Tea with Culture

A podcast about the cultural happenings in the United Arab Emirates presented by Hind Mezaina (The Culturist) and Wael Hattar.


Warehouse421 - new culture hub in Abu Dhabi


Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi's port area will be home to a new cultural hub called Warehouse421 housed in renovated and restored warehouses. To celebrate its opening, there will be three day festival from Thursday 19th till Saturday 21st November which will include exhibitions, workshops, a creative market, food trucks and plus a concert with renowned musical acts every night.

Warehouse421 will be open all year to the public and aims to engage with the local community through a continous series of exhibitions, performing arts, talks and workshops. This is a much needed space in Abu Dhabi and a welcome addition to the arts and culture scene in the UAE, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what's in store after the three day festival. 

Below is the list of events that will take place betweeen Thursday 19th - Saturday 21st November (the exhibitions will continue for a few more months). The three day celebrations is free to attend and is open to all ages. You can find directions to get Warehouse 421 here and you can also find the location marked on Google Maps. Don't miss this. 



Lest We Forget: Emirati Family Photographs 1950-1999
19th November 2015 - 18th June 2016 

Through a series of photographs spanning 49 years, this exhibition presents an examination of the ideals of memory and creative expression. Shared with the public for the first time, this extensive collection of family photographs by and of the first generations of Emirati citizens can be viewed.

Along with this exhibition, an accompanying book details histories and details which present transcriptions of the inter- and intra-generational collaboration moving from grainy black and white prints, to glossy coloured polaroids.


1:100 The Warehouse Reimagined 
19th November 2015 - 19th March 2016

An exhibition which aims to artistically explore the idea of transformation, as well as highlight the actuality of Mina Zayed and Warehouse421, presents various artistic representations of three dimensional warehouse models.

All works have been submitted in response to an artists’ call at the beginning of the year to imagine transformations exploring the preservation in revolutionary cities.


Mina Zayed: Through the Lens of Jack Burlot 
19th November 2015 - 19th March 2016

This exhibition takes viewers through a day in the life of people in the Al Mina region. Personal moments are visually captured by the French photographer Jack Burlot, who first visited Abu Dhabi in 1974, providing an unobserved insight into their homes, way of living, daily happenings, qualities and characteristics.

Read this post I wrote in December 2012 about a fashion shoot from 1974 in Abu Dhabi by Jack Burlot.  


Art: Process & Practice
19th November 2015 - 23rd January 2016 

An additional warehouse will showcase a selection of works from the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship program. On for a limited time past the opening weekend, the exhibition presents the individual developments and procedures of creating and making art.





A Vernacular Story
An intensive hands-on and process driven two-day product design workshop exploring the theme of reinterpretation, inspired by visual narratives and objects from the Mina Zayed area in Abu Dhabi. Led by Younes and Mia Duret, Co-founders of Younes Design (Morocco). This workshop is open to design professionals and students only. 

Mix & Match Abu Dhabi
An interactive on-the-go group activity visualizing the material culture of Abu Dhabi by mixing and matching modular stamps on tote-bags to create unique interpretations of an urban landscape. Christina Skaf, Led by David Habchy and Hussein Nakhal, Founders of Studio Kawakeb (Lebanon).

Draw & Stitch
A step-by-step doll-making workshop using colour, pattern, texture, witty details and creative techniques to produce dolls based on famous figures from the art and design world. Led by Ola Dajani, Founder of Vinny Dolls (UAE).

A playful discovery of traditional tile-making techniques and geometric formations through assembling a puzzle-like kit of parts pre-cut by the artisans in Morocco, developing practical skills in the arts and crafts of the Islamic world. Lateefa Spiker and Richard Henry, instructors at Art of Islamic Pattern (UK).

Little Artists
A dedicated area for children from the ages of 3 – 9, aims to inspire them to explore their culture and heritage through creative stimulation. Children’s activities will include various arts and crafts activities such as clay modeling, basket and paper weaving, paper lanterns and zooming cars. Led by thejamjar (UAE).



Creative Market 

A dedicated area will celebrate 22 emerging artists and designers from the Middle East and other parts of the world featuring various art and design disciplines, from furniture to jewelry to product and graphic design. 

