Dima Nachawi

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. Two illustrated stories have already been produced in relation to the project. The style of the stories is similar to the traditional folk stories of Syria. They symbolise real events or facts through metaphors, symbolism and a narrative that uses fantasy to document the Syrian cultural memory. Dima performs as storyteller mixing between the visual representation of the story itself with an audio performance.

Dima’s recent participation in collective exhibitions was in ‘Textural Threads’ exhibition in London within “AWAN” festival. “AWAN” festival is an annual event that celebrates Arab female artists, by offering them the platform to increase the visibility of their artwork and also by exposing their talent to newer audiences.

She also participated in several collective exhibitions in Syria ; and organized two exhibitions to advocate for social causes in Damascus. The first was in 2010 to support refugee children under the umbrella of the UNHCR. The second was in 2011 to support children with cancer through Basma, a Syrian nonprofit organization. Both exhibitions were inspired by children texts and stories.