Episode 04: Crisis as an organizing agent: Community & Collective responses to a year packed with global insecurities.

This talk was broadcasted on the Dubai Design Week website on 13 November, Friday 4pm and on Dubai Design Week’s YouTube Channel

The talk hosted creative community organizers who have been leading capacity building activities for designers and creatives in the face of disruption. Moderated by multi-disciplinary designer Leen Sadder, the discussion explored how Joan Baz, director of Beirut Animated Festival had to reformat the festival to cope with the multiple crises hitting Lebanon, while listening to Ibrahim Nehme, Founder of the Outpost magazine’s transformative journey from a print publication to a multi-format platform and his personal experience in the August 4, Beirut explosion ending with Emre Erbir from ATÖLYE and his role in organizing Hack the Crisis online events, gatherings thousands of creatives to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

This talk discussed all of those community & collective responses to a year packed with global insecurities, that has built itself a notorious reputation with a concentration of global crises disrupting the lives of millions and impacting economies and industries at large. The cultural industries are usually vulnerable as they depend a lot on state funding, making them prone to budget cuts when recession hits. The objective was to examine the emergence of alternative response models to crisis, mostly from the perspective of collective community responses from the creative communities.

Speaker Biographies

Emre Erbirer
Emre is a culture manager, instructor, writer, and connector. He is a creative professional with a wide knowledge of communications, programming, community building, audience development, and project management. He is the Events & Programs Lead at ATÖLYE, founder of kültür.limited, instructor at Istanbul Bilgi University and Yeditepe University, Culture Editor of GQ Turkey, Host of CreativeMornings Istanbul and Global Goals Jam Istanbul, and Curator of Design Calendar Istanbul. Emre is also a member of the AICA Turkey.

Joan Baz
Joan Baz is a Lebanese graphic designer and visual artist based in Beirut. Mainly focused on illustration, printmaking and animation, Joan’s work often probes topics in oral history, social practices, transmission and memory. In 2010 she obtained a master’s degree from the French animation school, Supinfocom (Rubika), and returned to Beirut in 2012 and co-founded “Waraq” association. In 2015, she founded her own design studio “Cardamon House”, that specializes in animation and illustration. For the past 6 years, Baz has taught at the Lebanese American University as well as the American University of Beirut and since 2019 has been the co-director of the Beirut Animated Festival. Joan won the Boghossian Award for illustration (2019) and the Talent award at the Sharjah international Book Festival (2013). Her illustration work has been published in The Guardian, The Outpost, Brownbook, MIT Technology, The Carton and Majallet magazines.

Leen Sadder
Leen is a multidisciplinary designer, entrepreneur and community weaver based in Dubai. As a senior lead at ATÖLYE, a creative services organization based between Istanbul and Dubai, she is leading the launch of the first purpose-driven creative community in the Middle East. She has over 13 years of experience in brand strategy, user experience and product design as well as a Master's degree in Design Entrepreneurship. She is also the founder of THIS Toothbrush and a founding member of Afikra.

Ibrahim Nehme
Ibrahim Nehme is a creator, curator, and speaker based in Beirut. His work is as a cross-pollination between research, art and activism, and could be understood as a series of attempts to shift the collective consciousness. In 2012 he founded The Outpost magazine. As a printed ‘magazine of possibilities,’ its intention was to become a platform through which young Arabs could articulate and disseminate new narratives about who they are and who they could be. Through alternative storytelling,