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Tea with Culture

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


CMYK - A Community Exhibition at Gulf Photo Plus



CMYK is a new photography exhbition opening on 1st May 2013 at Gulf Photo Plus.

The photos in the exhibition were selected from over 1000 submissions after Gulf Photo Plus reached out to the local and international community of photography enthusiasts, encouraging them to submit work for the chance to be featured in their next exhibition. 

The theme of the exhibition CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black [Key]) comes from the CMYK colour model used in the printing process, and also denotes the four categories of the show. 


CMYK_C by Prasad Sadanandan

It's great to see Gulf Photo Plus hosting an event like this as it's an opportunity for photography enthusiasts to think how they can take their work to the next level and hopefully encourage them to submit some of their best work. Who knows, there might be a future star photographer in this show. 

Do go and check it out and show some support to initiatives that support the local community. 


CMYK_Y by Sharmin Choudhury


CMYK_K by Sayed Abd Algalil



Event details
Dates: 1st-31st May 2013. Opening night 1st May 1, 7pm - open to the public.
Venue: Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue,  Unit D36, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 (location map)


The Little Black Jacket in Dubai


The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld is a photography exhibition dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld's latest book by the same name.

The exhibition has already taken place in Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Milan and from 27th April till 11th May 2013, it will be in Dubai, in a specially constructed space at The Venue, Downtown Dubai

The public will discover Karl Lagerfeld's original photographs that illustrate the versatility and timelessness of the iconic CHANEL jacket, seen modeled on a range of friends of the House who have each adapted the garment to reflect their own inimitable style.

In addition, new photographs featuring such notable personalities as Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, Carla Bruni and Carole Bouquet, all of whom embody the iconic style of the House, will be unveiled. 


Herea are some of the photos from the exhibition. And check out some videos about The Little Black Jacket added after the photos.







































The Little Black Jacket Dubai Trailer

The making of The Little Black Jacket (parts 1 and 2)

The history of the CHANEL jacket

My favourite part in this video is Gabrielle Chanel's answer to the question "What is the hardest thing about your work?" in this video.

Enabling women to move with ease, to not feel like they're in costume. Not changing attitude, or manner, depending on their dress. 


Event details

Dates: 27th April - 11th May 2013, 11:00am-9:00pm (11:00am-10:00pm on weekends) 
Venue: The Venue, Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
Free entry



datamatics [ver.2.0] by Ryoji Ikeda

photo: Ryuichi Maruo, courtesy of YCAM

Electronic music composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda will be in Sharjah this Friday, 19th April to perform his audiovisual concert titled datamatics [ver. 2.0] in the Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts

Ikeda's work focuses on the essential characteristics of sound and light through mathematical precision and aesthetics. His datamatics project, which began in 2006 is a series of experiments in the form of audiovisual concerts, installations, publications and CDs that seek to materialise pure data.  

datamatics [ver. 2.0] is the second audiovisual concert presented as part of the project. Dynamic, computer-generated imagery, in pared-down black and white with striking colour accents, are graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions. 

From 2-D sequences of patterns derived from hard-drive errors and software code, the imagery transforms into dramatic, rotating views of the universe in 3-D; the final scenes add a further level, as 4-D mathematical processing opens up spectacular and seemingly infinite vistas.  

A hypnotic soundtrack reflects the imagery through a meticulous layering of sonic components.  (via

Here's a short clip from Sonar 2010 to show you what to expect. 

Here are some audience testimonials from his show at the Barbican in London two years ago.  


I am looking forward to this. I know this isn't something for for everyone and I imagine I will either end up with a headache or euphoric after being taken on a journey of data and sound. Hopefully it will be the latter. 

Event details
Date and time: Friday, 19th April 2013 at 8pm 
Venue: Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts, Sharjah (location map)
Phon: +9716 512 3333
Free entry

[image via]

Gulf Film Festival 2013 - My Top 20 Picks

The sixth edition of the Gulf Film Festival is back this month with line up of 169 short and full feature films from 43 countries, including the Gulf region and around the world. The festival is on from 11th-17th April in it's usual home, Grand Cinemas in Festival City, Dubai. 

