E-Issue 07 –– AUH
Winter 2023-24

January 29th, 2024

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in Abu Dhabi/Dubai
  3. Cover Interview: Shaikha Al Ketbi on Darawan
  4. Rapport: Public Art in the Gulf and a Case Study of Manar Abu Dhabi
  5. Hashel Al Lamki’s Survey Exhibition Maqam Reflects on a Decade of Practice in Abu Dhabi
  6. “You Can’t Stand on a Movement”: Michelangelo Pistoletto Interviews Benton Interviewing Pistoletto

Winter/Spring 2024

Curators Interview May 14, 2024
AUH Embracing Change through an Open System: Maya Allison and Duygu Demir on “In Real Time” at NYUAD Art Gallery

About ––

    What We Do
    Editorial Board

Interviews ––

    Selected Archive

Open Call ––

    E-08 Seoul

Newsletter ––

Chronological Archive ––

    Selected Archive

Artist Interview November 18th, 2016
AUH Raed Yassin in Abu Dhabi

Editorial March 1st, 2018
AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

Exhibition Listing May 22nd, 2018
DXB Christopher Benton: If We Don't Reclaim Our History, The Sand Will

Artist Interview June 15th, 2018
TYO An Interview with BIEN, a Rising Japanese Artist

Artist Interview July 17th, 2018
TYO Rintaro Fuse on Selfies and Cave Painting

Artist Interview August 28th, 2018
BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020

August 1st, 2020

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

Fall/Winter 2020-21

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020

AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists  

🎙️GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020

November 1st, 2020
1. What is Global Art Daily? 2015 to Now

November 16th, 2020
2. Where is Global Art Daily? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

November 29th, 2020
3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover

December 20th, 2020
4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor

January 27th, 2021
5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

E-Issue 02 –– NYC
Spring 2021

February 21st, 2021

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

Spring/Summer 2021

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

E-Issue 03 ––TYO
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

Fall/Winter 2021-22

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition Review October 16th, 2021
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

E-Issue 04 –– IST
Spring 2022

March 15th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

Spring/Summer 2022

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

Fall/Winter 2022-23

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Exhibition Review February 9th, 2023
DXB Augustine Paredes Builds His Paradise Home at Gulf Photo Plus

Artist Interview February 22nd, 2023
DXB Persia Beheshti Shares Thoughts on Virtual Worlds and the State of Video Art in Dubai Ahead of Her Screening at Bayt Al Mamzar

E-Issue 06 –– DXB/SHJ
Spring 2023

April 12th, 2023

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Jumairy
  4. Rapport: Art Dubai 2023
  5. Highlights from Sharjah Biennial 15
  6. Is Time Just an Illusion? A Review of "Notations on Time" at Ishara Art Foundation
  7. Saif Mhaisen and His Community at Bayt AlMamzar

DXB Christopher Joshua Benton to Debut Mubeen, City as Archive at The Third Line Shop in Collaboration with Global Art Daily

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Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Interview by Daniel H. Rey 

Published on September 14, 2020

        This month, the UAE’s creative community witnesses the relaunch of Project Tawahadna, a storytelling production house that shoots documentaries about MENA-based women in the arts. Alongside films, Tawahadna also hosts workshops and public programming that bring together the regional artistic community. With a strong foundation dating back to 2017 and remarkable collaborations, the project returns revamped. Today, Tawahadna looks into reaching a wider audience, featuring more artists, and dreams of reaching global streaming platforms. Daniel H. Rey hosted an extended interview with Greek-Syrian filmmaker and founder Stavros Antypas about the project, its core values, and matters to consider in the local artistic landscape.

1. Stavros Antypas on the mic introducing Tawahadna at the first private screening for Episode 1 - Maryam Al Zaabi - October 7 2017. Photo by Gabrielle Joy De Vera. Courtesy of Tawahadna. 

Daniel H. Rey: How did Project Tawahadna come about?

Stavros Antypas: We were working on a final year project for university and it had to be a mini-passion project. I knew I wanted to get into documentary filmmaking, and I thought “I want to shoot a documentary, why don’t we shoot an artist?” And so we did. We had our university screening but it didn’t feel as if it was enough. I wanted to do more with this screening. When you get into the film world, they don’t teach you how expand your movie’s reach after you finished it.

