Lora Aziz is a nature buff, whose passion for the environment started young, when she was going out with her magnifying glass and bug inspection book to learn about nature’s curiosities.

Lora’s passion grew when she studied anthropology. Her interest in plants, cultures, and humans who live in harmony with nature led her to travel to France, Mexico and the UK to learn about different plants, medicines, arts and music.

Being half-Egyptian half-Scottish, she decided to use the knowledge she had from her experiences and trips abroad and apply them locally by developing the project Motanafas, which means in Arabic a space to breathe, a space to connect.

This project is creatively directed by her, and part of the British Council’s COP27 Creative Commissions that bring together art, science and digital technology to offer innovative, interdisciplinary, and inclusive responses to climate change.

Finding ways to connect to the natural environment is a fundamental part of re-connecting, re-capturing the stories the project wants to imprint in the minds of the future generations, through the art of visual storytelling and citizen science.

Motanafas delivers a young contemporary experience, explored through guided research, a series of nature walks, artist and ecologist led workshops for gathering plant images, samples, and stories to form part of an interactive comparative, digital, ethnobotanical collection of similar plant species found in the Al'tarfa, St Catherine’s, and Colchester.

Motanafas is realised in partnership with Dayma, an eco-education company based in Egypt, working alongside award winning documentary photographer and visual storyteller Rehab Eldilal, co-creator of the Sinai Flora Field Guide. In the UK the project is partnered with Firstsite, UK Museum of the year.