Here's my list of top 20 picks, and you can see the full line up, along with the schedule here. The tickets are free for this festival, so if you do have time, I strongly suggest you try to watch a few films, there are some real gems in this year's line up.

Away, 17 mins
Director: Anna Sarukhanova

A young man is offered a job abroad and he is forced to make a choice: leave for the opportunity or stay in the place he knows so well and where he has a girlfriend and his family. 

Baghdad Messi, 19 mins
Director: Sahim Omar Kalifa

Iraq 2009. Eight-year-old Hamoudi has only one leg, but is addicted to football. He and his friends – like the rest of the world – are looking forward to the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester (Messi versus Ronaldo). But then the television breaks down.

Bekas, 92 mins
Director:  Karzan Kader

Dana and Zana are two homeless orphans in Iraqi Kurdistan under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. Their only hope for escape is to reach the United States of America and live with their friend "Superman". But how do they get there? They have no money, no passports and their only means of transportation is a donkey.

Berlin Telegram, 82 mins
Director: Leila Albayaty

Leila is a singer-songwriter with nothing but her voice to accompany her as she wanders from one place to another. With her heart still carrying the heavy burden of unrequited love, she resolves to leave her town.

Armed with a camera and her music, Leila takes the audience on a trip that draws attention to her hopes and fears. In this lyrical road movie based on a true story, through the wonders that music presents, there is no path and no destination. Except that of the heart.


Calcutta Taxi, 20 mins
Director:  Vikram Dasgupta

Calcutta Taxi is set against the grimy backdrop of a city going through a political crisis and unravels the story of three lives that coincide and affect each other. 

Ephemeral, 17 mins
Director: Diego Modino 

Alicia lives in a cozy windmill with her grandmother and dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. She waits for the pivotal moment when she can audition, but realises that the world outside her own, is not as idyllic as she thinks.

Father, 16 mins
Directors: Asparuh PetrovDmitry YagodinIvan BogdanovMoritz MayerhoferRositsa RalevaVeljko Popovic 

When did you last talk to your father? Will you ever ask him about the things that hurt you? This film turns reality around by creating a dialogue between a child and a father that never happens. 

A Fallible Girl, 104 mins
Director:  Conrad Clark

Lifei sets up a mushroom farm in the desert between Dubai and Abu Dhabi with her best friend Yaya, using the hard-earned money that the two Chinese girls made to create a better life for themselves.

Life gets tough quickly and Yaya is quick to return to her former life but Lifei perseveres, trying to find her footing. However, personal tragedy strikes and she has to return to China, but not before she has to pay off her ever-increasing debts.

Grand Marriage, 52 mins
Director: Faisal Al-Otaibi

One of the most unique Arab wedding ceremonies takes place in the tropical islands of the Comoros. The celebrations last for two weeks and they can paint the future for the bride and groom, allowing the couple to demand honour and respect.  

Inertial Love, 6 mins
Director: César Esteban AlendaJosé Esteban Alenda
The relationship between Javier and Anna runs out of steam. She hits the breaks and Javier is dragged down into a state of inertia until he learns to get over it. 

It's About To Rain, 91 mins
Director: Haider Rashid

It's About to Rain is a film about a very particular situation – an Algerian father and two Algerian-Italian sons, struggling to come to terms with an Italy that appears to reject them – that's extraordinarily universal.

Starring the charismatic newcomer Lorenzo Baglioni as Said Mahran, this is a subtle, emotional and gripping story, one that relates to everyone that's ever found themselves between different countries, belonging somewhere that doesn't make them wholly welcome.

Lyrics Revolt, 51 mins
Directors: Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant, Rana Khaled Al Khatib, Shannon Farhoud 

Music and politics often go hand in hand and as pro-democracy revolutions spread throughout the Arab world, one sound in particular is echoing the hopes, dreams and frustrations of the people.

Arab hip-hop has emerged as the soundtrack of the resistance and Lyrics Revolt features the leading musicians around the world, looking at the role music plays in this game-changing moment for the Middle East. 

