Many visitors expected at honey festival

Updated 02 July 2012

Many visitors expected at honey festival

The Fifth Baha International Honey Festival will open in Baljurashi today.
Ahmad Al-Khazim, chairman of the organizing committee, said that 50 exhibitors from within the Kingdom and abroad will display their products in the five-day event. The Beekeepers Cooperative Society is organizing the festival in cooperation with Abdullah Bughshan Chair for Bee Research at King Saud University.
Al-Khazim said the festival aims at enhancing the level of knowledge among beekeepers about the industry and help them market their products by making them aware of various marketing and packaging techniques. “It will also provide opportunities to exchange expertise and ideas among beekeepers and traders from within the Kingdom and abroad,” he said.
Al-Khazim said there has been tremendous response from exhibitors to take part in the festival. “We had received applications from over 110 exhibitors from various parts of the Kingdom and abroad. Of them, we short-listed only 50, in line with specific norms and conditions regarding the quality of products and the country of their origin,” he said.
Beekeepers taking part in the festival include those from Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Sudan and Ethiopia. “The Turkish Beekeepers Federation will be the guest of honor for this year’s festival. The federation’s board members, as well as heads of various beekeepers’ societies will participate in the festival,” he said.
According to Al-Khazim, all kinds of honey, especially Sidr, Samra, Saif and Talha will be on display at the festival. Apart from this, modern tools of apiculture will also be showcased.
The fifth national meet of beekeepers and those concerned with honey industry will also be held on the sidelines of the festival. The meet titled “Bee food and pastures: Their development and safeguarding,” will discuss the problem of scarce bee pastures and the poor maintenance of existing pastures. Several experts and academics will enlighten beekeepers on the latest developments in the industry. Around 250-300 participants from across the Kingdom and over 50 international participants will attend the festival.
A large number of beekeepers are already displaying their products at the month-long Taif honey festival that was opened by Taif Gov. Fahd bin Muammar last month.

 


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla lands interactive art exhibition

AlUla is an archaeological marvel — boasting golden sandstone canyons, colossal arches and rock formations — that has played host to numerous ancient civilizations, making it a significant cultural crossroads. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla lands interactive art exhibition

  • Famed for its rock formations and archaeological treasures, the valley’s dramatic landscape inspires creative concepts

JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for AlUla has collaborated with Desert X to bring an interactive installation to the area for the first time.

Desert X began in 2017, in California’s Coachella Valley, as a way to connect modern art with desert communities and cultures.
It is Desert X’s first international collaboration and starts on Jan. 31, running through to March 7, as part of AlUla’s Winter at Tantora festival.
AlUla Valley is famed for its rock formations, dramatic desert landscape and archaeological treasures.
Neville Wakefield, artistic director and co-curator for Desert X, said the exhibition would bring together local artists and ones from further afield.
“You discover that the same things that we find artists following in southern California — the interest in the environment, natural resources, cultural memory, trade and migration — they’re common for everyone,” he told Arab News. “What’s interesting to me about Saudi Arabia is the demographic, it’s a very young nation. I hope this opens the door to encourage a new generation of artists to emerge and take (their) place on an international stage and vice versa.”

Outdoor exhibition
Site-specific exhibitions differ greatly from a gallery setup in a museum with a controlled or fixed environment. Curators and artists face more external factors that could hinder the installation process from the weather to safety measures such as falling rocks. Wakefield said the uncertainty made shows such as Desert X exciting. “It really is about engaging with the landscape.”
Artists were brought to the Kingdom on a site visit last year to process the surroundings and create their own installation proposals.
They were selected based on their response to the landscape, not only its physical nature but culturally, historically and socially.
Riyadh-based artist Muhannad Shono said he would have done anything to take part in Desert X.
“I wasn’t going to let it slip through my fingers,” he told Arab News. “We don’t get a lot of chances with free access and support to visualize and bring to life something in the desert — an enchanting and romantic place to set up an installation.”
He changed his mind about the concept several times before finally embracing his design — a sculptural path.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Desert X began in 2017, in California’s Coachella Valley, as a way to connect modern art with desert communities and cultures.

• Artists were brought to the Kingdom on a site visit last year to process the surroundings and create their own installation proposals.

• They were selected based on their response to the landscape, not only its physical nature but culturally, historically and socially.

“I wanted to trigger things we’ve experienced as children in the audience. For example, finding a treasure map of the desert and an X that marks the spot where oftentimes, you reach the spot and find nothing there. The chest is empty — either with nothing there or that someone got there first. But the journey and adventure are amazing,” said Shono.
The Saudi artist wanted to give people a chance to unleash an inner curiosity that would set them on a purposeful discovery, not one of materialistic value but to find meaning in themselves.
He said the installation was not easy to find. “It goes further and higher and the more you go, the more you discover yourself. Alone with yourself and that’s what’s important,” he added.

Humans and nature
Tunisian-born and US-based artist Lita Albuquerque has often explored the relationship between humans and nature. Her AlUla project also draws on her passion for cosmology.
“I’ve been working on a narrative about a female astronaut who comes to this planet to see interstellar consciousness. She wants to teach us about our relationship to the stars,” she told Arab News.
The astronaut visits through different periods of time, the artist explained. She comes from the future but also visits the past “as if she’s birthing astronomy, giving us this whole map of the stars down the valley.”
The astronaut sits on a boulder positioned at the western end of the valley, looking eastward down the entire valley.
“It looks as if she is offering something, and below her are 99 blue circles of different diameters that correspond to the aligned stars above. She’s a little bit bigger than life-sized. It’s surprising to see her in such a grand space,” Albuquerque said.
She first visited AlUla last September and got to see the whole region while scouting for sites.
She has worked in desert sites since the start of her career, so Desert X was a natural step for her. “I felt like I was part of Desert X from the very beginning,” she added.