In celebration of Earth Day, the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) under the sponsorship of His Excellency Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, Minister of Information and of State for Youth Affairs, as well as the Head of the NCCAL, held a 3-day public event ‘Hadat Alarth Festival’ from 22–24 April at the Kuwait National Museum and Planetarium.
Earth Day is observed on 22 April by 141 nations worldwide with events held in support of environmental conservation. To spread the message of eco-friendly living in Kuwait, the NCCAL decided to use art, music and other creative forms. Local and international artists, musicians, performers, and acrobats collaborated to create a visually fascinating show over the two days, drawing out an enthusiastic audience of all age groups.
Kick-starting the show, Khalid Alhamad, artistic director of the festival, announced that all materials used for the show was of recycled material, including the podium he was standing on. The event featured many interesting aspects, such as the enchanting ‘Illuminated Paper-Horses’ Dance’ by French-based troupe Compagnie des Quidams, who specializes in ‘street art’, and a breathtaking acrobatic-aerial show by French-based group AeroSculpture.
Speaking to The Times Kuwait, Alhamad commented: “NCCAL wanted to depict environmental awareness through art and we used all forms of art in order to give chance to various artists, and reach out to as many people as we can. It was experimental all the way.”
The show also included dance segments by students of BAIA; vocal performances by leading hip-hop brothers Yakoob and Abdul, aka Sons of Yousif, and notable folklore signer, Khalid Almulla. Kuwaiti composer, Nawaf Algheraiba, performed along with his ensemble bringing the evening to a pleasant closure. NGO ‘Spread the Passion’ volunteers played a vital role in the successful execution of the festival.
The last day of the festival hosted a 2-hour long discussion on ‘Exploring ways of creating environmental awareness through the arts’, with a panel of distinguished speakers invited from various environmental and scientific institutes such as the EPA, UNESCO (Kuwait commission), UNEP/ROWA, KISR and NCCAL.
“The highlight was to emphasize the link between art and the environment, how we can utilize art to protect and conserve earth. As they say, it’s hitting two birds with one stone – new forms of art and the environment,” said Alhamad, adding that they have plans to expand next year.