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Arabia Offscreen 2011

Win a creative journey of a lifetime to Saudi Arabia

Welcome to Arabia Offscreen,
a global search to find 10 talented young
creatives from the UK, Qatar, UAE, Egypt
and Malaysia to join Offscreen’s expedition
to Saudi Arabia in December 2011.


Enter Competition

Enter Competition

To enter the competition you must submit a piece of work expressing your “Offscreen” vision of Arabia or the society you live in as:

  • An artwork (for example, a painting, drawing, collage or digital artwork)
  • A film (for example, a video diary, documentary or animation)
  • A photograph (or series of photographs)

This could be a piece you have already made, or you can create a new piece, but it must fit the criteria of your ‘Offscreen’ vision.  This should not be based on stereotypes or media headlines, but rather on genuine research, inspiration and positive artistic expression.

We are looking for the next generation of talented creatives who can inspire others to make a positive difference in the 21st century. Entrants with the most original and imaginative applications will be asked for interview in September 2011 and winners will be announced at a global event later in the month.

Before you start

Your Details

College or university, or employer details:


200 word maximum



10 winners will be invited on a creative journey of discovery to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in December 2011

Winners will join an Offscreen Expedition to Saudi Arabia and work with inspiring artists, designers, journalists, filmmakers and young people to develop the key skills of leadership, communications and creativity.  The team will travel across Saudi Arabia to explore and record aspects of life beyond the stereotype. The project is being supported by special collaborations with major cultural institutions and inspired by the British Museum’s upcoming Hajj exhibition. From ultra-modern cities, to deserts, to the mountains of Aseer, participants will take part in a series of creative workshops exploring themes of sustainability, environment, culture, stereotypes, and of course journeys and pilgrimage.

Muslim winners will also have the opportunity to visit Makkah or Madinah, combining creativity with spirituality.

Throughout the once in a lifetime journey, winners will be able to share their experiences with an online audience through Offscreen’s award winning website, inspiring others around the globe with an alternative portrait of one of the world’s most misunderstood countries.

To see examples of our previous expeditions please visit:


The creative content made by participants during this journey will be included in educational resources and events to be showcased in connection with the British Museum’s Hajj exhibition in 2012.


  • Stephen Stapleton Founder of Offscreen
  • Venetia Porter: Curator of Hajj Exhibition at the British Museum
  • Abdulnasser Gharem Leading Saudi Artist
  • Paul Sinclair Education Executive, HSBC


Competition entries will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Creativity: How unique and creative is the presented idea and design
  • Inspiration Factor: How inspiring is the work to other young people
  • Offscreen Factor: How effectively has the candidate used research to express Arabia beyond the stereotype
  • Artistic Skill: What is the level of technical skill relating to the medium of application
  • Originality: How original and authentic is the application
  • Presentation Skills: How effective was the presentation in demonstrating passion and belief in their ideas


Arabia Offscreen is a global project run by Offscreen Education Programme working in partnership with Etihad Airways, Edge Of Arabia and inspired by the British Museum’s upcoming Hajj Exhibition.

Principal Sponsor

HSBC’s partnership with Offscreen is part of the bank’s 2011-2012 global Cultural Exchange programme, Arabian Journeys, which will focus on exploring the cultures of the Middle East. Following the bank’s spotlight on Brazil in 2010, India in 2009 and China in 2008, Arabian Journeys will provide insight into one of the world’s rapidly growing regions and celebrate its diverse cultural offering. Accompanied by international events and activities, the programme will also include sponsorship of Shubbak: a window on contemporary Arab culture, the London contemporary Arab cultural festival in July 2011, and an Economist Intelligence Unit research report on the region, with further announcements to be made shortly.

For more information please visit www.hsbc.com/culturalexchange

Official Airline

Etihad Airways is the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates. Created in 2003 the airline now flies to 63 destinations in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East and North America operating a fleet of 53 of the most modern, environmentally-efficient aircraft. Etihad employs more than 8,000 members of staff from more than 120 nationalities.

Delivery Partners

Offscreen Education Programme

Offscreen Education is an award winning arts and education organisation which fosters cross-cultural understanding and creativity across borders, with particular focus on Middle East-Western cultural relations. Offscreen combines the power of adventure with sustainable education models.

Edge of Arabia

Edge of Arabia is a pioneering and historically important project promoting Saudi artists to new audiences and creating educational resources and activities to improve understanding of Saudi art and culture both within Saudi Arabia and abroad.

Regional Partners

  • ALJ
  • ATHR Art Gallery

Media Partners

  • Brownbook Magazine


Offscreen Expeditions is an education programme dedicated to creating greater understanding between young people in the UK and the Muslim world.

For the past four years Offscreen Expeditions has organised educational journeys between the Islamic world and the UK, in order to create a legacy of cultural understanding and create genuinely ‘Global Citizens’ of the future.

Through a series of interactive educational expeditions and classroom resources, we provide a powerful platform for young people to create a grassroots portrait of each other’s cultures.

Our expedition team are selected through national competitions to find the brightest creative talents. During the expedition, we support these young film-makers, photographers, artists and writers to develop their creative and leadership skills, so that they can return to their communities to be a force for positive change.

At a time when politics and the media narrative show emphasise division and conflict, Offscreen Expeditions act as a necessary alternative, seeking to show how the next generation have the will to forge mutual understanding and respect.

Our work is built on the following beliefs:

  • We have a duty to support every child in every school to develop as global citizens.
  • We should support young artists and creatives to share their positive vision of the world.
  • We can help young people by providing them the platform and tools to make a brighter tomorrow.
  • We can unite communities through bringing young people together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

Follow our previous expeditions here:

Journey to Pakistan 2010
Journey to UK 2010
2008 Expedition
2007 Expedition



For all enquiries relating to the competition please contact:


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