I submitted it to festivals and I decided to screen it at an art gallery. I was working at Showcase Gallery, it was my first job in Dubai and I asked if I could do a film screening and exhibit an artist’s work. The owner of the gallery said yes, “You can definitely do whatever you want as long as you return the gallery as it is and as the art was the next day,” she said. I replied “cool, let’s do it.”

That was October 7th, 2017. I cleaned up the whole space, got seats from the neighboring gallery, FN Designs, I got a projector from Gulf Photo Plus, I got speakers from Abu Dhabi, I was DYI-ing basically, and sent out invites. We had 50 people RSVP-ed. I thought, “50 people,” that's probably my family because I’m Greek. Next thing we know, 250 people were lined up outside the gallery doors and I thought “ok, how do we do this?”

We held 2 private screenings that night and sold all her [the artist’s] prints. It was a success. The demographic that we attracted were people that were our friends that never thought about the idea of collecting art or buying art. People like my brother, for example, came to watch a documentary in Alserkal and then decided to buy art. From that night onwards, I was thinking there could be something I could start here. I know how to get my father and my brother interested in this, why don’t I use my skill set into getting people like my brother more into the art world? It’s been my mission to bring the art world into a more fun light.

It’s been my mission to bring the art world into a more fun light.

D.R.: Who was the artist featured in that first showing?

S.A.: Maryam Alzaabi. Super cool, super wonderful, incredibly beautiful. I’ve never met anyone so relaxed and humble. 

Part of what Tawahadna realized is that artists like Maryam have never been trained to value their art, the same way a filmmaker is not trained to value their films. We don’t know how to make money out of our creativity. It’s not part of the daily conversation and it’s not a career choice we talk about growing up. Part of exhibiting Maryam’s work was an educational process not just for her, but for me to understand how to sell art, how to value art, how does art acquire more value over time. How do you celebrate and value live artists?

How do you celebrate and value live artists?

2. Maryam Al Zaabi - Episode 1. Photo by James Harvey. 2017. Courtesy of Tawahadna.

D.R.: Tawahadna in Arabic means “we have united”, you also use that slogan in English. Can you talk about the concept and value of union? Who needs to unite with who? For what purpose?

S.A.: Everyone needs to unite. The reason I called it Tawahadna was because this was going to be a film about a female artist, by a male filmmaker, and I didn’t want to name it something feminine or masculine. What’s cool in the Arabic language is that a verb in plural form loses its gender. “We have united” works as a society and as a whole; and that’s the idea of what I wanted to communicate. I’m a man that wants to support a female artist, and she’s a female artist who wants to support a male filmmaker. You don’t need to fit a box to support that society or individual. You can be anyone if you want to make good in this world. And I think that’s the modern interpretation of what feminism is, especially in the Middle East. Feminism is the support for men and women in a society. It only works better when we can support each other. 

3. The initial organizational team for Tawahadna in 2017 - Shukriya Mohamed Social Media Manager / Stavros Antypas Writer & Director - current founder / Homa Parvas - Graphic Designer / James Harvey - DOP / Comfort Nafuna - Producer. Photo by Gabrielle Joy De Vera. Courtesy of Tawahadna.

It only works better when we can support each other. 

D.R.: Why is it important to collaborate across genders in the UAE’s creative field?

S.A: First, because the Middle East does not necessarily celebrate modern-day creativity. Second, because the creative industry in the Middle East has not been celebrated as a viable career path to achieve a stable life, to support a family. Creativity has always been feminine unless you were Picasso. You had to be super ultra famous, super successful for you to be deemed as a good creative, a creative that can pursue their career and passion because they are making enough money day to day. In the Middle East especially, we deem success in the financial sense. And it’s difficult to grow in the creative world, everyone knows this. But it’s only difficult because we don’t have the education nor support from our family and our friends. That’s the truth.

The creative industry in the Middle East has not been celebrated as a viable career path to achieve a stable life, to support a family.

We need to remove this concept of gender, that creativity is either feminine or masculine. As soon as we remove that box and we start allowing our children to become more creative in their actions and their intentions as well as teaching them about viable creative career paths, only then will we be more innovative in methods of valuing our artists.

The context of creativity in our world is not valued as successful because we don’t realize that it is. You don’t have to make a painting to be creative. Every billboard you see, every logo, everything that is designed in the world was done by a creative person. These are all designed and thought through by individuals. 

