Saudi Arabia’s Ithra opens virtual exhibition that contemplates life during the COVID-19 pandemic

One of the submissions include a series of paintings made during lockdown in the UK. Supplied
One of the submissions include a series of paintings made during lockdown in the UK. Supplied
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Updated 04 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra opens virtual exhibition that contemplates life during the COVID-19 pandemic

One of the submissions include a series of paintings made during lockdown in the UK. Supplied

DUBAI: It’s been one year since the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing museums, art galleries and exhibitions the world over to shut down as nations went into total lockdown. And while some cultural institutions have reopened to the public (with safety measures in place) within the last few weeks, others are still opting to go the virtual route. 

Saudi Arabia’s The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra, recently launched a digital showcase titled “COVID-19 Exhibit” that aims to reflect on this unprecedented time. 

The virtual showcase, which will run for two years, is a collection of personal objects belonging to individuals around the world that symbolize this turbulent period.




#نبيها_صفر We want it “Zero”
Bedour Hussain Al-Yafie
Al-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

“Art is about connecting people through culture, but we connect maybe even more easily through common objects,” said Ithra curator and head of Ithra museum, Farah Abushullaih. 

The carefully-curated pieces include everyday items that helped people cope in a time of change as well as instruments, photos, notes and artworks.




Untitled
Fatema Alsraidy
United Arab Emirates

On display, there’s a ball of yarn and knitting needle, a jar of natural yeast, which the submitter learnt to grow during lockdown, a Playstation controller, a box of surgical face masks and a boarding pass from London to Jeddah before the travel ban to and from Saudi Arabia was implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus, among other objects.

The 270 objects being showcased were selected from hundreds of online submissions that came from all around the world, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Australia, USA, Egypt, Germany, UK and more.


Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 
Updated 4 min 37 sec ago

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

DUBAI: Kylie Jenner championed yet another Arab designer this month. 

The reality TV star and entrepreneur stepped out last week in a pair of heels by Lebanese footwear designer Andrea Wazen. 

Jenner wore the ‘Kylie’ pumps by Andrea Wazen to the 72nd Annual Parsons’s Benefit in New York City. The pumps featured a 10.5cm heel, PVC translucent upper and pointed-sole, with a shimmering olive green leather at the heel matching Jenner’s forest green dress. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner)

These shoes were created for the mother-of-one as a custom-style, and will be available to the public from August 2021 in a variety of colors on andreawazen.com.

The Kylie Cosmetics founder’s picture in Wazen’s design went viral because she posed alongside her on and off partner rapper Travis Scott and their three-year-old daughter Stormi. 

The pumps featured a 10.5cm heel, PVC translucent upper and pointed-sole, with a shimmering olive green leather at the heel matching Jenner’s forest green dress. (AFP)

Just last week, one of Jordanian-Romanian designer Amina Muaddi’s Instagram posts showed Jenner — carrying Stormi — stepping out in a pair of white boots by Muaddi called “the Pernille bootie.” 

The businesswoman also accessorized her look with the brand’s Pernille handbag from the designer’s newly launched line.  


Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 

Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 
Updated 22 June 2021

Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 

Arab fans react to first poster of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink’s ‘The Movie’ 

DUBAI: Popular K-pop girl group Blackpink unveiled the first poster of their film “The Movie” and Arab fans are over the moon. 

The production, set to premier in August, will mark the band’s fifth anniversary in the music industry.  

After the announcement was made, Arab fans quickly took to Twitter to express their excitement. 

“Another movie, and in the cinema?!” wrote one user. “The film’s poster is amazinggg,” another user wrote. 

Other fans made humorous comments about the name of the film. One tweet read: “The name of the movie is ‘The Movie,’” with a clip of an Arab man saying: “Wow, amazing. This surprised me.”

 

Last week, the production company YG Entertainment announced that this film will be part of the group’s 5th-anniversary project, titled “4+1 PROJECT,” and will drop in August to coincide with band members Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa’s debut date, August 8. 