The Man Inside, 51 mins
Director: Karim Goury

The film-maker books a hotel room in a foreign land where his absent father once lived and worked. Equipped with a camera, a cassette player and a stack of unread letters, he sets about re-imagining a man he never knew.

Man in Suit, 10 mins
Director:  Anna Van Der Heide

A busy working mother has to take her children to the fun fair alone after her husband forgets about the outing. Trapped in her loneliness, she reaches out for warmth and security, forgetting about her husband – and common sense.

No One's Land, 30 mins
Director:  Babak Amini

During the Iran-Iraq war, a German girl loses her way while trying to visit Baghdad to see her fiance, who is a NATO soldier. She is found by a Kurdish family living on the border. 

Portraits (Los Retratos), 14 mins
Director:  Iván D. Gaona

Sunday is the local market day and Grandma Paulina wants to prepare Creole hen for her husband’s lunch, but she doesn’t have enough money. She wins a Polaroid camera in a raffle but soon runs out of film and finds herself still hungry. 

Rhinos, 14 mins
Director:  Shimmy Marcus

A young couple is brought together by circumstance. Despite a language barrier, they learn more about each other than they thought was possible. 

The Scream, 82 mins
Director: Khadija Al-Salami
Yemen, a country that has little place for a woman’s voice – and the rest of the world – was stunned when Yemeni women took to the streets to draw attention to their suffering. Women played an important role in the Yemeni uprisings against dictatorship. 

From the Yemeni film-maker Khadija Al-Salami, whose films focus on women’s issues and corruption, The Scream examines the aftermath of their participation: they hoped for democracy, but what did they ultimately achieve? And more importantly, what are they left with? 

Studio Beirut, 15 mins
Director: Mokhtar Beyrouth

Toufik, a young photographer owns Studio Beirut. His business is threatened when the mayor installs the city's first photo booth next door. 

Wadjda, 97 mins
Director:  Haifaa Al Mansour

Every day Wadjda passes a toy store window with a beautiful green bicycle. Although it is forbidden for girls to ride bicycles, Wadjda concocts a plan to earn enough money to afford the bike by secretly selling 'illicit products' in her schoolyard.

But her plans are soon exposed, leaving her with only one last chance to make the money she needs: a Quran recital competition with a big cash prize. Wadjda tries to find a sly and cunning way to rise above her fellow competitors to make her most cherished dream come true... the green bicycle. 

RIP Roger Ebert


Last night I was out with friends, it was a night filled with great conversations and good laughs. But late into the night, I had a quick look at Twitter and there it was, a flood of tweets saying RIP Roger Ebert.

I was shocked, since it was only a day earlier Roger Ebert said he would slow down due to the return of cancer in his very moving blogpost, "A Leave of Presence". Needless to say, my mood changed and went home shortly after finding out the sad news. 

I always knew the day we lose Roger Ebert would be a very sad day for me. I normally don't dwell too much when it comes to celebrity deaths, but not when it comes to Roger Ebert. I am really saddened by the news of his death. I admired his writing a lot and was always in awe of him, especially over the past few years. He's battled cancer, became disfigured after losing his jaw, he lost his voice and ability to eat and drink - and despite all that, he carried on doing what he loves to do, write. Writing about movies, life and anything else that took his fancy, with passion, elegance and integrity.

One of my all time favourite writings by Roger Ebert isn't even about a movie, it's about his inability to eat and converse with people over a meal, Nil by Mouth

So that's what's sad about not eating. The loss of dining, not the loss of food. It may be personal, but for, unless I'm alone, it doesn't involve dinner if it doesn't involve talking. The food and drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss. Sentences beginning with the words, "Remember that time?" I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to break out in a poetry recitation at any time. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, it's sad. Maybe that's why I enjoy this blog. You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now.



We will no longer look forward to new words by Roger Ebert, but his memory will live on through everything he's written and published.  I leave you with the following quote, that I can't stop thinking about.  

‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoirs. “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out. (via



via The Futurist 



RIP Roger Ebert, 1942-2013. 