We need to remove this concept of gender, that creativity is either feminine or masculine.

Our society needs to acknowledge the time and value that it takes to make something, or design something, or to be creative about something. And that’s why it’s important for both men and women to work towards this common goal.

D.R.: As you talk about success, this reminds me that Tawahadna advocates for “creative leadership.” This combination of words is rather new to many people. What does creative leadership mean to Stavros Antypas and to Tawahadna at large?

S.A.: Creative leadership is acknowledging and realizing that not everything is built on logic. Not everything is black or white. There are a lot of grey areas. A lot of people can excel in a lot of other things. Creative leadership is the acknowledgment that someone might have the skill set that you can learn from and as a leader you need to make sure that they enhance that skill set and become much more confident in using it.

It’s great to be celebrated and be told “I love what you are doing, you are doing great.”

Creative leadership is realizing that every human being is built different and everyone is motivated by different things. People are stimulated to do better if you study and enhance what motivates them.

Creative leadership is realizing that every human being is built different and everyone is motivated by different things.

4. Still from the first episode of Tawahadna with Maryam Al Zaabi. 2017. Courtesy of Tawahadna. 

D.R: With the creative leadership that you are currently pursuing, what projects are coming up for the relaunch of Tawahadna?

S.A.: We are taking a different turn. We are not going to feature only Emirati artists. We are expanding to the MENA region, we are looking to Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan. Moving forward we are shooting in every part of the MENA region. We are no longer limiting the conversation to artists in these parts but we are also going to talk to artists that have travelled to other regions of the world to be better artists. Travel and migration raise important questions. Why is it that an artist decides not to depend on their government? Why aren’t they depending on the people of their home country to push them forward? Why do they need to move towards more Western cultures to be celebrated as artists?

Why do they need to move towards more Western cultures to be celebrated as artists?

We have the talent, we have the creativity, we have the inspiration. So why are we leaving where we are to get support? Why can’t we just get support from here? Moving forward, we will be highlighting these questions.

D.R.: With this in mind, what is your ultimate goal in producing short films exclusively about MENA-based artists?

S.A.: I grew up in the Middle East, I grew up with Middle Eastern parents. I’m Greek, but my parents grew up in Syria. And their upbringing taught them that you had to be a doctor or engineer or businessman to be successful or financially capable of supporting family and friends. That was the goal for everyone back then.

When I grew up, my parents wanted that for me, because that meant financial success and stability. But that led them to not allowing me to be creative. And it led to me going into architecture school to make them happy, and then to drop out of architecture school to attend film school because they didn’t trust me anymore.

5. Stavros Antypas, filmmaker and founder of Project Tawahadna. Image courtesy of CHALK and the artist. 

Now I want you to ask the same question to someone who comes from a more conservative, traditional upbringing. What were their experiences when they told their parents that they wanted to become artists?

Other than cultural barriers and societal barriers, we also have big educational barriers. We are not educated about being creative growing up. We may have a stricter society that we need to analyze and understand to reach our artistic potential and develop our sensibilities. But we also lack the education over here, which is why I focus on the Middle East. The MENA region is so important to me because we are all fighting the same fight. I also think it’s a lot more difficult for young women who come from a conservative and traditional backgrounds where they are not expected to be on the public eye and are not expected to socialize.

6. Networking after the inaugural screening in 2017 - Gabrielle Joy De Vera. Courtesy of Tawahadna. 

D.R.: What values and places are shaping this relaunch of Tawahadna?

S.A.: We’ve already started with shooting some interviews around the world. They are launching on our social media soon. I’m very excited.

Other than the interviews, something that I’m really passionate about, that no one in the Middle East talks about, is defining our social responsibility and creative responsibility. By social and creative responsibility, I’m referring to developing ties within our communities rather than succumbing to competitiveness. 

7. Maryam Al Zaabi. Featured artist in Episode 1. Photo by James Harvey. Courtesy of Tawahadna. 

Saudi Arabia inspired me. I traveled to Jeddah in January, I stayed there for three months, and something that I noticed was that everyone in the creative community supported, appreciated, loved one another. Each member of the community was making sure that everybody had their “day.” This was the case for every exhibition opening, film screening, evening program. If an artist was celebrated that day, everyone was there to support. Nobody was putting up excuses.

