Dubai, UAE, 28 March 2020: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has launched a nationwide digital campaign through its social media platforms titled #CreateTogether. This campaign was launched under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Authority, following her letter of hope and optimism to Creative and Cultural industry. Through this campaign, Dubai Culture aims to encourage creators, artists, writers, photographers, short film makers and poets to showcase their respective creativity while they are committed to staying in their homes, in support of the #StayHome campaign that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.
The campaign featured a group of pioneers from the Culture and Art sector and was produced and directed by Emirati filmmaker and producer Nayla Al Khaja. Its aim is to consolidate the role of culture in society by encouraging creative talents in the UAE to take advantage of their time and invest their talents in an optimal way while they are at home. The intended outcome of the campaign is the spread of positive messages and a renewed love for culture across all segments of society. The showcased creations could cover among others, literary (poetry and prose), visual (short films, photography, animations, arts, and design), or performance (music, singing, and acting) mediums.
Creating Together… from home
Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, said that the #CreateTogether campaign is a message of positivity and optimism that Dubai Culture is sending out to the UAE community to help it during these difficult times being faced the world over. It will also encourage creators to take an active role in spreading reassurance and a positive spirit by presenting society with a unique cultural experience.
Badri said: “Solidarity, unity and resilience has always shaped UAE’s charater throughout history. Dealing with challenges and turning them into opportunities is not something strange to the Emirati community. This was the inspiration behind #CreateTogether campaign, where we seek to remind people that they can create from their homes and share their works on social channels. Creativity is never limited by walls and imagination is never bound by fences.”
“The creators participating in the video campaign are cultural ambassadors to their community, who have come together under the ‘LoveUAE’ flag to spread positive energy in society and consolidate the values of unity and optimism, inviting creators and artist in the UAE to support national efforts and strengthen the resolve of the people during this current situation.” Badri added.
Badri also noted that the world today is united within a framework of inclusivity to limit the spread of the emerging virus as well as disperse hope and optimism in people’s hearts. She added that this national cultural campaign complements the various purposeful national campaigns that were launched on social media by the public and private sectors in the UAE.
Solidarity and affiliation
Through the #CreateTogether campaign, Dubai Culture seeks to inspire creative talents of various nationalities and cultures to provide innovative, cultural creations that would contribute to enhancing the audiences’ engagement with the cultural sector. These works will also be showcased in a number of events and art festivals that the Authority will hold in the future.
This national campaign also aims to unify the energies of creative talents within the UAE under the umbrella of solidarity for the sake of their community. Furthermore, it urges them to support the #StayHome campaign by showcasing cultural and creative innovations that emphasise their love for and affiliation to the nation.
Emirati culture enthusiasts
A group of Emirati creatives volunteered to produce and direct this short film, including filmmaker and producer Nayla Al Khaja; director and 3D cartoons animator Mohammed Saeed Hareb,; media personality, poet and actor Saud Al Kaabi; and cultural photographer Rawdha Al Sayegh. This video represents Nayla Al Khaja’s first remote production that she was able to complete within one day by participating with and instructing the other volunteers on how to best position their cameras, angles, lighting and positions to shoot their footage from their own homes.
Commenting on the experience, Al Khaja said: “In times like these, it’s easy to panic and feel restless, but with our caring and vigilant government, we are granted access to the best possible well-being. This allows me, as an artist, to really delve deep and practise my art at home. Challenging situations push us to be creative, and in times like these, art will reach new heights. Once this is all over, the amount of beautiful work captured will be a testament to the unification of our world in overcoming this global crisis.”
Mohamed Saeed Harib said: "We are always keen as artists and specialists in the artistic field to find a way through which we can cooperate with one another, and at a time like this, we have to join hands as artists to convey a message of solidarity and creativity to underline its importance in the UAE and abroad. Our message through this video is that being at home does not have to translate to boredom or panic. On the contrary; this is a positive opportunity from which we can create new things as well as innovate and learn from one another, thanks to the availability of modern technological tools. I know people who are learning to play new musical instruments or write poetry, while others are developing their drawing skills. Let us invest in these difficult times to create positive things, because creativity knows no borders.”
Saud Al Kaabi said: “Our everyday lives are full of different activities and distractions; sometimes we do not have the time to really immerse ourselves into our thoughts and develop our arts. In fact, many of us might have liked to take a vacation to allow us the time to think about our personal talents, such as writing, art, or music. Now that opportunity has arisen, it represents the ideal opportunity to spend time with our families and developing our personal talents, all while protecting our country and society by staying at home. We must take advantage of these times for more beautiful and creative activities. Let us make the best use of this situation and be thankful for being in an the age of social media, which allows us to share our creations with the world from the comfort of our homes.”
Rawda Al Sayegh commented: “Many people staying in their homes are complaining of boredom, despite their creativity; they should invest their energies on their untapped talents and potential. Through my participation in this campaign, I would like to tell those creative people that nothing can limit their talents. This social distancing is only for the body, not the mind and soul. With renewed focus, our talents can reach new horizons.
“We all know the saying ‘think outside the box’; the time has come to abide by that idiom. We must trust our talents and their potential and unleash our creativity to the public in any form or medium. If we express our creativity with passion, it will be well-received.
The launch of this campaign comes within the framework of Dubai Culture’s efforts to enable and empower the cultural scene and strengthen the community’s interaction with cultural activities by encouraging creative talents to showcase their creations from home for the community to witness. It is also part of the Authority’s efforts to enrich the audience’s cultural experience and add some positivity to the current difficult circumstances.