Asameena is launching a contest on the theme of “The Arab of the Future”, a nod to the famous comic strips of Riadh Sattouf. The contest – in collaboration with the Kuwait Fund at SciencesPo – is designed for young people from the Arab world as it seeks to open a conversation on the shape that could take the Arab of the Future and more generally on the future of the region.
With the brutal changes that the Arab world has known in the last decades, whether through revolts or wars, with hopes or collapses, the question of the future becomes crucial. The intense flux of present news drowns the horizon of the future and even sometimes out of despair, removes the possibility of its existence. As such, it seemed necessary for us at Asameena to offer a space for young people from the region to ponder creatively on their visions of the future and question all sorts of certitudes, continuities or ruptures.
The idea of the Arab of the Future finds its origins in the comic strips of Riadh Sattouf where he describes with humour his youth between Libya, Syria and France in a time of pan-Arab hope. Here, we seek to use the expression “the Arab of the Futur” to contemplate ourselves and the world in the long run of time, to imagine our aspirations to come and envision the future by ourselves rather than being written by other hands. To know, what we, Arabs, envision for our own future, it seemed natural to give way to our artistic and literary expressions to give life to our utopias, articulate our fears or aspirations for our region, our countries and ourselves.
As such, we do not seek to construct our Arab of the Future but rather to read and see yours. The Arab of the Future is an invitation.
Forms of the contest
The contest is open to all, Arabs and non-Arabs, with the preference for people less than 30 years old. Each participant can submit one original piece.
The contest has four categories:
- prose (essays, fiction, short stories …)
- Poetry (poems, slam)
- Audio-visual arts (videos, short films)
- Visual arts (drawings, caricatures, photographs, collages)
The works can be in Arab (dialect and fu’sha), French or English or even a mix of these three languages, to allow a varied expression on the perspectives of the future.
The pre-selection will be established by the magazine team and the winners will be choosen by a jury of professionals, arts and writers. The four winners will see their work published in the special issue of Asameena “The Arab of the Future” and will receive the sum of 400 euros. The pre-selected participants will also have a chance to have their works published on the Asameena website.
To link the contest to events on the ground, Asameena is also organising a series of workshops centred on certain artistic medium: writing, musique, graphic arts and visual arts. The workshops gravitate around the common theme of the Arab of the Future but the participants will draw from their own references and ideas.
The workshops will take place in Tunis (18/19 February), Casablanca (11th of March) and Cairo (in April). You will find more information on our website and on social media.