I noticed that the reason why Saudi is excelling so beautifully right now is that the community tends to push and support each other so much that they find new ways to get better. They want to continue to be part of that community. And the difference is that over here, in Dubai, we are competitive. We don’t know how to appreciate each other.

I want the creative community over here to learn how to celebrate one another. When it comes to community-building, try to do it for each other. Stop doing for the purpose of your own personal growth. Realize that a creative person’s growth will come with support. If you support me and you support Tawahadna and you watch my movies, I will have more opportunities to grow because you continue to give me this attention. The same goes both ways. That’s the conversation I want to start: we need to start cultivating social and creative responsibility.

I want the creative community over here to learn how to celebrate one another.

D.R.: What types of content are cooking up?

S.A.: Art workshops with our artists. We are doing exhibitions for our artists, live art, films. We are trying to get a lot of artist collaborations with bigger brands. The aim is to get more recognition of Middle Eastern art with Western brands. I think we don’t see our emerging artists on an international level because we don’t give them opportunities to be on international levels.

8. Yara Bin Shakar, Fashion Designer - Episode 2. Photos by Clint Davis. Courtesy of Tawahadna.

We don’t see our emerging artists on an international level because we don’t give them opportunities to be on international levels.


D.R.: What is the process of collaboration between Tawahadna and the artists? How do you connect?

S.A.: It’s very easy. Firstly, slide into our DMs, I’ll respond. Second, if you go on our website, there are two forms. There is a form for artists and there is a form for people who just want to collaborate.

If you are an artist and want to get featured the two criteria are: identifying as a female, and the next one is identify as Middle Eastern or North African. Fill out the form, share your art and we’ll reach out to you and we’ll try to feature you. We’ll try to make you part of this community.

I don’t care about your followers count. I don’t care if you are not famous, I don’t care if you don’t even publish your work anywhere. If you make art, and if it can be appreciated as an art form, I’ll post it.

I talk to every artist we feature. I try to understand more of who they are and what they are trying to achieve. Because, other than featuring you on Instagram, I want to make sure that you know how to value your work and value your creative form. And take your art into a full-time process rather than just an online hobby.

D.R.: If Tawahadna could collaborate with any gallery, platform or cultural institute, who would your ideal collaborator be?

S.A.: Tawahadna is currently only pushing forward for collaborating with Middle Eastern brands and artists. So my goal is to continue sticking to the passion driven over here. I want to make it an Arab-run brand. I want to be part of the Arab entrepreneurial community that can recognize each other and realize how we can support each other. There are so many things that we can do.

I want to be part of the Arab entrepreneurial community that can recognize each other and realize how we can support each other.

To be sustainable, if I want to realistically educate the world on Middle Eastern and North African creatives in the modern day, I’d say my dream collaborations would be either Apple TV or Netflix. I know they are not Arab brands, but they are global brands. And our artists deserve global notoriety. The reason why our artists go out to the Western world is because they get appreciated there and they get recognized as artists. But imagine how much stronger it would be if our artists were recognized here, got appreciated as artists here, and then they got picked up by Western brands because they are from here.

9. Photo by Dan Hobson / in photo - Clint Davis DOP of ep 2 , Stavros Antypas doing some impromptu BTS. Courtesy of Tawahadna. 

Imagine how much cooler it’d be being a Syrian artist that lives in Syria and gets globally-recognized while living in Syria.

As a general advice to the region, I’d say, open a good art school, educate your individuals so that they can be artists and creatives, and then realize how your whole community will start celebrating your artists and creatives in a much nicer way. 

D.R.: What are the big dates we should expect for Tawahadna?

S.A.: The upcoming two months are very exciting. You are going to see a lot of things happening.  Our dream and our goal is to be picked up by a major platform. We want to partner up with a big video on-demand platform that can fund us to continue supporting the creative community that is based in the Middle East. We deserve our exposure and some light. We deserve the spotlight. 

We deserve the spotlight.

Tawahadna is a storytelling production house that shoots documentaries on female artists from the MENA region and screens them in art galleries for public viewing. Tawahadna’s mission is to introduce Middle Eastern and North African art to an international audience through mainstream entertainment platforms.
Visit Tawahadna’s website.
Get featured as an artist
Get in touch as a collaborator
Follow Tawahadna on Instagram

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