[image via The Criterion Collection]


Film Screening - Shūbun (Scandal) by Akira Kurosawa


Just found out an Akira Kurosawa film will be screened tomorrow night, Thursday, 28th March at 8pm, in an outdoor venue at The Archive in Safa Park in Dubai. This doesn't happen often. Don't miss this.


About Shūbun (Scandal): 

Ichiro Aoye, a young painter, encounters a famous singer, Miyako Saijo, while on holiday in the mountains. He gives her a ride and coincidentally stays at the same inn.

A tabloid magazine specializing in scandals blows this encounter up into a huge falsehood designed to humiliate Miyako, who has been uncooperative with the press.

Ichiro sues, but his lawyer, needing money for his sick daughter's treatment, accepts a bribe to throw the case. (via TCM)





Event details 
Date and time: Thursday, 28th March 8.00-10.00pm
Venue: The Archive, Safa Park (Gate 5), Dubai (location map)
Park entrance fee: AED 3 
Event on Facebook 



[Image via Wikipedia


Franco Film Festival 2013

Cinephiles rejoice, there's a film festival this week in Dubai with a focus on the Francophone region. It's on from 23rd to 29th March in VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates. All the films are subtitled in English.


Here's the schedule and list of films:


Saturday, 23rd March at 6pm 

France Asterix & Obelix : God Save Britannia (France, 2012) 


Directed by Laurent Tirard with Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve and Edouard Baer. The year is 50 AD and Julius Caesar is hungry for new conquests. At the helm of his triumphant legions, he decides to invade a small island at the very edge of the known world, a mysterious land named Britain. Victory is swift and total... almost.

A small village manages to resist, but it can’t hold out for long, so the Briton Queen Cordelia sends her most faithful officer Anticlimax to seek aid in Gaul, in a small village known for its stubborn resistance to the Romans. In this Gaul village, Asterix and Obelix already have their hands full, since their chief has entrusted them with the task of making a man of his good-for-nothing nephew Justforkix, freshly arrived from Lutetia - a task that is proving all but easy.

When Anticlimax arrives to ask for help, Asterix and Obelix are tasked with escorting him back to Britain with a barrel of their famous magic potion, with Justforkix in tow as the journey seems an excellent opportunity to educate the boy. However, nothing quite turns out as planned.

Saturday, 23rd March at 9pm

The Wind Horse / Le Cheval De Vent (Morocco, 2002) 

Directed by Daoud Aoulad Syad, “The Wind Horse” is a story about the friendship that develops between a man in his sixties and a man in his thirties. It’s a road movie – seen from a sidecar – in which poetry and fantasy spring from a background of dull, everyday routine.

Tahar, once a blacksmith, leaves his son’s house in the little town of Salé, where he feels he becomes nothing but a burden and a nuisance. Driss, the younger man, leaves hospital without knowing whether he is cured or has little time left to live. He concentrates all his energy on a letter he has received, informing him that his mother wishes to see her children one last time after growing up with an older brother, convinced that his mother had died when he was three years old.

What brings Tahar and Driss together is the nature of their quest, each has set his sights on a fantasy horizon, and prefers to keep yearning for it than actually facing up to reality.



Sunday, 24th March at 9pm

The Giants / Les Géants (Belgium, 2011)

Directed by Bouli Lanners. It’s summer time; Zak and Seth find themselves dead broke and ditched by their absentee mother in the family’s cottage. Just like every holiday, they’ve resigned themselves to another shitty summer. But things change this year, when they meet Danny, a local teenager. Together, with life at their fingertips, they begin the great perilous journey of their lives. 



Monday, 25th March at 9pm

Mister Lazhar / Monsieur Lazhar (Canada, 2011)


Directed by Philippe Falardeau with Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse and Émilien Néron. At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.



Tuesday, 26th March at 9pm

The Lebanese Rocket Society (Lebanon, 2013) 

Directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige. When the two filmmakers inadvertently discovered that their native Lebanon launched the first rocket in the Middle East in the 1960s, and that the nation was immensely proud of its involvement in the international race to conquer the last frontier, they were surprised and intrigued. Why had such a significant episode in Lebanon’s history been altogether erased from the collective memory?

