Thursday, 15 March 2012

GeekFest Sharjah 1.0

UPDATE since the original post we've added an origami workshop by JUKI, a Technology Showcase from Nokia, an exhibition of digital photography by Azimuddin Mohammed and the world's first Indian poetry mobile application - these and GameFest details are added in below.

It’s been a slow train coming, but GeekFest is coming to Sharjah! Every GeekFest around the region has had its different ‘feel’, and Sharjah’s no exception. We’ve got art, culture and creativity at the core of the event, which promises to be a very large amount of fun and it's developing daily, too!

So mark your diaries, set your calendars and trip your alarms for 7.30pm on Thursday 22nd March AD!

First a thanks to Mr Rupert Bumfrey, who was instrumental in actually getting the event up and running, as well as doing more organising (this will surprise few who know GeekFest) than I did.

We got talks, we got workshops, GameFest and we got ‘things happening’ and there’ll be updates as we move forward, too, because there's more stuff happening every day.

The really good news is the The Al Qasba Food Festival is happening the same night at Al Qasba and we're looking forward to integrating the two events to Feed The Geeks!!!

GeekFest Sharjah 1.0 is being held at the Al Maraya Art Centre, which is on the first floor of Al Qasba in Sharjah, relatively easy to get to from Dubai even with the Thursday traffic taken into account. There's a map at the bottom of this post.

I can tell you now, GeekFest Sharjah is an Olives Free Zone. No signings, no readings, no talks about books, no books on sale. Nothing with a stone in. And certainly nothing stuffed with pimentoes.

Taking place in Al Maraya's fabby bean-bag cinema, which is similar to the 'old Shelter' cinema space (a tad bigger, if anything), the talks as usual start at 8pm and each lasts 15 minutes sharp!

If Music be the Food of Love, Play on!
Rasha Omer is Marketing and Content Manager at creative community website TripleW, which encourages people to upload their music, photography and film for others to enjoy and sample, with three strands to the site catering to these areas – all titled ‘makshoof’ (in the open). The idea isn’t free content or pirated content – the idea is sharing talent, building reputations and exposing potential. Rasha will be talking about the site, its aims and about the burgeoning creative community TripleW is hosting. There will be music.

Confessions of a Manga Geek
Qais Sedki, married Emirati father of two, willingly gave up a career in information technology in order to pursue a passion to put entertainment to good use.  His vision was to provide original classical Arabic content, professionally produced graphic novels in Japanese manga format in order to instil a love of reading.  He set up Pageflip Publishing, an independent Dubai based publishing house to self publish his debut title, Gold Ring, which won the coveted Sheikh Zayed Book Award For Children's Literature in 2010 making him the first Emirati author to win in any category of the international prize.

Qais will be talking about manga, what defines it, its origins, and will be sharing his experience of trying to make a difference through reading. There will be cartoons.

A new level in art
Responsible for digital strategy at Ogilvy One, Alexandra Tohme is a Geeka with a fascination for community development, collaboration and the power of crowds working together to do better stuff. March is the month of art. Art Dubai, Sikka Art Fair and the statement that Dubai Properties Group has partnered with Dubai Culture to deliver an "Outdoor Art Project" at Business Bay
(see )

Alex's idea is taking public art to the next level using technology to enhance the experience. In her talk she wants to give her ideas on using augmented reality, gamification and soundscapes to deliver the next generation of art and hopes to inspire the audience to work with her on an ambitious new project. There will be collaboration.

What was Sharjah like in 1937?
One of the most memorable living documents of Sharjah’s pre-oil history is the documentary film Air Outpost, made by London Films for Imperial Airways in 1937 and focusing on the desert airport of Sharjah – complete with ‘fanatical Wahhabi Muslims’. Among many other claims to fame, this important film is the first ‘proper’ documentary as well as laying claim to be the first ever corporate video.  His interest sparked by obtaining an early copy of the film in the 1990s, Alexander McNabb has long studied the Imperial Airways story and will share the incredible tale of the network that linked an Empire. There will be a screening of the film and there will be popcorn.


