Lectures & Presentations
A way of disseminating information about wearable heritage to a wider audience is to tell the story through lectures and presentations. On a regular basis, I lecture at museums, private institutions and academies and at universities. In these presentations I believe that understanding and experiencing different cultures should be one of the most important goals. So, showing for instance face veils and dress and letting people experience wearing such clothing items is an important part of my presentations and exhibitions.
At the book presentation of Paint it, Black, I asked a young woman in traditional costume to make a beaded kohl container. The audience attending the lecture could see the kohl container slowly take form as she was threading beads just as young women in the West Asian region produce their own kohl containers before marriage.
Since kohl is worn throughout the region by both men and women, I applied kohl to the eyes of a man in the audience during one of the lectures on the traditions of kohl. It was interesting to have members of the audience who never wear kohl, experience the feeling and the appearance.
During a presentation on costume, jewellery at the National Museum of Antiquities (in Leiden the Netherlands) and the use of fragrance in the Arab world, the audience was actively involved in experiencing the smell of different types of incense and mixtures to experience the past and traditional scented textiles from the WANA region.
The audience was presented with the material culture of makeup traditions as well as traditions of applying scent to clothes.