Author Archives: Zeina Dghaim

DWELLING CLE + UCD SYMPOSIUM 2022

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Cultural Literacy Everywhere and University College Dublin Symposium: 12–13 May 2022, by zoom.

As a physical space of habitation, dwellings may take many forms, such as houses, castles, apartments, convents, caravans, huts, or barges. Moreover, dwelling – both noun and verb – implies a certain ‘staying put’ or even permanence. Therefore, dwelling might then be a state of rootedness and safety, the opposite of temporary spaces such as refugee camps, prisons, and hospitals.

Space is a dimension that permits the formation of places, which for geographer Doreen Massey (1994) has multiple non-static identities. A place within a space can harmonize or clash with its surroundings. For Bachelard (1961), places and spaces are tied to identity-formation via an architectural engagement with dwellings. As a space of intimacy, a dwelling can constitute a ‘cosmos’ of the self, and it could be explored through topographical surveys or mappings of the paraphernalia, ambiances, memories, and imaginaries of living, as in the fiction and non-fiction of Georges Perec.

Exploring dwelling as a relationship with space, Bourdieu’s work on the ‘Berber house’ (1970) questions the modernist idea of space as nothingness or void. Heidegger’s ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’ (1954), an essential text for modern architecture, links human inscapes with the (im)material realities of building and dwelling. For the dweller, the relation to space and place entails simultaneously a withdrawal into a demarcated space for shelter and the creation of a sense of belonging.

Humanity’s sense of place and space has never been more prominent than it is today. The COVID-19 pandemic has confined many people to cramped urban dwellings or inhospitable spaces (e.g., quarantine hotels), turned homes into offices, and changed the topography of everyday life. This crisis, along with economic inequalities, climate change, and mass migration events, confirms the need for a radical reassessment of sustainable human dwelling on earth. This Symposium will engage in creative and critical discussion on dwelling in both the verbal and the nominal sense and on how we live or wish to live in the world.

This two-day online Symposium is designed to generate active discussion, focusing on thinking and talking rather than formal presentations. If your proposal is accepted, it will be included in a digital ‘book of presentations’ that all participants will be asked to read in advance of the Symposium. The contributions will be grouped into parallel break-out sessions of 90 minutes, during which each presenter will speak for max 10 minutes, and the subsequent discussion will aim to explore the key theme of the panel.

Proposals might include the following – or other – perspectives on ‘dwelling’:

– Dwelling and identity
– Dwelling and ecology
– Dwelling, location, address
– Dwelling as habitat or home
– Dwelling, remaining, and belonging
– Dwelling on: dwelling as a state of mind, as fixation
– Multiple dwellings or grouped dwellings, e.g., neighbourhood
– Dwellings vs. other buildings, e.g., factories, shops, ports, farmyards, etc.
– Dwellings and architecture, e.g., buildings: walls, doors, windows, roofs, upstairs/downstairs, etc

APPLICATION: We invite 300-word proposals in English for a 10-minute presentation; please also send your presentation title, your name, affiliation, and a short biography (max. 100 words). We will also be hosting interactive workshop sessions (60 minutes) and invite 300-word proposals for these.

SUBMISSION DATE: Please send your proposal as an email attachment to Naomi Segal at naomi.segal@sas.ac.uk and Maika Nguyen at chi.nguyenmai@ucdconnect.ie by noon GMT on Sunday 5th December 2021.

CONFERENCE FEES: Standard £50 | Students (+ ID)/Unwaged £20
BURSARIES: Several bursaries are available; the successful applicants will receive a fee-waiver. The competition will open on 17 December 2021 and close on 14 January 2022.

Membership of CLE is required. To join, see Sign up for Membership – Cultural Literacy Everywhere www.cle.world

An Adventure Through Time & Space

By: Zeina Dghaim

www.zeinad.com

Every object tells a story.

I present to you an Adventure Through Time & Space. A story about four objects from the Aga Khan Museum collection. An astrolabe, a manuscript (101 Nights) – not 1001 -, a lampstand, and a basil pot (Alfabeguer). An innovative approach combining music and motion design to renew artefacts from museum collections, preserving their beauty, functionality, and stories. I hope to inspire kids and adults through this storytelling as much as these artefacts and musical repertoire have inspired people for centuries.

Repertoire: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Sheherazade.

Title: The Story of the Kalendar Prince The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov. Courtesy of Signum Records – thanks for supporting my endeavours in reviving the classics, making their magic and beauty accessible to people worldwide.

A special thanks to an incredible team at Beyond for their collaboration in the animation production.

About The Animation & Approach

The animation reinforces cultural literacy by engaging visitors with the history in cultural spaces like museums, notably a collection of artefacts dating back to Al-Andalus (Spain) consisting of metalwork, woodwork, and scientific instruments and manuscripts. The animation targets families of all ages, propelling a sense of curiosity and discovery about the objects’ functionality, history, craftsmanship and material production. Furthermore, the animation approaches cultural literacy from a global lens by emphasizing universal concepts, such as wonder, inspiration, and collaboration, cultivating cross-cultural communication through the objects. The animation activates objects through motion design where modern meets tradition, promoting the notion that diversity is an ancient space for collaboration and community building.


I created a model integrating motion design, objects, and the concept of cultural networks. The model aims to renew objects from permanent collections minable for their cultural connections, from which emerges new object relationships and storylines that museums can leverage. The value is an economical use of existing assets held in a museum coupled with a new approach to storytelling for audiences using pre-existing information in a new format – the model helps us reimagine the objects in a new way.

First, I study the objects and their provenance, create a database where I index the data and metadata, then use GIS (Geographical Information System) to map the information and identify cultural connections and clusters. Finally, I use the findings to outline the main concepts and build a storyline. 

Then the real fun begins…

Concept design, script, scenes, incorporating cultural elements and patterns, design and animation. In this case, Rimsky Korsakov’s Sheherazade directly correlates with one of the objects in the collection (the 101 Nights). Korsakov’s the Kalendar Prince is a perfect accompaniment to the animation due to its wonderous feel and tone. I take careful consideration to harmonize delicate design movements with the musical rhythm.