On the 16th July 2017, ALCASA welcomed over 40 members and other interested members of the public to an amazing artistic experience devoted to exploring culture and identity through visual arts and design.

The workshop saw Ahmed El Khalidi, artistic director of Yadura Designs, facilitate a 2 hour creative art and design workshop supporting participants to explore ways to express culture and identity creatively through art.

Ahmed opened the session with a presentation exploring the complex concept of ‘Home’ and what ‘home’ means to different people. Ahmed shared his personal story about home and the complexity of him being born and raised in another country and his daughter being born in Australia. Participants where then encouraged to share their own personal stories and discuss how they defined ‘home’.

It was warming to hear a broad cross-section of people from different cultures and backgrounds sharing their personal stories and bridging the gap between culture and identity. Most participants described home as being somewhere that is safe, where you feel comfortable, loved and relaxed; but interestingly we considered whether we could have two homes… is home where you are now, is home really where the heart is?

Artistic resources were provided at the workshop, and individuals and families were encouraged to bring items of personal value that they may like to incorporate into their final resolved piece. These included photos, memorabilia and Arabesque designs to be part of their artwork. It was fantastic to see so young and old expressing their creativity an artistic talent and we were all so surprised and excited about everybody’s final design. It was obvious that all participants enjoyed themselves, and although we stopped for Arabic coffee and sweets, the session ran way overtime and we couldn’t get people to stop painting and creating.

We are very proud of the final products; please have a look at some images  of the session.

Hassan Mekawy