The Kafiye is the strongest symbol to come out of the Arab contemporary world. The story of this powerful symbol, accessory and design detail has played many parts in diverse phases and keeps adapting with globalization and time. Treading the realms of street, politics, revolution, traditional garb, trends and catwalks, this object has transcended form and various functions to become more than just a simple item, but an experience even. The core article still exists in a relatively constant variant and yet numerous distortions have popped up simultaneously. What does this all mean? How can we use this to our advantage as Arabs especially in light of all recent events?
What started as research in 2009 has morphed into a very timely project today. Change has been ignited on the streets again but we feel it is our responsibility to suggest how this change can be applied for the future and how design can play a role going forward. Using the Kafiye as a platform for change, we would like to open up new angles on Arab identity and provide stronger design tools for future generations. By true understanding of the elements that make us who we are today can we hope to bring change tomorrow.
Al-Kafiye project is educational and inspirational - By bringing together designers and thinkers to lay down foundations for Arab identity, we can offer generations to come a new path to uncover. A group of exceptional Arab visual artists and designers have been invited to participate in an exhibition in New York about the Kafiye. Each one will interpret an angle of the discussion according to their unique creative vision. One more participant will join the show through an open call for entry. The exhibition will be part of a bigger event/symposium and book launch on the same subject. Please stay tuned for more details.