Follow The Culturist
Tea with Culture

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


Vintage Beach Photos 

Circa 1911: A group of female bathers go for an early morning dip in the sea at Scarborough, Yorkshire. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

August 1923: Dancer Miss Eileen Molyneux on the beach at Le Touquet. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images) 

Here's a selection of vintage beach photos from an article titled Before the Bikini: Rare Vintage Beach Photos. The article is about the origins of beach vacations and how the swimsuit has evolved from the early 1900s to the 1970s.

Beach vacations started as early as the late 1800s after railroads became a viable source of transportation, according to Victoriana Magazine. Swimwear consisted of fully covered gowns and bloomers that revealed very little. Although the sun’s harmful UV rays were an unknown danger at the time, this conservative beachwear would have provided a good deal of protection.

By the early 1900s, beach resorts were becoming a popular destination. But water activities such as swimming and diving were a burden due to the bulky Victorian-style swimsuits, especially for the women, the magazine reports. Thus, by the 1920s, fitted swimwear that modestly conformed to the body became a part of beach fashion. Susan Sessions Rugh, an American history professor at Brigham Young University, points out that as the years passed, swimsuits became smaller and smaller.

“Earlier in the century, the sexes were often segregated on the beach and women were chaperoned, even though today their swimsuits look ridiculously modest,” Rugh said in an interview with “Swimsuits shrunk over the years as new stretch fabrics and manufacturing methods allowed a more form-fitting garment.”


These are my favourite 20 photos from the article, you can see all 359 photos here. I would love to find a series of vintage photos of beach vacations in the Arab world.



July 1924: Mother and child on holiday at Clacton. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Circa 1925: Five women at the beach posing in their swimming costumes. (Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images)

Circa 1926: Three women are seen enjoying the Gala at the Thames Resort at Hampton Court. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Circa 1927: Actress Joan Crawford playing on the beach with fellow star Dorothy Sebastian. (General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

July 1928: Keeping cool in the sea during a heatwave at Bexhill, Kent. (Crouch/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Circa 1929: A group of teenagers enjoy a game of jump rope on the beach. (General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Circa 1929: A row women showing off some unusual and original swimwear on the beach. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

May 1934: Members of a life saving club for women in Melbourne, taking part in a display. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

August 1935: Pupils from the International Institute of Margaret Morris Movement practice on the beach at Sandwich on the Kent coast, England. (Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

June 1936: A woman swings a child on the beach at Bridlington, Humberside, England. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

August 1937: Three girls enjoying a game of cricket on the beach at Blackpool, Lancashire. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

August 1938: The table is marked out with rope for a game of beach billiards in Oregon. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

August 1939: Two vacationers canoeing in the sea at Hastings, Sussex. (John F. Stephenson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Circa 1940: Models playing on a beach wear knitted, one piece, skirted swimsuits and swimcaps. (Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)

Circa 1940: A group of women wearing swimsuits enjoy an ice cream outside a cafe at the seaside. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Circa 1951: Five bathers are seen on a beach. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Circa 1955: A woman is seen in a bathing suit standing near a beach pulling a rope. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Circa 1955: A woman spends her holiday sunbathing on a Yemen beach. (William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)




[all images from Before the Bikini: Rare Vintage Beach Photos via]


This Charming Charlie by Lauren LoPrete

  Lyrics from How Soon is Now?

This Charming Charlie by Lauren LoPrete is a new site that combines images adapted from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic series with words from song lyrics written by Morrissey for The Smiths. I think Charles Schulz would approve. I love this so, so, so very much.

Here are 15 of my favourites. I've added the name of the song and video link below each image.

  Lyrics from Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This Before

  Lyrics from Big Mouth Strikes Again 


Lyrics from Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me


Lyrics from The Boy With The Thorn In His Side


  Lyrics from Ask


  Lyrics from Nowhere Fast  


Lyrics from Sheila Take A Bow



  Lyrics from Jeane 


Lyrics from What She Said


Lyrics from This Charming Man 


Lyrics from Asleep


Lyrics from You've Got Everything Now


Lyrics from Shoplifters of the World Unite


Lyrics from Please, Please, Please


[hat tip @nictate]


An Ode to Summer by Andrew and Carissa Gallo for Kinfolk

Photo by Carissa Gallo


This is what summer should be all about. 


Summer, after all is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people.

For those few months, you're not required to be who everyone thinks you are.

And that cut grass smell in the air, and the chance to dive into the deep end of the pool give you the courage you don't have for the rest of the year.

You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past.

Summer just opens the door and lets you out.



Video by Andrew & Carissa Gallo for Kinfolk. Words by Deb Calett.



Arthur Fields - Man on Bridge


Man On Bridge is an interactive documentary about Arthur Fields, a street photographer who captured an estimated 182,500 photos of passersby on O'Connell Bridge in Dublin over 50 years, from the early 1930s until he stopped in 1985 at the age of 84.

Man on Bridge will work as a collection point for these photos and will allow the public to upload their own Arthur Fields photo. This growing database of user-submitted photos will be integrated into our online story of Arthur on a rolling basis as photos are submitted.

Combining video, archival still image, text and audio, Man on Bridge will allow users to explore both Arthur’s life and the photos he took and the impact his images have had on the lives of others.

