Shahd AlShehail

Tanween Festival Pushes Saudi Creativity Forward

The anticipated event is back for a third season

Shahd AlShehail

With coronavirus putting the world on hold, the year has been everything but exciting. But Saudi Arabia is making sure we get a small dose of serotonin before 2020 comes to a close. The Kingdom’s anticipated Tanween Festival is back on, and you won’t want to miss it. 

Held at Ithra, the cultural institution also known as King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, the four-day event is back for the third year in a row. This year’s edition, entitled ‘The New Next,’ will see some of the world’s biggest industry experts host workshops and panel discussions for young Saudi creatives to join in. 

Set to take place from October 28-31, the programme includes a series of talks by everyone from Duncan Wardle, the former head of innovation and creativity at Disney, award-winning Saudi filmmaker, actor and writer, Dr. Hakeem Jomah; and founder of the Saudi Art Initiative, Ftoon AlThaedi.

“Tanween, a manifestation of Ithra’s mission, is a platform connecting the young generation of creatives in Saudi,” says typography artist Tarek Atrissi in a statement.  

Other speakers include the remarkable Shahd AlShehail, who is a social and environmental entrepreneur and co-founder of Abadia, an ethical luxury womenswear label based in the Kingdom. Alongside her business ventures, AlShehail is dedicated to bringing transparency into fashion supply chains with an initiative called Project JUST. 

The entrepreneur’s talk will be centred around digital fashion as well as the building blocks of business. 

Dr. Sumaya Al-Sulaiman, the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Architecture and Design Authority, will also be inspiring attendees with her own creative journey in an effort to help others find their own paths. The theme of this year’s talks and workshops is without a doubt inspiring, with a mission to help creatives build their careers in sustainable, innovative and artistic ways. 

If fashion and architecture aren’t your thing, the programme also includes master classes from both local and international industry experts in the fields of food and art including Marije Vogelzang, a renowned food designer, and Stefan Sagmeister, the graphic designer behind several album covers from The Rolling Stones to Jay Z.

The talks will be held at the Ithra Plaza in Dhahran, but if you’re not around, you can still attend virtually by signing up online.

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