29 Aug 2008


Graffiti artists present at the SWING: Mou3alem, Fish & Fever

Impact BBDO has endorsed the PEACE SWING event up & kickin'

For one hot night, the naked roof of La Voile beach, Rmeyleh became a launching pad for social creative ideas, with over 600 creative and idealistic professionals showing up to help good ideas impact social action and give peace a needed Swing, eponym of the event launched by The Communication Zone and initiated by ArabAd and Artlounge gallery. Conceived to 'instigate positive change in an accessible, entertaining way, ArabAd magazine offered last Sunday at La Voile Beach Rmeyleh, a playground for 'free idea exchange,' wherein visitors to the site were invited to join a conversation on how to solve some of the world's biggest problems, through the arts, design and creativity. In addition to generating strategies and awareness, a rare level of communication between the creative communities proved a great productivity driver. ArabAd has set the Swing to allow an artful celebration and the unfolding of 100 + posters in the beautiful outdoors of La Voile Beach, in Rmeyleh on Sunday, August 24. The Swing celebrated the 50th anniversary of the peace sign with a stunning event programme that kicked off at sunset time. The show highlighted anti-war messages by individuals who wished to engage with their design and share their interpretation of peace.
“The 100+ posters submitted for ArabAd peace poster design contest reflect the diversity of religions and beliefs in the communications industry and the Arab community at large and we believe we have succeeded in addressing responsible design in a creative approach,”
asserted Walid Azzi, Publisher of ArabAd.
The artworks on display demonstrated the sheer power of that infamous symbol, the peace imagery and the extraordinary visual vocabulary the peace sign continues to inspire.
“When your gut leads your mind, great things happens,”
commented Ibrahim Nehmé, event manager. The ‘SWING’ gathered camaraderie, optimism, spontaneity and informality along with creativity and powerful messages of Peace and harmony, a swing set to beat the audience into silence and reflection with its thundering rhythms.
“It was time we give peace a dance – and hustle up some respect for the designers who contributed with their talents, efforts, enthusiasm and creativity to giving creativity a swing, for the launch of the first edition of ArabAd poster design contest,”
added Nehmé. The jury panel in charge of selecting the top ten winners consisted of professional designers, academics, creative directors, agency owners and OOH company owners and was responsible in conducting the judging based on the below listed criteria:
  • Overall Creativity and Concept
  • Visual impact
  • Peace sign embedment and relevancy
This year, the team at the Middle Eastern communications magazine selected Peace as the theme for designers to work around and join this creative challenge made to generate greater awareness with the arts as a weapon for social change. Fundamentally, this initiative is a tribute ArabAd want it to give for the 50th anniversary of a symbol, the Peace sign. Hence, the only rule of the poster contest was to include a peace sign with the artwork submitted. All art forms were welcomed and participants from all over the Middle East showed a great deal of interest and overwhelming contribution. In total, 114 posters were submitted. Over the duration of the event, the function of the space morphed between exhibition and stage as narratives started and finished, environments altered and audiences circulated within La Voile artsy playground. The aim was to create a swing combining different creative agendas with DJ Culture, Stencil art, print works, graffiti tag, airbrush play, installation and video existing alongside and complementing each other allowing the audience to move in and out of different creative realms, and making peace do nothing but swing, all night, all long, all the way. The Swing brought together the Capoeira crew, the best graffiti artists in town along with Jade, The Basement’s resident DJ & VJ Glitterpill to project her vision of Peace. It was really just a matter of time before Ghada Azzi, ArabAd managing Editor, and the mastermind behind this initiative, got loose with something that fit her and her zone, perfectly.
In Azzi's own words,
“This initiative was set to empower people to broadcast their views on peace. This is a simple and rather an entertaining approach to generating traction around responsible design and creative ideas.”

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