NADINE ABOU ZAKI is a Lebanese-French sculptor, writer and director, and the founder of Red Oak cultural non-governmental organization. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from Sorbonne-Paris IV and teaches Philosophy at the American University of Beirut. She is a researcher on the “Haptic Aesthetics” and the "Philosophy of Sex and Gender".
Taking total obscurity as a platform of experimentation, she sculpted blindfolded by substituting the sense of sight with that of touch, and invited the visitors to touch her sculptures in the dark in her interactive performance “Please Touch”. The performance was mentioned in “Contemporary Art and the Discovery of the Value of Tactility”, a book published by the Omero Tactile Museum of Ancona- Italy.
As a human rights activist, she used arts and culture to help advance the cause of people with disabilities and to raise environmental awareness. In 2018, she launched “Doors. Please Touch”, the first of its kind project in Lebanon and the region to facilitate the accessibility of the blind and visually impaired persons to the National Museum of Beirut and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MACAM). This project is in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Culture, the Omero Museum of Ancona, Italy.
In 2019, she was granted the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) for “Elephant in the Dark”, A blindfold Walk performance, and launched “Perceptions”, the first Theater by the Blind and Deaf in Lebanon.
She held a number of performances and solo sculpture exhibitions, and wrote and directed the dance theater performance “The Diary of a Mulberry Tree”. She was selected by the Lebanese Ministry of Culture as the sculptor ambassador for Beirut World Book Capital (2009). Her monumental sculptures are installed in front of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, and other public places in Lebanon and the UAE.
She was bestowed the “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques” (Knight of Order of the French Academic Palms), by the French Ministry of National Education and was awarded the “Prix International de la Laïcité” (The International Secular Award) by the Secular Republican Committee at La Mairie de Paris.