81 Designs calls artists to support capacity building among women refugees

81 designs

UAE-based social enterprise 81 Designs calls artists from the region to share their talents and help improve the livelihood of those who are affected by the unrest in this part of the world.  Launching at the 11th edition of Art Dubai, 81 Designs recreates regional artists’ existing designs and transform them into tapestries, hand sewn by Palestinian women refugees in South Lebanon.

In a documentary film that is being shown at 81 Designs’ booth, head refugee artisan Faten Marshoud, said: “The work we do here allows us to be independent. Everyone’s situation has greatly improved. In fact, I was able to recently pay for an operation my husband needed.”

Establishing the enterprise took Nadine Y Maalouf and her mother and co-founder Nesrine El Tibi Maalouf two years to fully understand the challenges, consider people’s needs, develop potentials, and allow each individual to engage in the process of learning. Nadine said: “A lot of time and energy was invested into the enterprise. We felt that these women needed a renewed sense of purpose in life, and this initiative allows them to receive the support that empowers them and showcases their skills to be appreciated by an international audience.”

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Each project curated by 81 Designs collaborates with an artist from the region. The enterprise also serves as a platform for artists to present their works in a different medium; and at the same time, showcase refugee artisans’ talents and help them improve their lives.

International artist eL Seed supports various organisations that benefit the underprivileged.

He said: “I appreciate the recognition and trust that 81 Designs has given me to be the first artist they collaborate with. I truly hope to make a difference to the lives of these women and their families through this meaningful initiative.”

eL Seed will also take part in a talk hosted by Nadine Maalouf to officially launch 81 Designs on Friday, 17 March from 5:00pm to 6:30pm at Julius Baer Lounge, Fort Island, Madinat, Jumeirah.

Artists who are interested to collaborate with 81 Designs for its next project may express their interest by visiting the booth at Art Dubai or emailing info@81designsme.com. Submissions will be reviewed by 81 Designs founders and the selected artist will be notified directly.

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