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Ithra’s Creativity Season

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New ideas discovered, industries disrupted, and dialogues started.


Tanween by Ithra is the first and largest Creativity Season ever held in Saudi Arabia. Over 17 days, the initiative has spread creative thinking and enabled an environment for talented and creative minds. Attendance has been overwhelming and the fantastic programs of talks, workshops and exhibitions have been running full house. ‘Disruption’ was the main theme of the inaugural edition and was visible across the various discussions.

The annual event explored creativity in art, music, film, theater, science, literature, cultural heritage, and entrepreneurship, in line with this season’s theme of encouraging people to understand and employ positive disruption not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. This year, the focus was on our main topics: Science, Manufacturing, Communication, and Fashion.

A full schedule was designed to showcase workshops and talks throughout the 17-day period, bringing together diverse talents and audiences to establish and develop the local creative sector, promote the Kingdom’s creative industry through Ithra, and support Vision 2030’s cultural and creative mandate.

The Crazy Science Show garnered over 1,700 attendees.

The Crazy Science Show garnered over 1,700 attendees.

Tanween Highlights

Introducing the speakers of the Season were social artist and actress Fatima Al Banawi, and filmmaker and actor Hakeem Jomah, both of them apt hosts for their diverse – and disruptive – professional backgrounds.

American special effects designer and TV personality (of MythBusters fame) Adam Savage shared his passion for and experiences in creating objects, and gave a talk on how this helps us understand the world around us.

Other speakers included, designer Tarek Atrissi, founders of Tamashee (a high-end footwear brand) Muneera Al Tamimi and Mohammed Kazim, and Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to summit Everest. Also a crowd favorite was a talk given by Greg Foot, a science communicator, BBC TV Presenter, and YouTuber.

Interactive workshops were held at the Ithra building as well, on topics including design thinking, manufacturing, retail and technology disruptions, inventions, Arabic typography, and Islamic Geometry. Special art installations were displayed, featuring the talent of artists Abdullah Al Othman, Stuart Campbelle, Dana Awartani, and Majed Angawi.

Panel discussions were another highlight of Tanween. The Made in KSA Panel discussed how technology and new material can help in leapfrogging global fashion capitals, projecting the Kingdom to the next stage. The panel comprised of Hatem Alakeel, founder of Toby; HRH Nourah Al Faisal, founder of NUUN Jewels; Cyrille Fabre; Partner and Director of Bain & Co; Reem AlKanhal, Designer, and moderated by Julien  Hawari, Co-Ceo of Mediaquest.

The Creativity Season attracted artists, creatives, and tech enthusiasts from all fields and of all ages, and they also got to enjoy different experiences at Ithra – watching films at the theatre, visiting a state-of-the-art library, and museums as well as the Energy Exhibit. Event-goers are already looking forward to what next year’s Creativity Season will bring!

Location: King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, 8386 Ring Rd., Dhahran
Web: ithra.com
Instagram: ithra

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