Interviewing scientists, professors and army authorities involved in the development of the rocket project, the directors uncover a dream of future glory that was halted and silenced by international pressure following the Arab-Israeli military conflict of 1967.

In bringing this exciting chapter of Lebanese history to light, Hadjithomas and Joreige’s film reflects the reawakening of the hopes and dreams of the peoples of the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring. 



Wednesday, 27th March at 9pm 

The Little Room/ La Petite Chambre (Switzerland, 2012) 


Directed by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond. This is a story of the heart. Edmond’s is no longer strong. But it still beats with an independence which fights against the very idea of entering a retirement home, while at the same time refusing help from Rose, his home carer.

Nonetheless she stands up to him. She knows the tumult that a heart undergoes when it is forced to accept the unacceptable. Hers hasn’t yet healed. One day however, a bad fall forces Edmond to accept Rose’s support.




Thursday, 28th March at 9pm 

The Hunger / La Faim (Egypt, 1986)

Film still from The Hunger (via by Aly Barakhan with Souad Hosny, Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Yousra. The movie, based upon the novel of the same name by Naguib Mahfouz, examines the social conditions of Cairenes during the first decade of the twentieth century.

In doing so, both the movie and novel deal extensively with the themes of poverty and death. In this adaptation of episodes from Mahfouz’s 1977 novel The Harafish, a weak-willed man accidentally kills one of the gangsters to whom local merchants pay protection money. The resulting adulation goes to his head, as he profits during a famine and takes a second wife from a higher class.



Friday, 29th March at 4pm

The Illusionist/ L’illusionniste (France, 2010)


Directed by Sylvain Chomet. The illusionist is a dying breed of stage performer. Ever since rock and pop stars have taken away slightly more than his bread and butter, his worsening economic situation has forced him to accept questionable engagements in dubious basement venues, at garden parties or in bars and cafés.

In one of these obscure establishments, he meets an innocent young girl named Alice. Alice is just as delighted by his magical tricks. The performance has been arranged in order to celebrate the advent of electricity on their remote island. But, unlike the others, Alice is completely captivated by our hero and is convinced that his tricks are truly the result of magic.

She follows the illusionist to Edinburgh and keeps house for him while he performs at a small local theatre. Unable to imagine anything worse than disappointing Alice, the illusionist can’t admit that he cannot really perform magic instead allowing himself to be bankrupted by the constant present-giving. (Based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati). 


[Film synopsis via]


The Culturist Blog Party at House 9


I'm hosting my first "Blog Party" this Sunday, 24th March in The Culturist at House 9 at the SIKKA Art Fair. It's the last day of the fair and everyone is invited to House 9 for one last farewell to the fair.

SIKKA has been on since 14th March and if you've not been, this is your last chance. Also check out the SIKKA blog, it has some very well written and insightful observations about SIKKA and about the different events happening there. 

On the last day of the fair, House 9 will host a small little shinding in the courtyard, which I must say is lovely little courtyard that I've grown very attached to. It won't be a full on party as the house is close to a mosque, but I've been told I can turn up the volume after the last call to prayer. 


In case you are still not familiar with SIKKA, it is an artist-led fair of commissioned work and for this year. I was invited to represent my blog during the fair, hence "The Culturist at House 9" which is an offline experiential transformation of the blog covering major themes from the blog such as films, music, travel, photography and the 1980s in three different rooms: Screen | Travel | Reminisce 

The Culturist at House 9 - Room 1 - Screen

The Culturist at House 9 - Room 2 - Travel

The Culturist at House 9 - Room 1 - Reminisce

If you've not been to SIKKA or The Culturist at House 9, this is your last chance. Three days left for the fair, so go over this weekend or visit on Sunday. 

