The world isn’t fair. Sometimes you’ve got an idea and it’s a brilliant one, but you’re either left alone to do it or other people around you don’t want to help you out because they don’t understand your vision. When Dagem and Nasredin took the Creative Futures Programme’s Event management training back in 2018, they had to form a group from with present trainees and come up with an event idea that they can work on together. But when they first met, they each wanted to do a different event and no one else wanted to do it. After a few conversations they came up with Yeha Digital Arts Experience.
Back then (which to be fair isn’t that long ago), Digital arts was seen as a “create this” buttoned version of arts. Therefore, people didn’t really take it seriously and artists that were engaged in the medium suffered because of this perception. And that is what YEHA is about. An exhibition that solely focuses on uplifting creatives from their struggles by giving them a platform to be seen and heard.
The duo also talked about creating some- thing to help them sustain YEHA and their lives. This business will also have to have their personal values at the core of it. Both of them believe that the key to success in any field is partnerships with like-minded people. Hence, the name of their business: COLLAB SYSTEMS. An events, digital marketing, branding and design company that is manned by two creatives and the collab family, a group of friends they collaborate with daily.
(Our hearts are melting too…)
COLLAB is not only responsible for YEHA, but also organized the first VOLKSWAGEN CONVENTION!!! This car, seen by many owners as the difficult lover you can’t help but love, was a part of the fabric of Addis. Historically, it was the first car the emperor drove around in and the car that kicked him out of the palace.
This car wasn’t it a sign of how rich you were but something people appreciated for its quality and inadvertently was the symbol of the classic bureaucrat (back then anyways). The COLLAB team organized this event, to create a sense of pride amongst Volks owners. Dagem also owns one. And that, the GETZ team believes, is the secret to their success. The main drive for everything they do is something they believe in and it’s true for everything they do.
Back to YEHA! The event was first held in April 2018 where just about 12 artists were selected for the competition and presented their works. The event was a success with over 1,200 visitors coming through their doors in just four hours. This gave them the validation to do a second one.
This year, the exhibition will be bigger. The duo have collaborated with 18 artists to present over 80 pieces of digital arts from GiFs, short animations, illustrations, digital paintings and so much more. There’s talk also of AR & VR experiences.
This could potentially be the biggest digital arts exhibition in Africa and we’re here for it! It’s happening on Saturday 7th and 8th March at the NOAH Plaza, with a private viewing session taking place on Friday. And best of all entrance tickets are in tune with the creative pockets… IT’S FREE!!!,
In closing, we’d like to point out that the sup- ported artist isn’t that different from the sup- ported intern, business person, doctor, just like every other professionals’ creatives also need the space, time and tools to sharpen their skill. What makes art slightly different is that when it’s good… it’s inspirational!
See you there!