Art Dubai will display the Ithra prize-winning 'Sawtam' for the first time

The multimedia work displays the visuals of the 28 Arabic phonemes. (Art Dubai)
Updated 20 March 2019
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Art Dubai will display the Ithra prize-winning 'Sawtam' for the first time

  • Sawtam stands for phoneme in Arabic
  • Al-Saleh hopes to inspire other women to fulfill their dreams

DUBAI: Daniah Al-Saleh, winner of the second edition of Ithra Art Prize, will exhibit her winning commission, Sawtam, for the first time at Art Dubai.

Sawtam is a multimedia artwork that is Arabic for phoneme, the smallest unit of sound in a language. The artwork combines sounds and images to create a work that emotionally moves audiences.

The artist recorded herself pronouncing all the 28 Arabic phonemes, and created visual images of the sound waves of each phoneme. Al-Saleh used her own voice to signify the increasing recognition and rights women in Saudi Arabia are starting to enjoy.

“With the changes in Saudi Arabia, women are more prominent now. Many are holding very high positions,” the artist said.

“So I can use my own voice to say, ‘I am a female. I am a Saudi. Here I am,’” she added.

Al-Saleh hopes to inspire other women artists to realize their dreams. She is currently doing her Masters in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, with a specialization in Computational Arts – a form of art that combines technology and culture.

The Ithra Art Prize was started by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Saudi and Art Dubai in 2017, to support emerging Saudi and Saudi-based contemporary artists. The annual prize awards the winner with up to $100,000 to realize their submitted proposal, which will also then be displayed at Art Dubai.

Art Dubai will organize a panel talk on Ithra Art Prize at 2pm on Friday, March 22.


What We Are Reading Today: Air Traffic by Gregory Pardlo

Updated 22 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Air Traffic by Gregory Pardlo

  • The author examines the ramifications of the episode on his family’s legacy, then expands to consider questions of race, addiction and fatherhood

Air Traffic is a courageously written book that chronicles among other things Gregory Pardlo’s complex relationship with members of his family, particularly his father and younger brother.

Gregory Pardlo’s father was one of the thousands of air traffic controllers fired in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan. The author examines the ramifications of the episode on his family’s legacy, then expands to consider questions of race, addiction and fatherhood.

Pardlo “is a talented writer and he examines so many issues in this memoir — race, economics, manhood, addiction, family and sibling relationships, marriage and parenthood,” says a review published in goodreads.com. A review published in The New York Times, Janet Maslin said: “The book is centered on the troubled relationship between the author and his father, although it roams freely in many other directions ... Simple description does not do Pardlo’s story justice; only his own sublime words can achieve that.” The review added: “When Pardlo won the Pulitzer in 2015 for his collection Digest, the citation praised his ‘clear-voiced poems that bring readers the news from 21st-century America, rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private.’ Replace the word ‘poems’ with the word “essays,” and you have an apt description of the second part of Air Traffic.”