Dr. Hassan Abbas of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship interviewed illustrator, freelance artist, clown and storyteller Dima Nashawi about her work and how it intersects with human rights issues around the world.
Dima is an illustrator, clown and founder of Memory Initiative of Syrian Culture project (MISC). She joined Clown Me In (CMI) in February 2014, participating in several clown street attacks and performances until she traveled to London in September 2015 to complete her MA in Arts & Cultural Management. She rejoined CMI after returning back to Lebanon in February 2017. Her clown’s name is “Nseet” which means “ I forgot” in Arabic. Her clown character deals sarcastically with her short memory term to spread laughter and joy during the clown’s performances.
Dima’s illustrations reflect her personal life experiences and her interactions with human rights issues around the world. She feels a strong sense of responsibility to deliver, through art, a message to the world: Syria is a country of artists, a home for peaceful activists eager to live and create civil projects for a better future. Her main concern is to advocate for the brutally arrested detainees who are denied fair trials and are held in harsh conditions.
MISC project was initiated during pursuing her Masters studies of Arts and Cultural Management at King’s College University of London, UK. The project continues to be supported by the AFAQ fund. It is an attempt to help Syrians to transmit the memory of the conflict and, by doing so, to reclaim their own agency. Twitter: @dimanashawi