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Art of Recycle with Cyrus Kabiru

The A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme brings together artists and designers in close collaboration with local schools and children at the Art Dubai Fair through bespoke workshops. The programme aims to provide UAE based children with opportunities to grow and develop their interest and understanding of the arts by familiarising them with a wide range of art and design practices and interacting with a roster of international artists.

The second iteration of The A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme features artist Cyrus Kabiru, who will work with participants to retrieve and repurpose everyday materials from their homes and schools, and transform them into works of art. Through these workshops, Cyrus will challenge participants to alter their perspectives, and re-examine how they see everyday objects and their wider surroundings.

The programme is composed of two parts based on the artists chosen theme for the programme; 

Immersive workshops took place at the Art Dubai Fair, that were curated by the artist, Cyrus Kabiru. The workshops accommodated children of different ages and educational levels to suit the following age groups: ages 5-7, ages 8-12 and ages 13-17.  The programme accommodated 180 children across 16 workshops.

The programme will now expand through in-classroom workshops taking place after the fair in May. Schools around the UAE are invited to take part to provide opportunities for children to grow and develop their interest and understanding of the arts. Again, the activities will accommodate children of the following age groups: ages 5-7, ages 8-12 and ages 13-17. In 2021, the programme accommodated over 1,800 children in 70 schools, and in 2022 will grow to accommodate 4,800 children in 80 schools.

A.R.M. Holding is a private investment firm and a multi-focused economic enabler investing in partnerships that reinforce Dubai’s position as the global capital of culture and innovation. It collaborates to that end with Art Dubai on a number of initiatives that foster young talent and creativity in the emirate.


To sign up for the in-school workshops, please click here. The deadline for applications is April 18, 2022.

This Year’s Workshops are Separated Into Three Age Groups, Each With Different Learning Outcomes

The workshop will start with a small introductory session highlighting “What is recycled art.”

Children will participate in an activity that challenges them to create recycled art in fun and unique ways. In this workshop, the students will be using primarily paper-based recycled items such as (cereal boxes, cardboard, egg cartons). They will be using glue as the binding agent to put their creations together. 

After the workshop, students should be able to 

    • Define ‘recycled art.’
    • Understand the importance of sustainability 
    • Have a new perception of what is art 

The session will begin with a Q&A session.

  • Students will take turns listing supplies that can be used to create an artwork. 
  • Did anyone mention a wheel, a spoon, or old automobile parts as potential art supplies?
  • How might these odd items be used to create art?
  • Is there a limit to the type of material used for art?

After the introductory session, children will participate in a recycled art exercise. The artist will guide the children on giving discarded items a new life. Students will be allowed to work with paper and plastic recycled items (plastic bottles, candy wrappers, pens, containers, lids). To secure the objects together, students will be supplied with metal wiring. 

After the workshop, students should be able to 

  • Define ‘recycled art.’
  • Understand the importance of sustainability and recycling.
  • Students will have a new appreciation for recycled objects.

The session will begin with a Q&A session:-

  • The artist will ask the students to identify recognizable objects in the bicycle artwork.
  • Students will be asked whether they and their families recycle any of these items?

Students will experience an artistic exploration of what art can be. This workshop allows students to participate in the artwork creation process from the idea phase to the finished product. ​Students will learn the basics of designing and constructing an artwork.

Students will be allowed to work with all forms of recycled items (paper, plastic, and metal). To bind the objects together, students will be supplied with metal wiring. 


After the workshop, students should be able to 

  • Analyze objects that can be recycled and how to turn them into an artwork
  • Understand the importance of sustainability and recycling 
  • Students will appreciate how found, and recycled objects can be made into art.

Cyrus Kabiru HNF workshop in Barcelona


Cyrus Kabiru’s art career is a story of reimagination and reinvention. He is an out-of-the-box innovator from Kenya who gives waste a second life through art while promoting sustainable living. 

“I am trying to change the world through my work, by recycling, and by showing the younger generation that you can live if you save nature. I save nature, and nature gives something to me.”

Kabiru has been creating his famous C-Stunners since childhood: first as toys for himself and later for his classmates as a way of trading his way through schoolwork and ultimately becoming a metaphor for the power of creative transformation both within Africa and worldwide.

Cyrus C-Stunners is part of many collections and institutions and is permanently shown at the Zeitz Mocaa Museum in Cape Town and the Smithsonian African department. He has recently been featured at the Afro-futurism exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Thanks to his art, he traveled to more than thirty countries holding workshops, ted talks, CNN interviews, conferences in Universities, and participating in design weeks to show people how to be a warrior of the future.

Image credit: AKKA Project 

Past Editions of the A.R.M Holding Children’s Programme

To learn more about A.R.M. Holding’s cultural activities, visit here