A visual storytelling workshop

2 May 2013
4 May 2013

Deadline for registration 28 April 2013 (Places are limited: to register email visualnarrativeworkshops@gmail.com before April 28)

THU. May 2nd • 6:30pm – 8 pm: Introduction to storytelling / Open to all
FRI. May 3rd & SAT. may 4th • 11 am – 4 pm: Working sessions with registered participants.
Participation fee: 300 AED.

Designers Lara Balaa and Rita Saad will be offering a visual storytelling workshop around the theme of cultural misconceptions. The workshop will run over the course of three days during which participants will write their own story and visualize it with type, drawings, collage, photography or any other way they see fit. Stories will then be compiled in a manually bound booklet that participants can keep as a souvenir.

VNW01 - Lara Balaa


Narrative being the most basic form of communication, these workshops are designed to encourage participants to explore their voices as visual storytellers, by familiarizing them with various narrative strategies (perspective, development, tonality, characters, time, place, etc.) and helping them develop their sequential storytelling skills.

Participants will also enjoy the cathartic quality of their experience as authors who will find or develop their own voice and rediscover a medium for personal expression.

In each episode, participants would engage in writing a narrative based on a preset theme. Their written narrative, be it in the form of a short story, a poem or even a joke will later be translated into a visual and/or textual outcome (of any language).


Having previously lived in the gulf, both workshop designers have experienced a peculiar sense of (un)mixity between the different cultures living in the gulf. Based on each individual’s occupation and income level, one is more prone to mix with others who belong to the same social class and therefore have a similar lifestyle as opposed to others who come from different cultural backgrounds. This pattern is further enhanced by a limited street culture. With time, the ‘other’ becomes an object onto which one can lay all kinds of misconceptions. Unless put under the test, these misconceptions can evolve into dangerous prejudice. The workshop we are proposing for Dubai aims to uncover the stereotypes we have (or used to have) of another who comes from a different culture and who we never had the chance to interact with. These stereotypes will be explored, questioned, ridiculed at times and hopefully eradicated (at least on a personal level) through narratives compiled by the workshop’s participants. Narratives will translated visually, reproduced and compiled in the form of a manually bound booklet that participants can keep as a souvenir.


Anyone who has an affinity for visual communication. Software knowledge can come in handy but is not required. — Workshop will take place at The Archive Dubai, Safa Park (Gate 5), Al Wasl Road.


and www.visualnarrativeworkshops.com