Participants include: 
Abjad Design, Aljoud Lootah, Architecture + Other Things, Bil Arabi, Carlo Massoud, Etqaan, FBMI, Ghassan Salameh, Hey Studio, Khaled El Mays, Khaled Shafar, MadeByNative, Naqsh Collective, National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) Biennale di Venezia, Niloufar Afnan, Sayar&Garibeh, Silsal Design House, Taher Asad-Bakhtiari, Tashkeel, Younes Duret, Visionaire.



This is the program I'm most excited about. 

19th November 2015 at 8.30pm 

Tinariwen is a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. Formed in 1979, the band started to gain a following outside the region in 2001 with performances at world festivals with their compositions of Berber and North African rhythms and instruments including the lute and one string fiddle.



Mulatu Astatke
20th November 2015 at 8.30pm 

Born in 1943, Astatke is an Ethiopian musician and arranger best known as the father of Ethio-jazz. Trained in London, New York City, and Boston, Astatke combined his love of jazz and Latin influences with traditional Ethiopian folk music. He introduced and popularized the vibraphone and conga drums within the Ethiopian music industry and has to date released over 20 albums.



21st November 2015 at 8.30pm 

Formed in 2008, Tarabband is made up 6 Swedish folk musicians originating from countries around the Arab world. Their music and lyrics narrates the journey of personal survival, exile, life and rebirth influenced by folk, Flamenco and Jazz, which transgress borders between countries and humans.





Event details
Dates and timings:
Thursday, 19th November 2015 | 6.00 - 11.00pm
Friday, 20th November 2015 | 3.00pm - 11.00pm 
Saturday, 21st November 2015 | 3.00pm - 11.00pm           

Free entry. Location map


Abu Dhabi Art 2015 - Performing Arts 


This year's edition of Abu Dhabi Art will take place between 18th and 21st November. In addition to the galleries exhibiting at the fair, there will be talks and performances. 

I plan to focus on the performances programme which is listed below. If time permits, I will try to attend a talk or two and also try to see as much art as I can. 

The performances will take place in various locations in Manarat Al Saadiyat and one event at Saadiyat Beach Club. Below is a breakdown based on locations and I've added the dates and timings for each event.

I also recommend you see all the events listed on Abu Dhabi Art's website. The events are free to attend but you must register in advance or at the registration desk at the fair. And you can find out how directions to Abu Dhabi Art here.



Location: Auditorium, Manarat Al Saadiyat  

Le Cri 
18th November, 7:00pm-8.00pm        

Le Cri, a performance by choreographer Nacera Belaza who was awarded the Prix de la révélation choréographique in 2008 by the Union of criticism Theatre, Music and Dance in France for this work, in which two performers explore the unique potential of movement through a combination of  jazz music, traditional and contemporary moves. 

 and Emmanuel Biard 
20th November, 8:00pm-9:00pm

With the use of a special machine, mirrors, laser-beam projections and smoke machine, The Well brings together two great artists; the young producer Koreless and the visual artist Emmanuel Biard.

The artists create an entirely immersive ambience; a well of emotion offering both unexpected and surprising wellbeing.



Location: Atrium, Manarat Al Saadiyat

19th and 20th November, 6:30pm - 7:30pm 


55 is a solo choreographic piece by Radouan Mriziga, addressing the question of the amount and nature of the information a performer exchanges with the viewer to communicate, punctuate and confuse the reading of a situation.

The performer’s body becomes the sole vehicle and scale, making each performance completely unique.



Location: Plaza, Manarat Al Saadiyat 

18th, 19th, 21st November,  6:30pm-7:00pm and 8:00pm- 8:30pm                       

Happiest, a live in situ performance conceived by Compagnie Des Prairies, who has been working for 10 years on this concept, invites the public to interact with the architecture and artworks presented at Manarat Al Saadiyat through the medium of dance.  


Morning Sun 
20th November,  7:35pm- 8:00pm 
21st November,  7:05pm-7:30pm

Perrine Valli’s live performance pieces draw from the paintings of Edward Hopper to create a poetic moment of art and aesthetic. 

 Perrine Valli questions the representation of Edward Hopper’s paintings through her performance. 


