This should ideally have gone to the WordPress blog in line w/ the policy that this site is published work only, but WordPress sucks at video without paying for an enhancement. And we need video sometimes.
Bold Talks was over a month ago – Feb 11th to be precise. Take a bow, Enida and Tamir, whose brainchild it was. A conference that isn’t afraid to be controversial – but not too controversial. I recall Tamer insisting that Dr. Phil Zimbardo of Stanford Prison experiment fame only take questions non-political in nature. No Bush-bashing, thank you. But such are the safety catches one must deploy while organizing stuff in the UAE – one never knows when someone who’s anyone might take offense at a given meniality.
It was a brilliant experience. I was there, mucking around, per norm. A few weeks prior, I’d had this shower epiphany that creativity really only needs the will to overcome fear: the fear of creating something that belongs to you. Of telling your story, while feeling that others may be better qualified to tell it. Of subjecting yourself to feedback, of taking part in popular discourse, of stepping outside your comfort zones.
The troops were rallied. Thank you, Abdullah al Suweidi, Ashraf Ghori, Mohammad Fikree and Akhil Fikree for being such valuable companions.
Our point was simple: there is no one better qualified tell your story than you. It is only by telling your story through pictures, sound, written and spoken word, or any other medium, that the region can benefit from home grown content. Creativity is simply the act of creating, telling stories using different mediums, generating content, and expressing ideas.
Eric Schmidt, ex-CEO of Google, has said that less than one percent of the content on the Internet is in Arabic. Consider too the words of sociologist Michael Foucault that knowledge is power. Those who create knowledge have power to negotiate ideas, and influence others. At present juncture, most of our knowledge is being created elsewhere and consumed here. We are recipients, and not creators.
At Bold 2011, we wanted to demonstrate how easy, fun and spontaneous creativity can be. We wanted to overcome the fear that prevents us from all becoming creators. We wished to demonstrate that collaboration makes creating easier and also more interactive. And subtly present the argument that we should all be doing a lot more than we really are.
Here’s the edited video of the event courtesy of creative labs, the twofour54 project that funds content creation. There are quite a few glimpses of our demonstration too, as well as a few interesting interviews.
And what did we do?
Well, using cues from the audience, including favourite Dubai landmarks and what people thought of them, we created a short video fusing English and Arabic text, voiceovers, live music and animation, all in real time within the allotted twenty minutes.
The final product, shown live in a darkened hall, is right here:
Bold 2011 was great. Thanks, Enida and Tamer, for putting us up on stage. And thanks, Dr. Bastakiya, for allowing me to temporarily take over the MC mic. Can’t wait for 2012. Maybe we’ll do a demonstration on constructing hovercrafts, or something equally zany. Who’s with me?