Storytelling in a Digital Age: Experimenting with Illustration & Filmmaking


Tuesday, 7th June 2022  |  18:00 - 21:00



Join visual artist and illustrator Dima Nachawi and filmmaker and editor Ali J.Dalloul for an exciting workshop about ways of storytelling in a digital age, in this case through illustrated animation. You are invited to take part in a collaborative exercise: the making of a short film based on one of Kalila wa Dimna’s tales. During the workshop you will get to experiment with a mixture of accessible audio-visual elements with Dima and Ali’s support and expertise.


The workshop runs over three hours. Below is a preliminary schedule:


Artists Dima and Ali will present themselves and their work and will invite participants to briefly introduce themselves.


30 mins
Screening of the short film ‘Tell me if you will’ by Dima and Ali for Kalila wa Dimna: Ancient Tales for Troubled Times exhibition. 
Presentation about the making of the film, including the challenges, decision making processes and the tools used.


20 mins
Presentation about storytelling techniques (illustration, filmmaking, audio...)
Explaining the workshop activity


90 mins
Workshop Activity
Participants will be divided into 3 groups of 5.
The artists will present one of Kalila wa Dimna’s chapters. 
Each group will be given a paragraph from the story & they’re requested to shorten it into one sentence. Afterwards the participants will be given paper and painting tools to transform each sentence into a frame.
The participants will record sentences and sounds.
Drawn frames will be taken in photo and imported into an editing software for a final set up into one short film.


30 mins
Discussion and end of workshop


Product to take home
A collective short film of around 30 seconds, uploaded to participants phones.


The following materials will be provided for the duration of the workshop
Papers, ink, pens, glue, scissors, printed texts.


Ali J. Dalloul is a Lebanese editor, filmmaker and video essayist.
He holds a Master of Arts in “Editing and Postproduction” from the London South Bank University. His personal work consists of collecting and editing audio-visual elements to address socio political subjects. The output challenges copyrighted material and is mostly showcased on the internet as a public space.


Dima Nachawi is an artist, clown, and visual storyteller, who collects and reflects tales from Syria. She focuses on documenting tales of ordinary Syrians, their life under conflict and their relationships with their cities which are an integral part of shaping the Syrian collective memory. She is also keen on using her illustrations to advocate for Women’s Rights and their fight against patriarchal structures. Dima is also a clown performer with “Clown Me In”, a clown theater company based in Beirut. It uses clowning to spread laughter and provide relief to disadvantaged communities across Lebanon. In 2018, she was listed among the “BBC 100 Women'', a list that highlights some of the most inspiring and influential women from around the world. Her artworks were featured in exhibitions in Beirut, Brussels, Paris, and London. Dima holds a master’s in art and Cultural Management from King’s College - London University and a B.A in Sociology from Damascus University.


This event is part of the public programme of Kalila wa Dimna Ancient Tales for Troubled Times exhibition. The exhibition has developed out of the work of Language Acts and Worldmaking, a flagship project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Open World Research Initiative. It is principally supported by The National Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Language Acts and Worldmaking. The exhibition is hosted by the P21 Gallery.