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du Social Media Awards 2013


The Culturist won Best Blogger Award in the second du Social Media Awards. List of all the winners.

Official Honoree of the 2012 Webby Awards

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The 2011 Bloggies

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Design Days Dubai 2014 

Landscape series 2 by India Mahdavi (2013) | Material: Glazed ceramic with or without pure gold interior coating 

The third  edition of Design Days is back this week from 17th-21st March and will be held in the same venue as the past two years, in The Venue - Downtown Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard (formerly known as Emaar Boulevard, next to Burj Khalifa).  

Design Days Dubai is the leading fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectible and limited edition furniture and design objects.

The fair presents design from leading international designers and galleries alongside up and coming design from across the world. The fair also presents a strong non-commercial programme consisting of education, workshops, installations and live performances.



Here are some of the objects you will see at this year's Design Days Dubai. 


Castor & Pollux by Giles Miller Studio in the Capsule Arts Booth


 The first lighting installation by London-based designer Giles Miller Studio - thousands of pixels are arranged in series and 'programmed' in a binary-style orientation to show 3-dimensional shapes within shapes. Hypnotic effect generated using only the simplest of component composition.    



FN Designs/WTD Booth 

Assa by Reyan Hanafi and Bahar Al Bahar



Fabrick Lab

Respired wooden skin from the Climatology series by Elaine NG Yanling | Material: Hardwood, textiles, thermoplastic & pigments


NextLevel Galerie 

Svetko by Philippe Malouin | Material: Brass tubes & connector 


If you are interested in unique designs for your home, then this fair is for you. I leave you with this video showing highlights from last year's edition of Design Days Dubai. 





Event details
Dates and timings: 17th-20th March, 4pm - 10pm | 21st March, 1pm-7pm | Preview - 16th March, by invitation only
Venue: The Venue - Downtown Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, next to Burj Khalifa
Tickets: AED 50 can be purchased at the fair


SIKKA Art Fair 2014 


SIKKA Art Fair is back this year from 15th-25th March. This year's edition includes over 50 artists, musicians, performers and artist collectives. Besides the various exhibitions, the 10 days will include film screenings, live entertainment and talks. This year's edition is co-curated by Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum, founder and director of FN Designs, and Japanese architect and programme director, Kayoko Iemura who are joined by Yusaka Imamura, the Art Adviser to the fair.

SIKKA continues to support and showcase UAE based artists, but I do wish initiatives like this happen more than once a year as I do think the platform to promote artists based here needs to expand beyond art week every March. 

If you've not been to SIKKA, it is held in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (formerly known a Bastakiya) and the place is truly livened up during the 10 days of the fair. So if you've never been, I strongly suggest you don't miss this.


And now for a bit of self promotion here. I have work showing in two houses this year:

Deira Polaroids

House 16 - my new Deira Polaroids series, an ongoing series of images taken during my frequent walks and visits to Deira. It’s an ode to Deira, to visually showcase the thriving part of “old” Dubai. The exhibition will be accompanied with an essay titled “Deira Modern, Notes from Dubai” by Todd Reisz, which I featured here three years ago.  



Cassette Tape Project

House 10 - Tashkeel House, my Cassette Tape Project which was first set up last September when it was commissioned by Red Bull Music Academy Base Camp.)



At the time of writing this post, I didn't have information about all the participants, so unfortunately, I cannot share a list of must sees. But the best advice I can give you is to just go, get lost in the area and discover new work along the way. 

Here's a video of highlights from SIKKA 2013 to give you a sense of the fair and its location.  




Fair timings and how to get to SIKKA.





Luma - Art in Film at DUCTAC 


DUCTAC is hosting a new exhibition that I'm very excited about. Luma - Art in Film is a curated selection of art films and films by artists from the 1900s to the present day featuring: Man Ray, Fritz Lang, Hans Richter, Georges MŽlis, Luis Buñuel, Jan Svankmajer, Rouzbeh Rashidi and more.


The films will be playing continuously in the gallery throughout the exhibition’s run, and the programme features groundbreaking work from the likes of Man Ray, Fritz Lang and Hans Richter alongside feature-length films including Iranian film-maker Rouzbeh Rashidi’s 2013 piece 'HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind'.

The exhibition will run from 14th-25th March and again from 9th-15th April to complement the Gulf Film Festival which will also take place at DUCTAC.