Les Bosquets 
18th November, 8:30pm-9:00pm             
19th November, 9:00pm-9:30pm         
20th November, 9:00pm-9:30pm            
21st November, 7:30pm-8:00pm  


Inspired by French ghettos and with the New York City Ballet, JR’s video piece Les Bosquets interweaves art, social uproar and the power of images.

The short film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2015; it features dancer Lil Buck, and musicians Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer and Woodkid.  


Location: Saadiyat Beach Club 

Islam Chipsy E.E.K and 100 copies 
19th November, 10.30pm till midnight 


A musical performance by Islam Chipsy E.E.K and 100 copies in collaboration with local percussionists, that will merge a repertoire of musical genres with shebabi shaabi influences, 1970s band music and trance, against a background of exceptionally fast beats, leading the audience into a unique experience of sounds and melodies. 



Slidefest #17 - 10th November 2015 

Mahesh Shantaram - from the "Matrimania" series

After 15 editions of Slidefest at Knowledge Village, Gulf Photo Plus was asked to move their event to a different venue and thankfully they found one that's not too far away from Knowledge Village, the American University in Dubai's auditorium

The 17th edition of Slidefest will take place on Tuesday, 10th November at 7pm and is free to attend (no prior registration is required). 

Here's the line up of presenters: 


Jalal Abuthina

Jalal Abuthina is an Irish/Libyan self taught photographer and independent visual artist based in Dubai. His personal work varies highly in subject matter and approach, and drifts between locally focused photo documentaries, independent public intervention projects, and his own personal tangents into the curious and surreal. 

Abuthina will be sharing images from an independently produced and published collection of cultural and photographic memorabilia products from the city of Dubai entitled “Inside Dubai” (ID). The collection offers a contemporary, relevant and in-depth visual reflection of the city - set as an alternative to the limited, repetitive and standardized images and cliché associated with Dubai.


Maša Dizdar

Maša Dizdar was born in Bosnia and moved to Sweden when she was 14. She studied art at upper secondary school of fine arts for four years and has a bachelor in history of art.  She also has a masters in classical archaelogy with a focus on iconography.

Coming to Dubai three years ago gave Dizdar the time and possibility to reflect on herself and the world around her. She says “The world is filled with conflicts and contrasts that lack logic. My images are illustrating what I feel. This beautiful world is not for real. There is always something disturbing in the image, an anxiety.” 

Dizdar will be presenting a selection of her edited images from her Instagram account.


Ozge Calafato presenting for Akkasah

Özge Calafato studied Political Science in Istanbul and Journalism in London. Since 1999, she has worked as a journalist, editor and translator for several magazines focusing on photography, literature, contemporary art, film, jazz and travel. She has worked as an interpreter and reporter for several news publications and agencies, including the BBC World Service and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she has authored five books and translated several others.  

Ozge currently works with the New York University in Abu Dhabi in the Akkasah Center for Photography which explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world. She will be presenting work from the late Ottoman and modern Turkey era. 

Reem Falaknaz is a photographer and freelance TV producer/director from the United Arab Emirates. The nature of her job allows her to travel around the Emirates, where she records and collects narratives from the city’s inhabitants. Her work stems from the realization of a scarcity of modern history documentation. Through video, photography, audio and endless conversations; Falaknaz continues to explore the makeup of her surroundings and attempt to translate the stories she collects.

“This Momentary” focuses on the merchants and craftsmen around Dubai's Al Khor (Creek) area. Many of these traders have occupied that part of the city from more that 30 years. They shared their stories and some of their personal items. Through this collection of cherished photographs, atypical religious items, worn out clothes and old radio players; the personal narratives of each contributor was emphasised and the multicultural make up of Dubai, while subjectively outlining a regional map of labour forces.


Gabriela Maj grew up in Poland, Germany and Canada. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Photography from Parsons School of Design at the New School University in New York and later went on to complete an Interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Anthropology at Columbia University.

Over the course of five years, Maj travelled independently throughout Afghanistan visiting women's prison facilities where she interviewed and photographed over 100 incarcerated individuals for her new book Almond Garden (Daylight). The project's primary goal is to raise awareness about the unjust incarceration of women for moral crimes while honoring the individuals featured. 