Man on Bridge aims to remind users how important touchstones like Arthur are in the social fabric of a city. So many people have an Arthur Fields photo buried away in their collection and the project aims to bring together as many of these cherished photos as possible under one umbrella. Additionally, Man on Bridge will let users appreciate our cultural and social history, in terms of fashion and camera technology.

Ultimately, in a time where we are over-photographed, we want Man on Bridge to remind people how important the physical photo is as an object to value and hold on to for years.





A Lunch with Lara Khoury by Ziad Oakes

Lebanese fashion designer Lara Khoury invited her friends for lunch at Tawlet Ammiq, an eco-restaurant located in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

The aim of the lunch was to get everyone to express their feelings in one word about their country, Lebanon which was filmed by Ziad Oakes.

Answers include schizophrenic, beautiful mess, war, chaotic, colorful, extravagant, impossible, home.

It's beautifully shot, featuring a bunch of good looking people, all sharing an honest moment about how they feel about their country. The video reminded me of the Fifty People One Question project from a few years ago.


Swimming in Wild Waters by Kinfolk

Photo by Carissa Gallo


Kinfolk is one of my favourite food magazines. They recently started a Kinfolk Saturdays web series which aims to give you ideas for things to do on weekends and to inspire you to try new things.

The latest episode is called Swimming in Wild Waters, filmed at Dougan Falls along the Washougal River by Andrew & Carissa Gallo of

There’s something about leaping off a cliff into untamed waters that cannot be imitated in the community pool. For one, there is an element of uncertainty. Of how you will fall, land and what lies beneath the surface of those murky waters. Chlorine has stifled and confined our ability to fully embrace the art of swimming in all its glory.

As temperatures rise, the summer season beckons us to venture out to the river’s edge and ocean’s shores. This call should not be ignored. By immersing into wild waters, you surrender to your senses. To feel that chill in your bones or moss between your bare toes, to hear a soft ripple or loud splash, to lose vision in that green-blue expanse.

In a sense swimming strips us down, tunes out the busyness of our everyday lives and provides a weightless escape. Take to the outdoors and jump in.


Tomorrow Somewhere New

Tomorrow Somewhere New is an inspiring short film about Josh and Jessa Works, two self-employed freelancers, who sold everything they own, pucrhased an airstream and are now travelling across America with their children.

Have you ever felt trapped in a static life you didn’t choose? Ever considered just walking away from it all and creating your own adventure?

When Josh and Jessa Works asked themselves these questions, they answered by loading their son Jack into an Airstream and launching into an exploration and rediscovery of America, not in search of a place to settle, but rather creating a new kind of home out of wandering.


You can read the complete background to what led Josh and Jessa Works make this decision here. I am sure many will relate to the feeling of wanting to get away from the daily routine, to find a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

I admire people that make a decision to follow their dreams, even if it defies convention. I love this list they made.

An incomplete list of our motivations and desires:

  • to escape our growing ennui of the suburban lifestyle
  • to feed our insatiable wanderlust and explore
  • to own and consume fewer but better things
  • to live more efficiently and inexpensively
  • to cultivate a closer relationship with the natural world
  • to significantly curb our use of costly natural resources
  • to pursue passionate, self-fulfilling work (and work less)
  • to provide a humble and engaging worldview for our children
  • to indulge our curiosities and control our experiences
  • to face our inevitable vulnerability and learn to enjoy it
  • to live while we’re young and hope that it sticks




[via Good]



A Guide To Coffee Culture in Dublin by Louise Gaffney


Le Cool Dublin produced this lovely Guide To Coffee Culture in Dublin video to co-incide with Le Cool's Dublin Coffee Issue that came out late June.

I didn't know there was a coffee culture in Dublin, but it looks like it's been growing over the past five years, and according to the people featured in this video, it's all about the water, quality of coffee and attention to details that makes the coffee stand out in Dublin.

We like to think of the coffee shop as the third space after your work and your home. And traditionally in Dublin, the third space has always been like a pub and I think that's something that's changing in the city so we're seeing the emergence of the coffee shop as being something as a social hub.

Money aside, I think one of the most rewarding things of running a coffee shop is the social aspect of it. I think people come to coffee shops for that social experience. You don't meet your friends for a bacon sandwich or call up your friends and go do you want to go have a kebab. It's always do you want to go have coffee. 
Colin from 3FE


Songs from Disco Dancer


A few days ago I posted a short documentary called The Magnetist which featured a song called "Auva Auva – Koi Yahaan Nache" by Usha Uthup & Bappi Lahiri. It sounded familiar, and not just because it sounds Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.

I remembered hearing and watching it from an old Bollywood film and after doing a bit of search online, I found out it's from Disco Dancer, an Indian movie from 1982 which I've watched as a kid.

So of course I started looking for the other songs from the film and had to share them with you - they are some of my favourite Bollywood songs. Hope you enjoy these. There's a lot of sparkle, a lot of wiggling and good ol' fashion Bollywood entertainment.

Auva Auva – Koi Yahaan Nache


 I am a Disco Dancer


Jimmy Aaja


Hermès Swimwear Collection Spring/Summer 2013 




Hermès Swimwear Collection for Spring/Summer 2013 is presented in this beautifully whimsical video. If you've not had a chance to enjoy swimming this summer, this video might put you in the mood.