Amid the series of star-studded Ramadan events hosted by international brands this month, Bottega Veneta launched its version of a majlis for not one, but three nights. Aptly named ‘The Square’, the structured space was conceptualized by Lebanese architect and musician Carl Gerges, one of the many talents celebrated by the Italian fashion house’s cultural exchange over April 12, 13, and 14, 2022. “The Square Dubai connects the two parts of who I am, music and architecture,” says Gerges. “My input entails linking design, music, and gatherings as a means to push forward a community of artists and thinkers in an architectural intervention.”
The custom place, rendered in signature Bottega Veneta green, invited small handpicked groups of guests from the local art, music, and fashion industries each night to discover the work of the Middle East’s emerging creatives. “To embrace an emphasis on sharing and togetherness at the time of Ramadan,” Bottega Veneta hosted film screenings, musical performances, storytelling sessions, poetry recitals, and offered cuisines by a number of local talents to its visitors.
Yemeni and East-African Shaima Al Tamimi showcased her short film Don’t Get Too Comfortable, which was also screened at La Biennale di Venezia, and nominated for the Orrizonti Award. The film is a letter to her late grandfather, contemplating their pasts and future as Arabs in the diaspora.
Next, poetry was read by Asma Al Badawi, the Sudanese-British spoken word poet known for advocating for inclusivity and diversity in women’s sports, and Mustafa the Poet, the Canadian songwriter whose genre-defying work explores his identity as a Black Muslim artist. Guests were also served delectable dishes made by Solemann Haddad, the chef and co-owner of Dubai’s newly opened restaurant, Moonrise.
After its debut in Dubai, the concept of The Square will travel to a few different cities on varying scales to foster local communities worldwide. According to the brand, The Square’s second installment will take place in Tokyo at the end of April.