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Marwan Kaabour
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April 6, 2022
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Takweer, an online queer Arab archive

From a designer working with big names like Fenty or Banksy to the founder of Takweer, an Instagram account that documents queer narratives in Arab history and pop culture, Marwan Kaabour has many hats. Employing his designing talents for activism, the young artist inspires and creates a community space for young LGBT+ folks across the Arab world.

Born and raised in Beirut, Marwan Kaabour moved to London in 2011, where he is still based. After pursuing a master's degree in Graphic Design from the London College of Communication, Marwan Kaabour joined the design agency Barnbrook and later founded his studio. He currently works as an independent graphic designer and visual artist.

In 2019, Marwan Kaabour launched the online platform Takweer, an Instagram page where he takes a look at Arab history and culture through a queer lens. Marwan Kaabour was always compelled to politically and socially engaged design, and Takweer is part of this continuing process. Through Takweer, he tries to bring queer Arab narratives to light, narratives that are always overlooked both in the West and within the Arab world. There is a lack of resources on the queer Arab experience, and the few that exist are scholarly and hard to access. Marwan Kaabour collects these resources and makes them accessible, as well as providing them the space in history they deserve.

As an archive, Takweer also serves as a reminder that queerness has always been part of the Arab world, and this with more tolerance before its colonization. Takweer shows that queer Arab people have always existed, at any time given, and that young queer Arabs are part of this long history.

Takweer is not just an archive, it’s also a community space. It celebrates more recent elements of pop culture that queer Arab folks have grown with. It is a space where queer Arabs across the world can come together and feel a sense of community. Marwan Kaabour hopes that this space can grow into a collective, and expands to convey the multiple voices within the queer Arab community.

Scroll down below to discover some of Marwan Kaabour’s designs and bits of his archives.


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