Jeff Topping has more than 25 years experience as a Photojournalist and Travel Photographer working in more than 20 countries on commissioned and self-generated assignments. Topping was based in Arizona in the U.S. prior to coming to the UAE in 2008 to work as a staff photographer for The National newspaper. 

Anna Zacharias is a Canadian journalist raised in Ras Al Khaimah. She reported for The National newspaper from 2008 to 2014. For three of those years she was based in Ras Al Khaimah, covering health, environment, crime, labor, road safety, politics and in-depth features. She was a senior features writer in Abu Dhabi, specializing in UAE pop heritage. She wrote The National’s camel blog, A Year at the Camel Races.

Topping and Zacharias will share their series "People of Ras al Khaimah", which contains personal stories of more than 50 long-time RAK residents, whose families have been in Ras Al Khaimah for generations. It includes geographic shorts from urban and rural areas. Witnesses to the early post-oil era are now retiring overseas, whilst Emirati elders are aging.


Mahesh Shantaram is a photographer based in Bangalore, India. Wasting away in a cubicle in Washington DC in 2005, Shantaram sought a more worthy pursuit in life, and went to Paris to study photography. Upon returning to India the following year, he found an opportunity in wedding photography. 

The guise of a wedding photographer has provided Shantaram access and opportunity to further his fictional photo series, Matrimania. It's a story that runs through one dreary wedding night, shot over six years, presenting a view of Indian society seen through the prism of its wedding culture. 

Cinema Akil - Where We Dwell film screenings in November

Where We Dwell is the theme of Cinema Akil's latest film season at A4 Space in Alserkal Avenue which started last month.

Here's the line up for November: 


4th, 5th, 6th November 2015 at 7pm

Walls (short) 
Miguel Lopez Beraza (2014)
10’ | English | Spain, Hungary | Short | PG 

If walls could speak, what would they say about their neighbors? A day in the life of Mr. Istvan and Mrs. Magdi, neighbors for many years, is narrated by this building in Budapest where they both live. The walls surrounding them reveal their small passions, stories, and routines.

Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect 

Markus Heidingsfelser & Min Tesch (2008)
97’ | English | Documentary, Biography | G 

Equally celebrated as a writer and social commentator, Koolhaas is one of the world’s most renowned architects. The film is an engaging visually inventive and thought provoking portrait of a visionary man whose concern is not to create individual masterpieces, but to provoke and excite through the wide range of his activities. 

11th, 12th, 13th November 2015 at 7pm

The Fountainhead 
King Vidor (1949) 
114’ | English | USA | Drama | G 

Individualistic and idealistic architect Howard Roark is expelled from college because his designs fail to fit with existing architectural thinking. He seems unemployable but finally lands a job with like-minded Henry Cameron.

However, within a few years Cameron drinks himself to death, warning Roark that the same fate awaits unless he compromises his ideals. Roark is determined to retain his artistic integrity at all costs.



18th, 19th November at 7pm

West Side Story 
Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise (1961) 
152’ | English, Spanish | USA | Musical, Crime, Drama | G 

Winner of 10 Academy Awards, West Side Story is the adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet”. Set in 1950s New York, feuding families become two warring New York City gangs; the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo.

Their hatred escalates to a point where neither can coexist with any form of understanding. But when Riff’s best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo’s younger sister Maria meet at adance, no one can do anything to stop their love. 



25th, 26th, 27th November at 7pm

Shelter (short) 
Tamara Qiblawi (2015)
26' | Arabic | Lebanon | Short Documentary | G

“Shelter” recreates an underground history of Lebanon, by focusing on an epicenter of communal activity during times of war: the Bomb Shelter. Five war-time characters guide us through life in the Shelter, by means of stories and architecture.

The result is an unearthing of societal dynamics, as well as a shocking discovery of state breakdown and neglect, driving people underground and to each other’s rescue. 


Champ of the Camp 
Mahmoud Kaabour (2013) 
75’ | Hindi, English, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Urdu | UAE | Documentary | G 

The first feature-length documentary shot in the UAE’s labor camps. At once funny, heart-wrenching, and full of beautiful songs, it follows a massive Bollywood singing and trivia competition among thousands of laborers.