Fair timings for the next 3 days:
Friday, 22nd March 16:00 – 00:00
Saturday, 23rd March 12:00 – 00:00
Sunday, 24th March 18:00 – 00:00 

My party will be from 20:00-22:00 on Sunday 24th March (or till the security kick us out). 
Directions to SIKKA



Art Dubai 2013

Otobong Nkanga, Why don’t you grow where we come from? (2012) Woven textile and Photography, inkjet print / Viscose, cashmere wool, mohair, bio cotton and laser cut forex plate. Image courtesy the artist and Lumen Travo Gallery.


The seventh edition of Art Dubai is back this week from 20th-23rd March at the Madinat Jumeirah. This year's edition will host 75 galleries from 30 countries, over half are from the Middle East and South Asia.  

But as I said before, I'm always more excited about the commissioned projects, talks and performances that take place during Art Dubai. You can see the complete programme here


Here are my top picks: 

Sculpture on the Beach 

Hassan Sharif, Weave 2, 2012 (Medium: aluminium, copper wire). Image courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates

Sculpture on the Beach is a new addition to Art Dubai, it's an exhibition of sculptural and large-scale works by 11 artists curated by Chus Martinez, Chief curator of El Museo del Barrio, formerly Documenta 13’s Head of Department. This exhibition will be located on the Mina A’Salam beach (a five-minute walk from the gallery halls and adjacent to the Art Dubai Beach Brasserie).



The Hatch

Ali Cherri, Slippage, Still from DV Video, 2007. Image courtesy of Ali Cherri. 

The Hatch returns this year with a programme curated by artist Maha Maamoun, founding board-member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC), Cairo.This year's programme will feature work by three artists: Ali Cherri, Hassan Khan, and Anri Sala.

From proposals sent by Art Dubai participating galleries, Maamoun selected the artists based on the strength and singularity of their work. This disparate grouping of films is tangentially linked by how they pick at nerves, words and chords: a musical score recalls a musical score, or drowns out every other sound, echoing a rising tension, and short-circuiting a conversation; a conversation cancels out all other audible sound and fleshes out the minutiae of daily interpersonal power games; and power will try to subvert a city, a body, an image, or a radio-transmission of Fairuz singing.



Commissioned Projects Joe Namy

Image via Delfina Foundation

There are several commissioned projects for Art Dubai this year, you can see the full list here, but I am really looking forward to the following projects: 

Joe Namy

Namy has spent part of his three-month residency in Dubai researching traditional song and dance, once used for ritual healing, and unique to the UAE.

Namy’s performance, entitled Transfiguration, draws upon the parallels between these ritual dances and their rhythmic connections to contemporary electronic music. 

Transfiguration will be presented as a multi-media installation including a live performance at Art Dubai on Wednesday 20 March at 7PM on the Water Terrace.


Ahmet Öğüt

Intern VIP lounge will be an exclusive space for all the unpaid interns working at the art fair. Only these volunteers, after registering at the Intern VIP Lounge's information desk, will be able to access the lounge – an exclusive space that not only provides a relaxed and entertaining ambience, but also operates as a knowledge exchange space, with a special programme of events, including meetings, presentations and film screenings.



Global Art Forum_7

Global Art Forum_6, 2012

Global Art Forum is back this year with a diverse line-up of participants, including artists, curators, musicians, strategists, thinkers and writers. This year's edition is entitled ‘It Means This’, directed by Istanbul based writer/editor HG Masters, and commissioned by writer/curator Shumon Basar.

‘It Means This’ will explore the concept of ‘definitionism’: investigating the words, terms, clichés and misunderstandings that proliferate in the art world and beyond. The Forum attempts to (re)define words, phrases and ideas we think we know, and those we need to know, to navigate the 21st century. 



Each session or element of the Forum will take on a keyword; some are terms we use every day – such as Heritage, Biography, Freezone, Score and Place (looking particularly at how the cities Lagos and Ramallah having been shaped by writers and artists).

Other terms may be less familiar – including Academese, Advert Adverts, Drone Fiction, MENA (Middle East Nervous Anxiety), or Neologism. The eclectic line-up of Forum contributors are set to pick apart these terms through talks, debates, performances, TV clips, new publications, films, music, and so much more.




