"Saudi Arabia Beyond Stereotyping and What Art Has To Do With It"
speech given by Sultan Albadran, Noorah kareem, Hawraa Almashhadi and Hussain Ismail at City Hall
Hi, Al Salam Alekoom. I am Sultan Albadran. i am from saudi Arabia. Yes i have a bank in my house. Yes, I have oil in my garden and when I go to school i go with no shoes..Yes, when I go to school i go with my camel, infect i have two camels in my garage! No, we don't have internet. and when we want to send a message we use a dove and we through it in the air go go..we also have old shoyook who buy football clubs every year, Chelsea, Manchester United….
Noorah Kareem (cutting Sultan Albadran off):
No!, I don't store oil in my back yard. and yes, oil is dirt cheep. yes, i do wear shoes when i go out. we also have Mcdonalds! yes it is hot. and No i don't own a camel. Yes, women can't drive. and maybe old Sheeks do buy football clubs every year!
Hi everyone! We are the team of Create and Inspire and we are the first expedition from Saudi Arabia to the UK. One of the first thing we did when we came to the Uk was walk around London and ask the pope what they thought of Saudi Arabia and to describe it in one word. those where some of the things they said. some where true some where miss informed information and some where just buzzer stereotyping.
Islam especially is one of the most stereotyped religions in the world. so we wanted to have a chance to talk to you about some of those stereotypes and what we can do to change them.
It always wires me what people might represent Islam. Yes, I am a Muslim and i do live in Saudi Arabia. I am proud of being a Muslim and it is my choose. while we were in on this trip we had the chance to meet with Vanisha Porter who is a creator working at the British Museum. she was working on putting up an exbaition on Hajj and as Anggi Makki from our team said " It was a slap on the face" especially since she was a non-Muslim with such little Arabic background if she was able to convoy such a positive message about Islam in such a negative media, then so can we!
talking more about islam and what Islam and Hajj means to us. Hajj is a pilgrimage a spiracle journey. It is held in Makkah witch is the holiest city in the Islamic world. We find that when we are in Makkah we feel really peaceful. Ahmad Zoweel who is a scientist proved that the Kaaba in Makkah city is in the center of earth and that it does hold positive energy. when we kneel down in prayer torrid the Kabba and our foreheads touch the ground all the negative energy we hold in our selves seeks down to earth.
one of our personal opinions on hajj is that it is almost like a performance that is held once every year by the people them selves.
Sultan Al Bidran:
So through art we can convoy a positive message about Islam. An example of a leading contemporary Saudi Arabian artist Ahmad Mateer. who has done a hole peace of art work about the Kabba by using magnetic energy.
A lot of people might think that we don't have old art in Saudi Arabia. Lawrence of Arabia came back from Saudi and told the people that Saudi Arabia has no art. he forgot to mention we did have art in the carvings and paintings pope did on the walls of their houses and Hinna tattoos for women. Canvases might be something we important from forgone countries but we did have art long before that. We had art on our hands, in our jewelry, our cloths, on daggers,and Islamic art that use geometrical shapes and used to decorate out homes and mosques with.
When we first came to the UK, we saw the difference between cultures, buildings and museums which made me think of Riyadh National Museum from which it doesn't have so many artworks and no international artworks are found there. Very few schools take their students to these museums. Riyadh National Museum is not even compared to the islamic section in the British Museum! When we talk about the British Museum, the variety of artworks there, various international works. It all make me wanna know more about other cultures. It also has children section and classes and they've taken in consideration handicapped and blind people.
I think we should really develop our museums because Saudi Arabia has a very rich history which we wanna know more about. And i think we are losing our heritage, we are starting to live in a jungle that is made out of cement, and we created a word for that issue which is "cementization".
One of the most creative industries we've visited in our journey is the Squint Opera, which is an art industry. We were amazed by how they made a 3D film about the future of Jeddah -a city in Saudi Arabia- without even visiting it. After we watched the film we were very influenced that we really wanted to see this future becoming real.
I think we should have a very deep imagination so we can do more than that and create amazing stuff and this is what we're trying to reach and spread.
I also think heritage is important .
coming to the UK and seeing how UK treat their culture differently then us. and not wanting to lose our culture because from it we take our art.
we don't have platform to show cost our work . art galleries are numbered though they might growing now. AHAR gallery is one of couple galleries that we have in Saudi Arabia . Abul Nasser Garram , one of Saudi comtoprary artist, didn't put his work on the walls but took it to the street.
we as youth tend to use a lot of YouTube , Fliker , facbook and other social network in order to publish our work. it has became our studio . those are our platform. in fact Saudi Arabia are the most upload video in YouTube. the youth in Saudi Arabia are estimated to be around 60% , which a massive number. how important important it is to help them became leaders and be able to have a role in Saudi Arabia.
as a young artist in Saudi Arabia all what consider me is being underestimated from society that doesn't understand the concept of art and how it a message. most of people I met look generally to any artwork's physical shape and appreciate what totally clear to them out of their point view with ignoring much deeper beauty of humen reflections by art.
what we want us and the next generation to do is take a detour. to affect to change some of the stereotypes about Islam and to bring out the truth. Abdullnasser al Garim and Ahmad Matter are an example of Saudi artist that started to take that detour. They have set the first stepping stones torrid that change. and from them edge of Arabia was born and from that Create and Inspire was born. Witch has now became our artistic plate form that through it we can speak to the world.