Alternating between the suspense of the competition and the gritty reality of the labor environment, the film humanizes this vast and isolated population of men who come to build the dream cities of the Arab world while supporting their societies and economies back home in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.



Screening venue: A4 Space in Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map

Schedules are subject to change, please check our website for updates. Screenings are free, open to the public and are on a first-come-first-seated basis. 


Happy Birthday Behaviour

One of my favourite bands, Pet Shop Boys is celebrating 25 years of the release of their album Behaviour.

I've been listening to Pet Shop Boys since I was a teen and Being Boring from this album is one of my favourite songs by them. Actually, my number one favourite song by them.  

Here's an article from The Guradian from 2010 about Why Pet Shop Boys' Being Boring is the perfect pop song

Being Boring has followed me through my own teenage parties, student days, fumbled relationships and drunken evenings. In the summer it feels nostalgic, rose-tinted; in the winter it's a sun-beam, a cause for celebration.

"I remember dancing to this," says one of the hundreds of comments on YouTube, "and I'd get tears in my eyes thinking of all the friends and lovers I've lost, where my life has gone and where it ended up."

In short, does another song evoke, so perfectly, the sigh of experience with the hope of living?


Cinema Akil - Where We Dwell film screenings in October 

Where We Dwell is the theme for Cinema Akil's new season of film screenings at A4 Space in Alserkal Avenue between now and March 2016. 

What is home? How do we define or locate it? Is it a place? A condition? A person? A feeling? Where We Dwell poses these questions through a selection of films that interrogate the concept of home, belonging, leaving and arriving, structures and space, taking a closer look at how and where we live.

The series offers an array of perspectives, exploring the concept of home through five lenses: as a theatre for life; a cause or purpose; a feeling or an emotional state; a built environment; and an idea that arises in the absence of place.  

The complete line up can be found here
. I will share the line up here each month. This month you can watch the following: 

21st, 22nd, 23rd October 2015 at 7pm

The Searchers 
John Ford (1956)
119 | English, Navajo, Spanish | USA | Western, Drama | G 

Ethan Edwards, returned from the Civil War to the Texas ranch of his brother, hopes to find a home with his family and to be near the woman he obviously but secretly loves. But a Comanche raid destroys these plans, and Ethan sets out, along with his 1/8 Indian nephew Martin, on a years-long journey to find the niece kidnapped by the Indians under Chief Scar.

But as the quest goes on, Martin begins to realize that his uncle’s hatred for the Indians is beginning to spill over onto his now-assimilated niece. Martin becomes uncertain whether Ethan plans to rescue Debbie...or kill her. 



28th, 29th, 30th October 2015 at 7pm

Ilo Ilo 
Anthony Chen (2013)
99’ | Mandarin, Tagalog, English, Hokkien | Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, France | Drama | U

 Set in Singapore, Ilo Ilo chronicles the relationship between the Lim family and their newly arrived maid, Teresa. Like many other Filipino women, she has come to this city in search of a better life. Her presence in the family worsens their already strained relationship. 


Schedules are subject to change, please check our website for updates. 
Screenings are free, open to the public and are on a first-come-first-seated basis.


Dubai Design Week 2015


Dubai will host its first Dubai Design Week which will take from 26th - 31st October at Dubai Design District and several venues across the city. The programme includes talks, exhibitions across the city, workshops and book launches. 

Creating a point of time that encourages the growth of the design industry in Dubai, Dubai Design Week will not only establish the city as the regional capital for design, but also as a global meeting point for the international design community.

Design-dedicated events, activities and projects within d3 and across the city will celebrate the best in design both regionally and internationally.


You can see the complete schedule of events here. The following are some of my top recommendations.  




A series of six pavilions built to celebrate and showcase the work of the most exciting designers, studios and curators from six different countries in the MENASA region.

Abwab, which means ‘doors’ in Arabic, acts as a direct portal to the region’s local design talent. A curator from each participating country leads the designers to generate never before-seen design content under one unifying theme, this year being - Games: The Element of Play in Culture.