This year's forum will feature over 40 contributors, including:

New participants:

Dubai-based political scientist Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla; poet and authorMourid Barghouti (I Saw Ramallah, among other books); artist and former REM lead singer Michael Stipe; writer-editors Charles Arsene-HenryBrian Kuan Wood (Editor, eflux journal) and Guy Mannes-Abbott (author, In Ramallah, Running); artists Tarek AtouiTristan BeraManal Al DowayanDominique Gonzalez-FoersterShuruq HarbHassan KhanEmeka OgbohSlavs and TatarsAla Younis; writers Elif Batuman (contributor, New Yorker), Maryam Monalisa Gharavi (Editor-at-Large, The New Inquiry), Oscar Guardiola-Rivera (author ofWhat if Latin America Ruled the World?); Lagos-based writer-editor Tolu Ogunlesi; writer/urbanist Keller Easterling (Professor, Yale University); curator-translator, and Dar Al-Ma’mun co-director, Omar Berrada; curators Reem Fadda (Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, and curator, National Pavilion for the UAE at the Venice Biennial), Koyo Kouoh (director, Raw Material Company, Dakar), Bisi Silva (director, CCA Lagos) and Tirdad Zolghadr (writer, based at Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College NY); New York-based anthropologist Uzma Z. Rizvi; composer and musician Andre Vida; and Doha-based analyst and commentator Tarik Yousef.

Returning participants:

Writer and artist Douglas Coupland; curator Lara Khaldi (Director, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah); geostrategist and Director of Hybrid Reality Institute Parag Khanna; Turi Munthe, the founder of ‘citizen journalist’ newswire Demotix; Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects of the Serpentine Gallery, London, Hans-Ulrich Obrist; and the founder of Barjeel Art Foundation Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi. 



Here are highlights from Art Dubai 2012. Don't miss this year's edition. I plan to be there everyday, so if you are around, come and say hello.


Art Night in Dubai on 18th March 2013

Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue

Art Nights at DIFC Gate Village

Dubai will have a double edition of Art Night happening on Monday, 18th January, where two different venues, DIFC Gate Village and Alserkal Avenue, will host gallery openings on the night.  

It's a great opportunity to go gallery hopping to enjoy some good art (or make fun of some bad art like I do with my friends).  I won't be able to go to both venues, so I'm planning to spend time at Alserkal Avenue and looking forward to a fun art night there.
I've listed some of the must see exhibitions in both venues, but you can find the full line up of exhibitions via the following links: 
Art Nights at DIFC Gate Village
Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue Gallery Nights from 6pm-9pm:
Lawrie Shabibi: Adel Abidin - Symphony (18th March-18th April 2013)  

Green Art Gallery: Shadi Habib Allah - Evacutaed Containers (14th March-5th May 2013) 
Shadi Habib Allah, Imprint, 2009-Ongoing, Digital print

Shelter: Richard Allenby-Pratt - Abandoned (18th March-1st May 2013)
Richard Allenby-Pratt, Abandoned series, Giraffe

STORiES Pop Up: Ethical.Design.Collective (18th-23rd March 2013)

STORiEs Pop Up: STORiEs by Ethical.Design.Collective (18th-23th March 2013)

Grey Noise: Hossein Valamanesh - Selected Works 1992-2013 (18th March-30th April 2013)
Hossein Valamanesh, Face to Face 2002, prayer caps, straw mat, mirrors, clay, 90x198x18 cm

DIFC Gate Village Art Nights from 7pm-10pm:

Ayyam Gallery: Afshin Pirhashemi  - The Wrong Women (18th March-25th April 2013)
Afshin Pirhashemi, The First-timer, 2012 - Oil on Canvas 100 X 150 cm.

Cuadro Gallery - Various Artists 

Nadine Kanso, From The Khaled Series, 2013


The Empty Quarter: Open Wounds (18th March-25th April 2013)

Rhea Karam: Series: Breathing Walls, Rockheads, 2008





Event details:
Date: 18th March 2013
Timings: Alserkal Avenue, 6pm-9pm (location map)
         DIFC Gate Village, 7pm-10pm (location map