If you've been inspired and intrigued by our team from Saudi Arabia, enter Arabia Offscreen and win a a place on a life-changing creative expedition to Saudi with other young artists from five different countries. With unprecedented access to one of the world's most unknown Kingdoms, the expedition will travel from cities to the deserts and the mountains, working with young people and artists to create a portrait of Saudi in the 21st century.
Applying is simple: just log on to www.arabiaoffscreen.com and upload a piece of your creative work - a film, photograph, artwork etc - and write a short statement on your work and why the trip appeals to you. Residents of the UK, UAE, Egypt, Qatar and Malaysia aged 18-25 may apply, so spread the word and get your friends involved too because the deadline is 14th August!
Good luck to all!
day 16 (last day)
Through out this journey I have had a lot of "Aha" moments. Personal and professional.
Looking around the common room and looking at the faces that have surrounded me for the past two weeks. Theo eating (always hungry lol) Anggi and Sultan playing table foot ball, Hussain and Ms T on on their laptops. Hesham and Hawraa in their rooms packing. I don't want this journey to end. We have already said goodbye to some members of our team Sarah, Adwa, Ahaa, Ajlan, and Aya.
I will miss everyone.
Things are getting quitter and I have four more hours before I have to wheel my bag out of Royal Hollowly and my journey to the UK that I have shared with more then 20 amazing creative individuals will be over. I'll go back home and life will go back to being fairly normal. Ms Stephen in my first interview with you back in Saudi Arabia before you guys pick the top 10 winners. I walked out of that interview and cried my eyes out. I knew wanted to be part of what you were offering to us Saudi young youth with our little talents and big dreams.Thank you. Thank you to everyone that made this possible for us. and inshalah we will make you all proud.
astawdi3akom fe 7ifth alllah
My mum and my family pushed me into applying to this competition I applied to it not knowing what the prize was, However when I found out that I was one of the winners and that the prize was a trip to England, I thought to myself "great the only competition I apply to, and i win trip to England, just my luck Iev been to England so many times what more is there to see." I was wrong in so many ways, the prize wasn't a trip to England but an investment in each winner, and I feel now that this prize is the greatest anyone can give, because money and objects come and go but lessons and memories stay with you forever. I never realized how strong of an impact this would have on me and how much it would affect my life and the decision I'll make for my future. I can go on forever thanking Stephen and the team and all the winners for the things they've done for me and what the put up with. I can go through each person and tell you how they've affected me and the lessons they've taught me. It's been the most rewarding two weeks of my life.
This trip was a blessing from Allah
Hello everyone, my name is Ahaad Alamoudi and I am one of the 10 winners of the Create & Inspire competition. I am here right now to tell you about our journey; the places we visited and the people we met.
Some of us have never left Saudi Arabia before, didn't speak a word of English and right now it's their first time in England. And so from the very first day we arrived we were put under a rigorous schedule which saw us go to more than twenty places and meet more than forty people with so much knowledge and creativity through the course of almost two weeks. I speak on behalf of the winners and I tell you with all my heart that this has been one of the most amazing and unimaginable experience we have ever had. Yes there were some days we were so tired we wanted to give up and so much information was coming in that we didn't know what to do with it but we wouldn't change a thing, because each step of the way was part of a learning process. Whether it was learning more about art and creativity and seeing it in another way or just learning about ourselves or each other, everything just bought us all together for example:
Squint opera taught us about the power of ideas
The British Museum and Venetia Porter taught us commitment
Tate proved to us that evolution is a part of art
And then Cornwall; Cornwall was a fantasy
It showed us the beauty of nature
It gave us confidence in our work with Greg and Tate St Ives
It showed us how creativity can do a lot to a country with the Eden project
We even learned more about our country seeing it through the eys of the people we met. It widened our view of it and through this expedition we felt we had a responsibility or even a duty to change the stereotypes. I am not saying we are perfect; we have our good and bad sides and you obviously know this because if it wasn't for us your news would be completely boring. What I am saying however is that it is a good thing to see the changes we need to make to develop ourselves for the better. One of the things that struck us the most was The British Museum and Venetia Porter and what she is doing for us. She is projecting our religion in such a beautiful way and showing the world what a rich history we have and how strong a backbone Islam is for us. All these things have inspired us to do better for ourselves and our country.
Obviously none of this would happened if it wasn't for the team:
Haneen our 'Jenny from the block' with your funky track suits and great support. Without you we wouldn't have finished the mural
Aya your energy is amazing and you always light up the room when you come in. Thank you for always making us smile
Sarah, a punctual free spirit! She was always running after us, especially the boys, screaming "Yalla shabab, yalla"
Tahira I've never met anyone as kind and warm hearted as you. Thank you for always understanding
Theo, we were scared of his interviews but he's the best! He makes the best scrambled eggs in the world and is a great ping pong teacher: "Stroke the cat"
Maryam we all love you Maryam. She was a bit tough with us sometimes, but we needed that and we needed you in this expedition. Thank you for putting up with so much and all the translation
... and the one person who has inspired us the most and who was with us 247 throughout this expedition is Stephen.
Stephen each day we learnt something new about you and how through your love and commitment to Saudi art you are lifting it to where it is today. You are the backbone of contemporary Saudi art because you recognized its power and with that you are giving us all strength and hope of being a part of this global conversation of artists
I am going to end this by saying that in just two weeks we have all become a family. The things we've seen and the experiences we had together are unforgettable and we just want to say thank you.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this experience and for making it all happen. I know it wasn't easy, but we appreciate it.
Thank you for allowing us to speak on behalf of our country.
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