Here's the full line up of films from this exhibition: 

  • Le Voyage Dans la Lun by Georges Méliès (1902)
    Duration: 11 mins 48 secs

  • Das Kabinett des Doktor Kaligari by Robert Wiene (1919)
    Duration: 1 hr 11 mins 
  • Rhythmus 21 by Hans Richter (1921)
    Duration: 2 mins 10 secs 
  • La Symphonie Diagonale by Hans Richter & Viking Eggeling (1921)
    Duration: 7 mins
  • Le Retour à la Raison by Man Ray (1923)
    Duration: 2 mins 10 secs
  • Entr’acte by René Clair & Francis Picabia (1924)
    Duration: 20 mins
  • Le Ballet Mecanique by Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy (1924)
    Duration: 14 mins


  • Emak Bakia by Man Ray (1926)
    Duration: 17 mins
  • Filmstudie by Hans Richter (1926)
    Duration: 3 mins 30 secs
  • Vormittagsspuk by Hans Richter (1928)
    Duration: 6 mins 23 secs
  • Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali (1929)
    Duration: 16 mins 25 secs  

  • M by Fritz Lang (1931)
    Duration: 1 hour 50 secs
  • Rembrandt by Alexander Korda (1936)
    Duration: 1 hr 24 mins
  • At Land by Maya Deren (1944)
    Duration: 14 mins 44 secs 
  • Traité de Bave et d'Eternité by Isidore Isou (1951)
    Duration: 1 hr 52 mins 
  • Labirynt by Jan Lenica (1962)
    Duration: 14 mins 14 secs 
  • Daikaiju Gamera by Noriaki Yuasa (1965)
    Duration: 1 hr 18 mins 
  • The Colour of Pomegranates by Sergei Paradjanov (1968)
    Duration: 1 hr 12 mins 

  • 400m IFF by Lutz Mommartz (1969)
    Duration: 13 mins 35 secs 
  • Requiem For Humanity by Marios Lefteriotis (1970)
    Duration: 11 mins 50 secs 
  • Death Of Stalinism In Bohemia by Jan Svankmajer (1990)
    Duration: 2 mins 9 secs 
  • HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind by Rouzbeh Rashidi (2013)
    Duration: 2 hrs 



Event details
Date and time:  14th-25th March and 9th-15th April 2014
Time: 10.00am – 10.00pm daily (Fridays 2.00pm– 10.00pm)
Location: The Gallery of Light, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates Dubai 
Event on Facebook



Exhibition: Turning Point at Tashkeel 


Turning Point is a new exhibition in Tashkeel opening on 12th March 2014. The exhibition will showcase a series of work by artists that is in progress, "shedding light on the practices and processes that may otherwise be confined to the studio, through a selection of works that are at once experimental, perhaps unplanned and accidental, but which reveal a conceptual rigor". 

It is an exhibition that is running alongside The Middle East Emergent Artist Prize, sposnored by Van Cleef & Arpels and Tashkeel in partnership with Design Days Dubai. The winner will be annnnounced on 16th March at the opening of Design Days Dubai.


I am taking part in the exhibition and looking forward to seeing the rest of the work by the other artists. Here's a display of my work, a series of photos I took recently in Al Khazzan Park, which is no longer a park, but an abandoned spot which still has the old water tower, which is one of my favourite landmarks in Dubai. 


I will share a detailed write up about this series and highlights from the exhibition in a separate post. In the meantime, if you are in the neighbourhood, please drop by. 


Exhibition details
Dates: 13 March – 30 April 2014 (Private view 12th March at 7pm) 
Venue: Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai (location map)





Oscars 2014 Highlights 

I enjoyed watching the Oscars awards ceremony the other night, actually, I should say early morning. 

Ellen's role as the host was entertaining, tame, non offensive and a crowd pleaser. Throughout the night, there were some funny moments, some not so funny and some that were just plain cringe (John Travola calling Idina Menzel "Adele Dazeem")*.  I won't even discuss the selfie that broke records. It's been discussed enough.

The actual awards were predictable, the major awards went to Gravity and 12 Years a Slave and I'm glad American Hustle didn't win anything (I enjoyed watching it, but I just thought it was overhyped). You can see the full list of winners here.

But mostly, I was very happy Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave and for saying "No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid." in her acceptance speech. I'm looking forward to what she does next. 


Here's a one minute timelapse video of the Oscars.



And here's a summary under two minutes if you didn't have time to sit through three and a half hours. 





* Make sure you "Travoltify" your name, the best thing that happened post Oscars 2014. 



[image via]



RIP Alain Resnais


Kids reenact Oscars 2014 Best Picture nominees


The Oscars are on tonight or early morning depending on where you are based. I will be watching like I do every year and hoping my favourite films win, and looking out for the best dressed and worst dressed actors.

