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Tea with Culture

Podcast featuring discussions and interviews about the cultural happenings in the United Arab Emirates presented by Hind Mezaina (The Culturist) and Wael Hattar.


Skin by Karen Dias and Fathima Mohiuddin

Skin is a collaboration between Dubai based photographer Karen Dias and artist Fathima Mohiuddin.

Fathima draws with a compulsion and her surfaces range from windows to walls, furniture and skin. Although Fathima’s practice of drawing on skin is often likened to tattooing and henna, for her it is more about her subjectivity and the process of making her mark. Her marks embody her individuality and when she draws on someone it is an intimate experience that initiates a silent dialogue between the artist and subject. It also creates a tension between the drawings and the person being drawn on, giving the drawings the quality of ‘wearable’ art.

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Splinters by Adam Pesce

I love surf culture and my wish is to be able to surf one day, provided I am capable of waking up at the crack of dawn to take some lessons first, which so far looks very unlikely. So for now, I will just continue to admire from a distance.

Splinters is a documentary directed and filmed by Adam Pesce, it's about the evolution of indigenous surfing in Papua New Guinea.

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Diane Birch - Valentino 

Now this is a delightful video to get you into a playful mood for the weekend. Directed by Dennis Liu, it took many weeks of preparation to end up with this "one take" shot. 

The split screen reference video below shows behind the 'screens' footage and how the video was made. Even more delightful to watch.


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Stop, collaborate and listen

Dubai isn’t known for bringing current or cutting edge music acts. It thrives on hosting concerts by musical acts from the 1980-90s or one hit wonders.

I’m a child of the 1980s, so don’t think I’m having a go at old music, but there are so many amazing musical acts that can be brought here, and it’s a shame when Dubai that tries to be a 21st century city at so many things continues to bring us musical acts that are not relevant and people continuing to attend these events instead of demanding better live acts.

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Scarface - the school play version

If you have to watch one hilariously adorable video today, please watch this scene from a school play adaptation of Scarface. This is very different from the fairytale school play productions we had during my school days.

"Okay Sosa, you want to fudge with me?"

I want to watch the whole play, I bet it's fudging awesome!


Forbidden scenes

This is a lovely montage showing a selection of censored scenes from movies made in the 1920 and 1930s. All of it looks so innocent compared to what we see in movies and television these days.

In this part of the world, nudity continues to be censored from our cinema screens, although violence never seems to get a second glance by the censors

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Having a bath will never be the same after you watch this.

If I were in London, I'd buy front row seats for Soap - an aerial acrobats and bath tub extravaganza. This is a combo I never imagined seeing in one space, but it looks like they work well together. This show looks fabulous. If you've been to this please let me know how was it.

Now I'm off to buy a trapeze, aerial ribbons and hoola hoops for my bathroom.

Show details:
Riverside Studios in London until 25th April 2010.


The Valiant and The Seduction

The Valint and The Seduction are two one act plays from Backstage, an amateur theatre group based in Dubai that will be staged on 9th and 10th April at Shelter in Dubai. I’ve not seen any of their plays before, so looking forward to seeing what hidden talent exists.

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Dubai - just trains and automobiles

Here's a new video by Gerald Donovan showing Dubai in tilt shift mode, a very chilled view of Dubai, quite opposite to Dubai Metro on Speed also by Donovan.

Sheikh Zayed Road isn't always this calm, but I do like the toy set feel in this video. I keep waiting for a giant hand to pick the teeny weeny cars driving along in this video.

Gerald Donovan's blog
Gerald Donovan's videos


End Title Overture


I always sit through movie end credits, and usually end up being the only one to do so in the cinemas. It's a time to enjoy the music, contemplate what I saw or just read some random names and titles. Once in a while, a post credits scene appears which always feels like a small reward for waiting till the very end.

This video by livinginoblivion is dedicated to end credits and shows final scenes from many movies. I'm glad it is full 'happy ever after' scenes. The music is Storm by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Enjoy!