In 2015, JordanKuwaitPakistanSaudi ArabiaTunisia and the UAE have been invited to present the best of their countries design. Integrated into the walkways of Dubai Design District (d3), the Abwab pavilions have been designed by Dubai-based architecture and design studio, Loci Architecture + Design.

Abwab will be taking place from 26th - 31st October, located in the open areas of Dubai Design District. Open to public from 9am - 10pm.



Dubai Design Week is pleased to partner with six international design weeks to showcase innovative young brands from-Beijing, HelsinkiIstanbulMelbourneMexico City and San Francisco.

Held under the banner of 'Destination' at Downtown Design, each participating city will present a collection of three brands, representing the spirit of the city to which they belong.

Destination will be open from 27th - 30th October at Downtown Design. To visit, you must register here.


Iconic City: Beirut

The first in a new annual series of Iconic City exhibitions, Brilliant Beirut explores the impact of local urban dynamics in the areas of design, production and creative culture.

Curated and designed by Beirut-born and based designer Rana Salam, ‘Brilliant Beirut’ will be the first attempt to document the development of design -  across architecture, education, graphic design, fashion, furniture and cultural trends -  in the the Lebanese capital over the past seven decades since independence (1950s-2015).

Drawing parallels with and distinctions from Western design movements, the far-reaching show considers the shifts in design thinking engendered by civil war and the transition to stability. In addition, it examines how Beirut’s complex social make-up helped nurture creativity, while its long-standing craft traditions and ample production resources contributed to the country’s pre-eminence in the global design scene.

Iconic City: Brilliant Beirut will take place from 26th - 31st October in Building 7, Dubai Design District. Open to public from 9am - 9pm (6pm on Saturday, 31st October).



A key element of Dubai Design Week will be a programme of design installations, placed in strategic locations across the city, by renowned international and local designers.

The installations will challenge convention and explore innovation, illustrating Dubai’s creative diversity while promoting Dubai as prolific urban environment, a dynamic city where wonders and beauty can be found everywhere, unexpectedly. 

The installations will carry a sense of belonging and ownership of the place where they are located that will engage and inspire a broad set of visitors, and emblemise the host’s location success and prosperity.

Each installation will be built in Dubai and will be a world debut identifying Dubai as a city that celebrates international and local talent and continues to push boundaries. 

List of installations and venues, click on each link for more details and directions:

Venue: Al Fahidi District  

Venue: The BEACH opposite JBR 

Venue: Dubai Design District 

Venue: City Walk 

Venue: Tashkeel 





Dubai Design Week is on from 26th - 31st October. The complete schedule of events can be found here  


European Film Screenings 2015 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

The second edition of the European Film Screenings is back this month, it will take place in Abu Dhabi from 21st-30th October in NOVO Cinemas (WTC Mall) and and in Dubai from 22nd-31st October in NOVO Cinemas (Ibn Battuta). 

The line up this year is much bigger compared to last year. It includes full feature films, short films and documentaries. Each screening will be preceded with a short film from the United Arab Emirates curated by Emirati Cinema. 

All screenings are free of charge and seats are allocated on a first come/first serve basis.

Below is the list of films and screening schedule in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. You can download the detailed schedule here

Song of the Sea (2014)
Director: Tomm Moore
Running time: 94 min  

Abu Dhabi - Thursday, 21st October at 8pm
Dubai - Friday, 22nd October at 8pm 

Director: Frans Weisz
Running time: 90 min

Abu Dhabi - 22nd October at 6pm
Dubai - 23rd October at 6pm   

The Grump
Director: Dome Karukoski
Running time: 104 min 

Abu Dhabi - 22nd October at 8pm
Dubai -  23rd October at 8pm 

Luxemborg Short Film Corner
Director: Various
Running time: 12 min

Abu Dhabi - 23rd October at 6pm
Dubai -  24th October at 6pm  

La Famille Bélier 
Director: Eric Lartigau
Running time: 106 min  

Abu Dhabi - 23rd October at 8pm
Dubai -  24th October at 8pm   

Orient Express
Director: Sergiu Nicolaescu
Running time: 115 min

Abu Dhabi - 24th October at 6pm
Dubai -  25th October at 6pm   

Director: Pablo Berger
Running time: 104 min 

Abu Dhabi - 24th October at 8pm
Dubai -  25th October at 8pm  

Oki - In the Middle of the Ocean
Director: Maris Martinsons
Running time: 85 min   

Abu Dhabi - 25th October at 6pm
Dubai -  26th October at 6pm  

Therapy for a Vampire
Director: David Rühm
Running time: 87 min  
Abu Dhabi - 25th October at 8pm
Dubai -  26th October at 8pm  