Whilst I'm waiting, I found this video of kids reenacting scenes from the Best Picture nominess. It's cute and funny. 


The Craig Perry Band at The Fridge


The Craig Perry Band recently won the The Gap Recording Room competition, the prize includes an all expense paid trip including a week of recording at Grouse Lodge residential studios, in Ireland. It's quite an opportunity for a new band, so looking forward to the outcome from the recording session. 

In the meantime, if you are in Dubai, you can see The Craig Perry Band at The Fridge on Monday, 3rd March 2014

Dubai's newest rising star, Craig Perry, performed his first solo gig as part of The Fridge Singer/Songwriter Showcase in June 2013 and has been an unstoppable force ever since.

Chosen as runner-up in the 2013 Rolling Stone ME Street To Stage competition, and having recently released his debut solo EP "Small Steps, Big Shoes", Craig will close The Fridge Concert Series 15th Season backed by a talented group of hand-picked musicians giving a spectacular new scope and depth to his now trademarked brand of heartfelt music.

We invite you to join us as Craig and his band take us through the journey of the evolution of his sound culminating in what is destined to be one of the most memorable closing performances of The Fridge Concert Series yet.



Here are some videos featuring Craig Perry and his band.  




Event details
Date and time: Monday, 3rd March 2014 (doors open at 7.30pm, show starts at 8.00pm) 
Venue: The Fridge, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map)
Phone: +9714 3477793 
Tickets: Dhs 50  


Save these dates - Dubai Art Season 2014 

March in Dubai is usually associated with art because of the art related events and activities that take place during the month. For the past few years, the events take place in a very jam packed and intensive art week. But for this year, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority launched  Dubai Art Season as the city’s umbrella arts initiatives from 14 March to 15 April, 2014. 

Kicking off on the first day of Art Week, which features SIKKA Art Fair, Design Days Dubai and Art Dubai. Dubai Art Season will also encompass of the Middle East Film & Comic Con, and will culminate with the Gulf Film Festival 2014.

Over the coming week I will feature the main events during Art Week, plus some exhibitions I'd like you to know about in Dubai and in Sharjah.

But for now, save these dates. If there's any time to experience the art scene in Dubai, this is the month.  


15th-25th March 2014 - SIKKA


17th March 2014 - Art Night at DIFC and Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue 

17th-21st March 2014 - Design Days Dubai  

Gregoria Baluster Lounge by Ito Kish | Presented by Nakkash Gallery



19th-22nd March 2013 - Art Dubai 

Point of view, listening point by Farah Khelil , 2014 | Courtesy: Elmarsa and the artist 




Film Screening - No Man's Land 

The Scene Club, the monthly film club will screen award winning film from 2001,  No Man's Land by Danis Tanovic on Wednesday, 5th March December at 8pm. There will be a Q and A session with the film actor Branko Djuric after the film. 

Tickets are complimentary, but you must register in advance and collect your ticket at the venue.


The grim futility of the war between Bosnia and Serbia is reduced to its essence as two enemy soldiers are forced to share a wary trust for one another in this drama.

A group of Bosnian soldiers are advancing upon Serbian territory during a misty night when the fog lifts at daybreak, making them plainly visible to their enemy. Serb forces open fire upon them, and soon only Čiki (Branko Djuric) is still alive, after diving into a trench in no man’s land.

Two Serbian soldiers scouting the area set up a land mine using the body of a Bosnian soldier as ‘bait’; if moved, the mine will jump into the air and explode. Čiki watches as the soldiers set the trap, and furious at the disrespect to his fallen comrades, he kills one of the Serbs and takes the other, Nino (Rene Bitorajac), hostage. With both soldiers alone and equally armed, they find themselves at a stalemate and begin trying to attract help from either side.

Eventually, the two men are found by a squadron of French soldiers attached to a U.N. peacekeeping unit; now held by supposedly neutral forces, Čiki and Nino are with the French troops when it’s discovered that the dead Bosnian soldier isn’t dead after all, though no one is sure how to disarm the mine without killing him in the process.

No Man’s Land was the debut feature of Bosnian writer and director Danis Tanovic.




No Man's Land won 42 awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002, the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, the European Film Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the Cesar Award for Best Debut.


Event details
Date: Wednesday, 5th March 2014
Time: 7.00pm – Ticket Collection and Networking | 8.00pm – Film screening | Q&A with actor Branko Djuric
Venue: Knowledge Village Auditorium, Dubai (location map)
Register for your ticket online.