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 thinking can play a role going forward. Using the Kafiye as a platform for discourse, we would like to open up new angles on identity and provide stronger art and 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 artists, designers and creative thinkers to lay down foundations and explore and express identity, we can offer generations to come hope and new paths to uncover. A group of exceptional 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 and bring forward an interpretation of identity using the Kafiye as a tool for expression. Two more competition winners will join the show. The exhibition is only part of the bigger conversation; starting in NYC and moving all over the world. We hope you stay tuned and join us on this journey!