding neoliberal metropolis. She is based in Dubai and is currently a curator at the Alserkal Arts Foundation. 

theOtherDada is a Beirut-based regenerative consultancy and architecture practice founded by Adib Dada, working with nature to build shared habitats for humans and other organisms to thrive. They are Lebanon’s first BCorp certified company built on the firm belief that businesses have the responsibility and opportunity to action meaningful, positive impact. tOD takes an alternative approach to sustainability, through the deep consideration of context and medium of their work- fostering new relationships between climate, landscape, and inhabitants.  Their research in biomimicry enables a conscious connection to the natural ecosystems of sites to build interspecies habitats.

Adib Dada is the founder of theOtherDada [tOD] Regenerative Consultancy & Architecture, whose mission is to activate projects across architecture, design, and art by creating unconventional links at the frontier of science. Going beyond traditional architecture, his work employs a holistic and biomimetic design approach with nature and people at its core. Adib served on the Supporting Committee of the Beirut Art Center, and sits on the Board of Tandem Works and Saja Foundation. He earned a BA in Architecture at the American University of Beirut, an MA in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and completed the Biomimicry graduate certificate from the Biomimicry Institute and Arizona State University.  Adib was listed as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100 for his project Beirut RiverLESS, which he initiated to implement positive urban interventions including the planting of urban native forests alongside Beirut River and in the city at large. He is a Fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a Bio-Leadership Fellow.

Named after an island once existing off the coast of Kuwait, Akkaz Collective, est. 2022, is a test kitchen and research group focusing on the urban history of Kuwait. The collective engages with the country’s geography, ecology, and archeology. Akkaz Collective emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to the study of landscapes, highlighting unique and niche local histories. Their debut contributions have included printed publications, and photographic work presented at the Kuwait Pavilion in Venice Biennale of Architecture 2023, as well as conversations on Kuwait’s ecologies and coastal areas in collaboration with the Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam) and Art Jameel (Dubai) in light of COP28 held in 2023.

Aziz Motawa is a visual artist, writer, and researcher based between Kuwait and Bahrain working with the mediums of photography, video, installations, and sound. At the core of his practice, he examines the social and ecological implications of urban development.  He is also the director and co-founder of Akkaz Collective. 

Maryam Mohammad is an architect based in Kuwait, where she obtained her BArch from Kuwait University. She has worked as an architect in Kuwait and in the US. She is interested in the intersection of local history, design, and storytelling. 

Sara AlZeer is an architect with experience in Kuwait and the US. She has a B.Arch from Kuwait University. She is interested in design, research, visual storytelling, and publication design.



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