Lina Nahhas & Jonny Kennaugh
The social innovators using art initiatives to promote empathy
© ITP Images
• We launched Restart the Art in Dubai last year, under The Sameness Project banner, a collaboration of 44 professional artists and 44 labourers, which turned labourers’ buses into works of art on the roads, telling the stories of the humans behind the artwork and highlighting that there’s an artist in each of us; this was covered by Becky Anderson on CNN. Working creatively with others in the community, as well as our own team, keeps it funky and fresh.
• We were given some advice by Dr Roman Krznaric, author on empathy, who a short while ago rated us as one of the top 13 empathy projects in the world. He said: “Just go out there and do it, and don’t get stuck in the theory of how – especially in a field that is relatively underdeveloped in your region.”
• We’re all winging it in life, so have compassion for yourself and others. This is what made us understand what it is to be human in a much less shallow way. Having faith in what we do really matters.
• We’re continuing our work in 2016, as we spread our newly launched Empathy Pack in schools around the UAE, which will become a certifiable programme. We’ll also roll out Restart the Art on more of the labourer transport in Dubai and we’ll be pushing creative boundaries when it comes to connecting with others and promoting ‘sameness’.