Saturday afternoon, in the emerald green grass just outside The Archive in Safa Park, readers of all ages came together to celebrate the written word at The Magazine Fair, which showcased the quirky, creative, and up and coming industry of local independent magazines.
Sarah Malki, The Archive’s Program Manager framed the fair in this way: “We like to create a space here for anything that brings the community together and is art and education based, and that is exactly what these magazines are about, covering everything from architecture to design and culture.”
Fair goers could meet magazine editors, purchase back issues of their favorite titles, and stop for a slice of home made cake from a pop up bakery or a fresh juice along the way. Good Magazine, a practical new publication focusing on UAE living, brought a Christmas tree and carols along, and created a cozy crafting space with the talented ladies from reMADE DXB the country’s first sewing parlour. Children and adults sat in a circle, learning to stitch handmade ornaments.
The sun was smiling down brightly, and The Magazine Shop (The Archive’s sister space) served iced coffee from a tray, while Kamal Rasool was on-hand to offer custom tailored recommendations of indie magazines and music. Hipsters mobbed the table, happily carrying off bundles of fresh reading tied up in twine. The Magazine Shop was pivotal in organizing the Fair and Kamal explained, “We’re really proud of all the creativity that is happening in the UAE right now and we’re hoping that this fair will get more people into the scene. It’s a way to bring all the creative people together and give them the chance to meet.”
Inside The Archive at a long table framed by tall vases of blossoming white lilies, local designer and illustrator Khalid Mezaina ran a workshop to show aspiring editors how to create their own fan zines using just a copy machine, paper resources, and imagination. Through the glass-paneled walls and past the park’s gates, the Dubai skyline dazzled, but the city’s hustle and bustle seemed far away.
Late in the afternoon, The Swingin’ Aces got everyone tapping their toes to jazz classics while Lindy Hop Dubai offered free swing dancing lessons. Kids raced by the vibrant new mural created Friday afternoon in a special workshop with street artists eL Seed and Ruben Sanchez. Groups of edgy 20-somethings gathered under trees, passing magazines back and forth. In a very short time, The Archive, a project of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, has succeeded in creating a true community space for everyone to share.
Good Idea: Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) is quietly creating real positive change in the region with job creation programs, start-up competitions, and many other projects that bridge sectors. You might have heard about the recent Jameel Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for art or design rooted in Islamic tradition. ALJCI also proudly sponsors The Archive in Safa Park. To learn more about ALJCI go here.
Credits: This post was co-posted with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives