From Tangier to Baku -
it's time for art, time for difference:
A new art magazine hopes to showcase the positive energy and creative spirit of the Arabic world – with exciting stories and moving images. Read More
What do you do on Twitter? Do you check out the profiles of your followers in more detail? Or those you want to follow? Well we do. And this can lead to odd discoveries, but also to real pearls: People whose 140-character presentation of their self immediately draws your interest. This is how we felt about Sarah Anouar and her recently founded art magazine L'Eclectique.
It not only contains impressive picture galleries, but also exciting reports on the art scene in the Arabic world. Just like Tea after Twelve, L’Eclectique showcases people who are changing their world with an idea, an art project, or a business venture. Sarah particularly wants to chip away at the cliché that the only news comes from Arabic realm is bad news. The daughter of Arabic parents, the Paris native wants to show the beautiful and creative side of the Arabic world. We talked to her about her first steps in creating L'Eclectique.
How did you arrive at the name of your magazine?
First of all, I like the word “eclectique” because of the way it sounds and what it means. L’Eclectique is a person who is interested in a wide range of different things and who likes those different things no matter where they come from. The leitmotiv of the L’Eclectique Magazine is the difference. Many differences could be part of a harmony (represented by the logo which is a mosaic). Then I decided it would be a good name for the magazine I wanted to found – it is more than just a word; it is a way of being.
L’Eclectique is more than just a word; it is a way of being.
What's the idea behind L'Eclectique?
No matter what medium you consume – whether television, newspaper or internet – all you see are horror stories about the Arab world: Stories that bleed, war, terror, everything with a negative twist. And the media also transmit an image of hopelessness – “there is nothing to be done”. And that is where L'Eclectique takes up the narrative: I want to show that this is not the case, that the Arabic world is full of people with positive energy and creative spirits! L’Eclectique presents a different vision of the Arab world and tells people that the more difference we discover, the more enriching and interesting life becomes…Keep watching.
Visit L’Eclectique to read all the stories about the pictures published here. And keep your eye on the page: two new articles and one editorial are posted every week.
What personal experiences influenced its creation?
At a very particular moment in my life when I had so many doubts about my personal expectations and felt a need to do what I love; I needed a new personal project to allow me to grow. I do believe that at some point happiness is the result of personal effort, and I found out that creativity is a good way to counteract resignation. Travelling and trying to understand people by getting their stories is a journey of self-development; it can change your life or your mind in a way you could have never have imagined. I think that creativity is somehow the result of an inner journey. I can say that my personal experiences along the path of life inspired the creation of L’Eclectique Magazine.
What kind of stories do you publish?
L’Eclectique is an invitation to travel into the world of the creation and creativity from Tangier to Baku and beyond. I look for creative people who express their passions, feelings, and emotions through art, culture, and lifestyle. I am also interested in publishing the success stories of young talents who founded a business based on a creative idea. These are sometimes surprising because they started off with a little idea that rapidly grew into a business and changed their entire lives.
One of your categories is “wanderlust” - what's that all about?
I enjoy sharing stories about travelling and wanderlust because I think travelling is to the death knell for narrow-mindedness and bigotry. The more you travel the more you get to explore the world, meet people, and get to know yourself. Curiosity is a great quality. Culture connects people wherever they come from.
You just launched the magazine on December 18th 2014. What has feedback been like so far?
I have gotten very positive feedback on this new project and people are curious to know why I did it.
What has the most touching or impressive story been for you in L'Ecletique so far?
One was the story of calligraphist Everitte Barbee, an American artist born and raised in the United States. He learned Arabic during his studies and then took up Islamic calligraphy. His calligraphy work was so stunning. He learned his art in different countries in the Middle East and is now living in Lebanon in Beirut. I find it fantastic to see what people can do when they really love what they do, when they follow their hearts and intuition. I was also touched by a very young artist, Roza Muradova from Azerbaijan. She is 17 years old and paints and draws quite amazingly. She has a gift and the power to touch people with her artworks. I am always impressed by people who have this creative power and can express it like a journey from the interior of our being towards the outside world.
What are the next steps for you and L'Eclectique
L’Eclectique will keep sharing positive messages about creativity and be a platform for talented people to share their ideas. In the future, we want to publish an English edition and a paper or a book edition. But I also have so many other project ideas in mind! Let’s see which opportunities arise over the course of the journey…
A Selection of the artists presented in L'Eclectique