Students showcase creativity at Creative Media Festival

April 04, 2022
Northwestern Qatar students explored the many ways people express love at the school’s Creative Media Festival.
The student-led initiative is an annual creative exhibition showcasing projects created by the student body in the span of 48 hours. The students present their projects on the final day of the festival in an evening showcase event. This year, students produced installations, performances, paintings, and other creative works exploring the five languages of love, a concept popularized by Gary Chapman.
Among the projects showcased at this year’s exhibition was You Have Me By My Heartstrings, an anamorphic installation by Shaikha Khalifa Al Thani and Noora Abdulrahman Al Thani that focused on the father-daughter relationship and unseen aspects of affection in the Qatari culture. “Many young Qatari girls grew up with their fathers combing their hair and singing to them traditional songs while doing that,” said Al Thani. “Our project captures this precious moment in an attempt to challenge misconceptions about masculinity and fatherhood in the Arab world.”
Building on the passion for arts and fashion that started their friendship in their first year at Northwestern Qatar, the now third-year duo say the festival allowed them to work together despite having different majors. “Having the chance to work together at the festival this year gave us ideas about future collaborations and inspired us to tell stories about our culture through the arts,” said Noora Al Thani.
Another project showcased at the festival was a series of five visual poems by Sifr Dimachkie that examined love and the yearning for physical connection during the pandemic lockdowns. Featuring 10-minute-long footage of hand gestures and touches translated into words, At Arm’s Length explores the meaning of physical connection and its impact on ordinary people.
“I realized that in the lockdowns of the pandemic that some people suffered from lack of love because they lost physical contact with other people and that some others dealing with sensory overload felt really lucky that they don’t have reasons to touch anymore,” said Dimachkie. “I wanted in my project to universalize contact as a love language and explore how it is accessed today by seeing what touch means to neurodivergent people, neurotypical people, and all sorts of people.”
Also in this year’s festival, a group of students from the Afrowimbo Dance Group explored how music and dance are used by communities in Africa as a recognition of community love and to express feelings and virtues. They performed several group dances with traditional music and attire, joined by fellow attending students, to promote love across the community.
In underscoring the festival's impact, Professor Gregory Ferrell Lowe, director of the communication program, said it brings student storytellers and artists across majors together in a celebration of creative expression. “The range and impact of the works produced by our students at this year’s festival is a testament to their abilities as storytellers to address themes through the exercise of creative talents and skills,” he said.
This year’s festival was produced by André Visperas as student executive producer; Jannah Collado, student creative director; Aesha Hussein, student assistant producer; Moom Thahinah, student communications director, and Tianyi Geng, student project manager.