Terraferma (2011) 
Director: Emanuele Crialese
Running time: 88 min  
Abu Dhabi - 26th October at 6pm
Dubai -  27th October at 6pm  

Director: Viktor Tauš
Running time: 120 min  
Abu Dhabi - 26th October at 8pm
Dubai -  27th October at 8pm   

Alentejo, Alentejo 
Director: Sérgio Tréfaut
Running time: 98 min 

Abu Dhabi - 27th October at 6pm
Dubai -  28th October at 6pm 


One Million Dubliners (2014)
Director: Aoife Kelleher
Running time: 80 min

Abu Dhabi - 27th October at 8pm
Dubai -  28th October at 8pm 

The Dark Horse
Director: Louise Osmond
Running time: 124 min

Abu Dhabi - 28th October at 6pm
Dubai -  29th October at 6pm 

Bogowie (Gods)  (2014)
Director: Łukasz Palkowski
Running time: 120 min

Abu Dhabi - 28th October at 8pm
Dubai -  29th October at 8pm 

The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared (2013)
Director:  Felix Herngren
Running time: 114 min 

Abu Dhabi - 29th October at 6pm
Dubai -  30th October at 6pm   

Flying Home
Director: Dominique Deruddere
Running time: 95 min 

Abu Dhabi - 29th October at 8pm
Dubai -  30th October at 8pm  

Director: Ask Hasselbalch
Running time: 77 min 

Abu Dhabi - 30th October at 6pm
Dubai -  31st October at 6pm 
Honig im Kopf (2014)   
Director:  Til Schweiger
Running time: 139 min 

Abu Dhabi - 30th October at 8pm
Dubai -  31st October at 8pm 



NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center - Performances in November 2015 

Tacit Group

The line up of performances at the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center for November looks great. I am particularly looking forward to seeing Tacit Group. 
Here's the complete line up:


Noise from the Middle East - Featuring Fari Bradley, Yara Mekawei, Mutamassik, and Tashweesh
When: Wednesday, 4th November 2015 at 8pm
Venue: East Plaza, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi 


Spotlighting electronic dance music, hip-hop, trance, and experimental electronica with local influences, Noise from the Middle East is a micro-festival that promotes groundbreaking artists from the region.

This mini-marathon showcases four inventive artists:
Fari Bradley - London-based Iranian musician, sound-artist and broadcaster who recently finished a residency at Tashkeel

Yara Mekawei - Egyptian composer of electronic music and curator who has been part of the 100 Copies electronic music festival

Mutamassik (aka Guilia Loli) - producer/musician/dj/artist/synesthete, mixing Egyptian and Afro-Asiatic Roots with the head-nod of hip-hop and the bass and syncopation of hardstep

Muqata’a and Basel Abbas of Palestinian sound and image collective Tashweesh give a special sound performance



Tacit Group
When: Wednesday and Thursday, 11th and 12th November 2015 at 8pm 
Venue: Black Box, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi 

Tacit Group devises improvised algorithmic visual and sound art that is mad, experimental fun for audiences, who both participate in and are enveloped by the action on stage. They focus as much on process as result—combining sources like mathematical code, video game systems, and real-time personal computer interactions live on stage to generate music and video that is viscerally thrilling and full of sly invention.

A new breed of composers with laptops as instruments and a deep sense of play, this motley team’s real-time projection mapping and computer graphics create a unique performance that draws the audience into compelling soundscapes and stunning visual environments for the ultimate interactive concert.

The program will include the world premiere of a work commissioned by The Arts Center: an Arabic alphabet version visualizing Terry Riley’s pioneering minimalist work “In C.” 



