Tea with Culture

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


Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids


I have been following Susannah Conway's work for the past couple of years. I swoon over her Polaroids and always touched by her blog posts.

She recently collaborated with two other photographers and launched a book called Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids. She describes it in her blog as a "love letter to Polaroid/instant photography I co-wrote with my friends Jen Altman and Amanda Gilligan.


With instant film once again available, Polaroids and other instant cameras are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. This friendly and informative guide is the essential how-to book for shooting gorgeous instant pictures with personal panache and a touch of romance.

Packed with tips on how to shoot with various cameras, details about the different types of film available, advice on composition and lighting techniques, plus creative projects to transform snapshots into keepsake mementos and portfolios of beautiful images for inspiration, this is the ultimate companion for capturing instant memories.



You can purchase the book from


Film Screening - Requiem

Community Cinema is back this month, hosting a documentary called Requeim by Living Ocean Productions. The screening will happen on Tuesday, 26th June at VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. The film will be followed by a panel discussion. 

Community Cinema's aim is to use film screenings as a platform to bring individuals from the community to engage in framing current and relevant social issues, exposing different angles and sharing ideas to facilitate solutions.  

Reckless killers? Senseless carnage? Terror and Dread? Not hardly. REQUIEM documents the true nature and purpose of one of the most misunderstood predators on our planet -- the shark. Follow the discovery of an underwater photographer from Hawaii as she becomes familiar with the extraordinary beauty, power and skills of one of the most infamous classification of sharks - the REQUIEM Family. 




Event details
Date: Saturday, 26th June. Doors open at 7.00pm, film starts at 7.30pm
Venue: VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai


Tarp Surfing by The Observatory 


This looks like a lot of fun. 

0 Surf for 8 weeks in Sunny little Jersey, Channel Islands. What to do... Tarp Surfing! of course. Check out this vid of some serious land barrels. 




Watch this video that follows tarp surfing pioneers Dodge Weirath and Wyatt Brady as they explain how they created tarp surfing.


Bicycle Sounds by Stephen Meierding

This short film by Stephen Meierding is made with bicycle parts and it's just too good. 


OFFSIDE - Football in Exile

Baku, Azerbaijan - 2009


OFFSIDE - Football in Exile is a photography project documenting the "forgotten conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh". It adresses the conflict from the perspective of two football teams: FK Qarabag Agdam and FK Karabakh Stepanakert. It's running till 8th May 2012 at Noorderlicht in Groningen, The Netherlands.  

Photographer Dirk-Jan Visser reveals the human tragedy of a country torn apart by war from the perspective of two football teams. The two teams FK Qarabag Agdam and FK Karabakh Stepanakert symbolize the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus.

With the aid of Armenia, in 1994 the region broke away from Azerbaijan, but to date is not recognized as an independent state by any country. For three years Dirk-Jan Visser and writer Arthur Huizinga followed six people who are central to the exhibition and accompanying photo book. Their lives are exemplary for the daily lives of players and coaches, fighters and refugees, wives and widows. 


 You can read more about the exhibition here



Baku, Azerbaijan - 2009


Baku, Azerbaijan - 2009



(Photos via


Monty Python Football 

Now that the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship has started, almost everyone I know will be busy every evening for the rest of the month watching live football. 

To get into the spirit of the Euro 2012, I found these two clips from Monty Python. Made me laugh. Hope it makes you laugh too. 

Philosophy Football - Greece v Germany



Gynaecologists v Long John Silver Impersonators





Costa Rica: Get Living by Patrick Pierson


Costa Rica: Get Living is lovely video by Patrick Pierson from his trip to Costa Rica. I want to go to Costa Rica. 

I recently had the great pleasure to visit Costa Rica with friends and filmed our exploits and adventures. I took all of my film gear on my back (5D, 7D and a couple of Go Pros) I titled it "Get Living" for many reasons but mainly as a suggestion to get out there and enjoy your life to the fullest. It was a fantastic experience documenting that wonderful trip and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. Patrick Pierson


For Hire - Bangalore Rickshaw by Xaver Xylophon


I really this animated video by Xaver Xylophon called For Hire - Bangalore Rickshaw. I love the colours and the style of animation.

I would love to see his animation of other cities as I imagine it would make a great series of video travel guides. I also imagine his drawings would look great in books too. Here's hoping to seeing more work by Xaver Xylophon. 


Green, yellow, black. They are the blood in the veins of Bangalore: the 450.000 rickshaws and their drivers. Knocked together from bits and pieces, decorated, ready for the junk heap or carefully maintained like antique cars, the vehicles are as charismatic as their owners, who brave the monstrous traffic of this metropolis daringly, sleepy, chattering or stoic, making sure the passanger's trip from A to B will be full of memorable experiences. 

Based on days of riding around in rickshaws and drawings made locally, this animation captures the tough workaday life of a rickshaw driver, seen through the eyes of a European visitor.



RIP Eduard Khil aka Mr. Trololo

Saddened by the news about Eduard Khil's death. He came to our attention in 2010 with his Trololo song, I wrote about him two years ago and it is still one of my favourite internet discoveries. 


RIP Eduard Khil , 1934-2012. His spirit will continue to live on here,

How a Bicycle is Made


How a Bicycle is Made is a wonderfully old fashioned British short film from 1945 I found in the British Council Film Collection. It shows how a bicycle is made in a factory.

The process of manufacture is traced from the beginning; the design on paper and the raw materials. We see what goes to make the steel tubes of the frames, the handle bars, the gear wheels, the pedal cranks, the pedals, the spokes, the wheels and the hubs, until at last the complete bicycle is ready for testing.



I particularly like the dialogue towards the end of this film.

Designer: Careful designing, reliable materials and expert craftsmanship in every stage of manufacture turn out a British bicycle second to none. 

Boy: What about the other models - boys racing cycles, ladies, the ones with the basket in front? Like Mother uses for shopping. 

Designer: Well, those models are manufactured in the same way. There are bicycle for all purposes, suitable for men, women, boys and girls. Here some of them are being taken out for a test run by the firm's test riders. 

A bicycle is a comfortable and cheap way of getting about. A great boom to man.

Ideal for shopping. Easy to park. Handy for work. A faithful friend ever ready to take a tired workers back home. And after wok, to bring relaxation, health and happiness.