The Six: Innovations at the Global Grad Show in Dubai

DXBDW App Download. (Supplied)
Updated 13 November 2018

The Six: Innovations at the Global Grad Show in Dubai

DUBAI: Taking place during Dubai Design Week, the Global Grad Show is showcasing student-designed innovations from 100 universities around the world. Here are six of the fascinating projects on show.

Parity Pockets
Designed by Francesca Suman of the US-based Pratt Institute, these no-sew pocket extenders provide a solution to one example of gender bias in design — the often non-functional pockets in womenswear.

Neonomads Shelter
Students at the American University of Sharjah designed the tent for research scientists working in the desert that consists of a shaded area, a fireplace and storage units.

FingerReader
FingerReader, designed by students at the University of Auckland, is a wearable device that reads printed text out loud.

Imperial Race
Designed by Durrah Alomar of the German Jordanian University, this board game teaches people about Iraq’s ancient civilizations.

Journalist Drone
University of Tehran students designed this customizable drone that allows journalists to build drones differing in weight, size, flight capability and footage quality. In the future anticipated by this project, a journalist arrives at a scene and chooses the combination of drone modules needed to best capture the event.

ReefRover
NYU Abu Ahabi students designed this submersible drone that autonomously scans marine environments, especially coral reefs.

 


‘It Must Be Heaven’: Elia Suleiman’s sardonic take on the world

Suleiman, who plays the lead role as himself, explores identity, nationality and belonging. (Supplied)
Updated 23 October 2019

‘It Must Be Heaven’: Elia Suleiman’s sardonic take on the world

MUMBAI: Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven,” which was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival, is pure cinema. Like his earlier works, here too the Palestinian director uses wit, sarcasm and minimalism, this time to present a series of vignettes that are funny but also a powerful lambast of the world we live in. Suleiman, who plays the lead role as himself, explores identity, nationality and belonging.

He says people worldwide now live in fear amid global geopolitical tensions. Today, checkpoints are just about everywhere: In airports, shopping malls, cinemas, highways — the list is endless.

“It Must Be Heaven” was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival. (Supplied) 

Suleiman’s earlier features, such as “Chronicle of a Disappearance” and “Divine Intervention,” showed us everyday life in the occupied Palestinian territories. This time, it is Paris and New York. 

The first scene is hilarious, with a bishop trying to enter a church with his followers. The gatekeeper on the other side of the heavy wooden door is probably too intoxicated and refuses to let the priest in, leading to a comical situation. Suleiman’s life in Nazareth is filled with such incidents — snippets that have been strung together to tell us of tension in society. Neighbors turn out to be selfish, and only generous when they know they are being watched. 

The Palestinian director uses wit, sarcasm and minimalism, to present a series of vignettes that are funny but also a powerful lambast of the world we live in. (Supplied)

In Paris, the cafes along the grand boulevards, and the young women who pass by, are typical of France’s capital. But a cut to Bastille Day, with tanks rolling by in a show of strength, jolts us back to harsh reality. In New York, Suleiman’s cab driver is excited at driving a Palestinian. 

The film has an interesting way of storytelling. The scenes begin as observational shots, but the camera quickly changes positions to show Suleiman watching from the other side of the room or a street. The camera then returns to where it first stood, and this back-and-forth movement is delightfully engaging.

The framing is so perfect, and the colors so bright and beautiful, that each scene looks magical. And as the director looks on at all this with his usual deadpan expression, a sardonic twitch at the corner of his mouth, we know all this is but illusion. There is bitter truth ahead!