Les Ambassadeurs - featuring Salif Keita, Cheick Tidiane Seck & Amadou Bagayoko (from Amadou & Mariam)
When: Sunday, 18th November 2015
Venue: East Plaza, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi 

Original members of the Malian supergroup Salif Keita, Cheick Tidiane Seck and Amadou Bagayoko (of Amadou & Mariam) reunite to revisit their pioneering blend of salsa, jazz, soul, rock ’n’ roll and the ancient art of the griots.

From 1970 to 1985, the iconic Malian band Les Ambassadeurs wrote and rewrote the rule book for the Manding pop sound that drove the world music boom of the 1980s and 1990s with a collection of songs forged from the dreams and tensions of post-Independence West Africa: socialism, pan-Africanism, black pride, authenticité.

The reunion of Les Ambassadeurs is a banner headline long dreamt of by Malians, West Africans and lovers of African music the world over. What the band’s surviving singers and instrumentalists are preparing to deliver when they stroll on stage is more than just nostalgia for a time when Mali was young and full of of hope and possibility, more than an excuse to rekindle past friendships and relive old glories, and more than an hour or two of unforgettable Malian orchestral pop. What Les Ambassadeurs will deliver is proof that Malian musicians, given the right conditions and support, can create truly revolutionary music. 



Rudresh Mahanthappa and Gamak
When: Saturday, 24th November 2015 at 8pm  
Venue: East Plaza, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi


The dazzlingly inventive composer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa delves deep into the hybridization of progressive jazz and South Indian classical.

Taking its name taken from the South Indian term for melodic ornamentation “gamaka” and featuring longtime musical partners Rez Abbasi, Rich Brown, and, Dan Weiss, this quartet exemplifies Mahanthappa’s matchless ability to embody the expansive possibilities of blending his music with his culture. He combines progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form reflecting his own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American.

Just as his personal experience is never wholly lived on one side of the hyphenate or the other, his music speaks in a voice dedicated to forging a brave new path forward. With Gamak, Mahanthappa’s fearless explorations conjure a polyphonic landscape that manages to incorporate Western forms of jazz, progressive rock, heavy metal, country, American folk, go-go, and ambient while simultaneously engaging the rich traditions of Indian, Chinese, African, and Indonesian music. The end result is music that defies category, music that very much fits with the times in which we live.


Daido Moriyama. Marrakech: Shooting Light at The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts

© Daido Moriyama, Marrakech, 1989.

Daido Moriyama. Marrakech: Shooting Light is the latest exhibition at The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts, on till 10th January 2016. I recently bought the book Daido Moriyama: Marrakech and would love to see the work in larger prints.  




Marrakech: Shooting Light comprises three groups of works in three spaces.

In Room 1 a selection of Moriyama’s most iconic and recognizable images from Japan in the 1970s and 80s, including images from his best-known publications Japan A Photo TheatreA HunterLight and Shadow and Lettre à St-Loup.

In Room 2, the slide-shows Hokkaido, an extensive body of work made in the north of Japan since the late 1970s; and Record, works published by Moriyama of photographs of cities around the world from 1972 to the present day.

In Room 3 Marrakech, an installation of photographs taken during Moriyama’s first visit to Morocco in 1989.

Marrakech is just one of a number of cities in which Moriyama has made work as an outsider, in stark contrast to his lifelong commitment to revisiting and re-photographing the streets of Tokyo where he has lived for half a century.

Moriyama came to Marrakech in 1989 having been asked to take pictures in the city as a commission for a Japanese magazine. At the time he was living mostly in Paris (despite speaking little French or English), exploring a city that had occupied his thoughts and imagination since seeing French cinema while growing up. Inspired equally by an idealized, romantic sense of Paris, and the dead-pan photographic documents of the historic city made by the Eugène Atget at the end of the nineteenth-century, Moriyama began to make his own reflections on a place which previously knew only from a distance.

Despite having travelled to Europe prior to 1988, Moriyama had made little work there, and had published only one book on a city outside Japan: a self-published photo-copy book entitled Another Country in New York (1974). However, from the late 1980s onwards Moriyama would travel extensively making work in, and about, some of the world’s great cities from Europe to Asia and in both North and Latin America.


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