MPA were privileged to attend the Global Perspectives on the Islamic Creative Economy conference, which was held at Islamic Museum of Australia on the 27th of September, 2017. The conference was part of a series of events designed to nurture conversation, creativity, ideas and trade between Dubai and Australian government and cultural institutions, organisations and creative industries.
The talent and skills of the presenters and guests at the conference showcased the contribution of Muslim professionals in the era of a creative economy. The conference provided a platform for Muslim professionals in numerous fields, in particular, business artists and creative entrepreneurs to network and connect, as well as discuss strategies to promote professionalism.
Jessica Swann, Outreach Program Manager for Benevolence Australia, University teacher at Swinburne University of Technology, Entrepreneur and so much more, welcomed the audience with kind and humble words. Based on her experience in the Middle East, the United States and Australia, Jessica discussed the significance of Arts and Culture in society to promote support and understanding of different societies.
Followed by the Minster of Multicultural Affairs Victoria, the Hon Robin Scott interpretation of shared Art and Culture allows for understanding of one’s identity, “fostering empathy for one another”. It is important to him and many involved in this industry to exchange ideas; stimulating growth and acceptance amongst the communities, increase employment, improve trade relationships, and most importantly allow for the expression of the human spirit. A misunderstanding and prejudice nature occasionally exists, which the Hon Robin Scott hopes will diminish with the continuity of strong relationships between governments, museums and creative institutions.
Arwa Al Qassim, Museum Specialist at Dubai Culture, presented the findings of The Global Perspectives On The Islamic Creativity Economy Book. The book draws attention to the business artists and creative entrepreneurs linked to Islamic Culture and Art as engines of economic growth, and to initiatives that will encourage further opportunity and innovation. He discussed four critical factors that can further enhance Islamic Culture and Art Economy:
- Attracting And Nurturing Talent
- Creating World-Class Cultural Infrastructure
- Raising Public Awareness About Islamic Culture And Art
- Mobilising Funding
The work involved by the team was insightful and illustrated to young entrepreneurs that art and design is a steadily growing industry with limitless opportunities.
Concluding the event with a multidisciplinary panel of local and international experts exploring Islamic Art and Culture found the common themes of passion, intuition and dedication. An interesting point of discussion was about young designers and entrepreneurs. International guest Adnan Halawi, Senior Proposition Manager for Islamic Economy discussed the difficulties in being recognised to which he promoted MySalaam. MySalaam.com covers food, fashion, travel, culture, entertainment and personalities that shape Muslims around the world. It is a free platform for emerging designers, to upload a quick a video, post or photo to kick start their empire.
As the day ended with many guest speakers, it was evident that human expression in any shape of form has the ability to bring two societies together and promote acceptance.
Eman Obeid and Merjem Colan
Muslim Professionals Association