Old 'friends of GeekFest' Nokia will be on hand to talk about mobiles, maps and all things app-related as they showcase the latest from Planet Nokia and the Nokia team will be around to answer your questions, chat to you about what they're planning and generally join in the fun.


Comes to you powered by those nice chaps at tbreak and megamers - we'll once again be hosting some sort of screaming fragathon for the hardcore gaming nuts (bring a laptop) while the chaps have promised to bring some more general public friendly gaming fun of a more Kinect sort of nature. Please, once again, do not feed the gamers. They get a healthy diet and really do have to learn not to bite.


10 Tips for Shooting with Retouching in Mind
Renowned photographer and digital manipulator of things Catalin Marin – as well as the man behind uber-popular photoblog Momentary Awe will be conducting a 45 minute hands-on workshop to look at how you can optimise your digital photography to make the most of the sophisticated retouching tools today’s digital artist has to hand. Places for this workshop are limited, so please do hit Catalin up on Twitter and reserve your seat!

The Great GeekFest Sharjah Origami Workshop
The team from JUKI, the Japan UAE Kizuna Initiative, will be on hand to share their origami skills in a workshop designed to harness your creativity, tantalise your tastebuds and satisfy your senses! Learn about the art of origami and how to make something more interesting than paper planes with your own two hands as well as taking a chance to talk to the JUKI guys about their fund raising for victims of Japan's tsunami and earthquake.

The Book Shelter
Has its home at Al Maraya Centre - so bring your old books to add to the Book Shelter collection and feel free to take a bunch of books away with you! There'll be a reading corner on the night for committed bookworms.

We're just in the middle of confirming more workhops and a number of other things, events and happenings, so watch this space!

In concert with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Sharjah Museums is hosting an important exhibition of the works of orientalist Owen Jones, the Victorian architect and designer whose studies of the AlHambra led to the flowering of orientalist art and brought influences and ideas to influence British design throughout the C19th. These ideas percolated throughout the century and can still be seen in the works of later influential Victorian artists such as William Moore and trickling into Art Deco.

Ibrahim El Salahi, the picture maker, was born in 1930 in Omdurman, in the Sudan. He is best known as the pioneer of modern African art, whose seminal work ‘The Inevitable’ has been called ‘Africa’s Guernica’. El-Salahi aimed to blend Arabic, Nubic, Coptic and European elements with one another and was one of the first modern artists to incorporate Arab calligraphy into his works, using it both as a means of communication and as purely aesthetic form.

Fatima Musharbak, Noor Karmustaji and Asma Makram from the Sharjah Museums Department will be on hand along with displays of work from the Owen Jones and Ibrahim El Salahi exhibitions, both of which open next week.

Azimuddin Mohammed
Poet, writer, Freelancer artist/ designer, photographer & creative director – musafirs (Mohammed Azimuddin) will be showing slideshows of his work, a combination of images from and around Sharjah as well as studies from further afield.

Mujeeb Jaihoon
Indian poet Mujeeb Jaihoon will be demonstrating his innovative 'poetry app', iJaihoon at GeekFest - it's available on Apple and Android and is the world's first app for Indian poetry! More here!

The Map Of  The Place Of The GeekFest

View Larger Map

If you need any other information, just shout! Here's the Al Maraya website, too! You can follow @geekfestdubai on Twitter, btw, or find us on Facebook here.
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Eman Hussein said...

when is it??

Alexander said...

You don't want to get bogged down in petty little details like that, Eman, surely?

Thanks. Changed it. :)

Oussama's Take said...

Great, unfortunately will be of all places in UK. However, I promise to join in what is the Twitter hash tag. Good luck and enjoy..... Have fun

Ghadeer said...

I will be there tonight representing The Book Shelter :)

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