Courage at forefront of World Refugee Day mural by Syrian artist

Courage at forefront of World Refugee Day mural by Syrian artist
Updated 22 June 2021

Courage at forefront of World Refugee Day mural by Syrian artist

Courage at forefront of World Refugee Day mural by Syrian artist
  • Syrian artist Diala Brisly: “It’s very important to show solidarity among refugees”
  • “Courage is having fears, having all this worry, having all this trauma, and still having the energy to keep going”

LONDON: A refugee artist from Syria has created a unique piece of art that captures the spirit and courage of those fleeing war and poverty.
To mark World Refugee Day 2021, which was on Sunday, Diala Brisly created a mural with one key theme: The courage it takes to flee one’s home.
Commissioned by the International Rescue Committee, the piece depicts various people against a backdrop of a bombed city.
Now safe in France, Brisly said her work is about having the “energy to keep going through fear, trauma and upheaval.”
She added that the piece’s message — “refugees are courageous” — captures the essence of what it means to be forcibly uprooted.
“I really like the slogan because it shows strength, regardless of all the troubles that we’re going through,” she said.
The artwork depicts people of various ethnicities and identities, including children, and one man poignantly wearing a life jacket — a staple item of refugee migration across the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere.
“It’s very important to show solidarity among refugees. I believe in solidarity between all people. When we have this struggle in common, and we understand each other’s pain, we’re able to help each other because we share similar experiences,” said Brisly
“The media puts the spotlight on refugees when they’re in the middle of the sea. But it’s very important to understand that the crisis didn’t start in the Mediterranean, it started before,” she added.
“For me, courage is having fears, having all this worry, having all this trauma, and still having the energy to keep going.”
During the revolution against the Assad regime, journalists shared Brisly’s artwork to supplement their reports.
But this exposure, she said, put her life in danger. She fled Syria via Turkey and ended up in France.
Now she uses her talent to create moving works that support the causes she believes in, and runs art therapy workshops for children affected by war.
According to the UN’s refugee agency, nearly 82.4 million people were uprooted in 2020, fleeing war, violence, persecution and human rights abuses.


Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

DUBAI: Saudi brand Hindamme, founded by designer Mohammed Khoja, is presenting its “Driving Jacket” at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Khoja designed the black and green bomber jackets with the insignia “June 24, 2018, 10 Shawwal 1439” — the date when women in the Kingdom were allowed to drive.

The unisex design, which was created in 2018, features gold and black embroidery in comes in the colors of Saudi Arabia’s flag. 

The Victoria & Albert museum is exhibiting the green version of the jacket, which has become part of its permanent collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HINDAMME (@hindamme)

 

In a previous interview with Arab News, Khoja said: “I was moved by the decision to lift the ban on women driving, because it seemed like something that would never happen. It is a symbolic gesture. The ban has always been held against us as Saudis.”

Khoja said he hoped his jacket would help fashion-conscious Saudis mark the event.

“Every country has historic days when things happen that shift the course of the future — and this is one of those dates. That was the inspiration. I thought, how can I, as a designer, pay tribute to this?

“I call it a driving jacket to commemorate the date.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HINDAMME (@hindamme)

The designer said he was “super-proud” of the direction Saudi society was taking with this “progressive push.”

The exhibition showcases clothing, accessories, design, and cultural memorabilia.

Besides Hindamme’s jacket, the museum is also presenting a pair of shoes by Christian Louboutin, the Mae West Lips sofa designed by Salvador Dali, the 2015 Selfish book of selfies by Kim Kardashian and more. 


French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer
The trailer for ‘Settlers’ starring Sofia Boutella is finally here. File/AFP
Updated 21 June 2021

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer

DUBAI: The trailer for the upcoming sci-fi film “Settlers” starring French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella came out this week. 

IFC Midnight, an American film distribution company, released the two-and-a-half minute long trailer on Twitter, writing: “They left Earth for something more. They weren’t prepared for what they found. Watch the trailer for #SettlersMovie, in theaters and on demand July 23.”

Boutella stars alongside British-American actor Jonny Lee Miller, Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Cordova and American child actress Brooklynn Prince.

“Settlers” is set on a remote homestead on Mars, where a refugee family from Earth clings to hope for a better life. 

The Algiers-born actress and Miller take on the role of parents to Remmy (Prince).

The film is set to debut this summer. Supplied

The trailer kicks off with the voice of Remmy saying: “There’s strangers nearby. I’m scared,” prompting her father to respond, “No, it’s just us, there’s nothing to be scared of. No one’s going to mess with you kid,” as he tucks her into bed. 

The 39-year-old features throughout the trailer tending to plants in a greenhouse and protecting her daughter from armed invaders.

The science fiction film set to premiere this year was directed by Wyatt Rockefeller, marking his feature narrative debut. 

Meanwhile, Julie Fabrizio, Joshua Horsfield and Johan Kruge all served as co-producers for the film.

Boutella is also set to star in “SAS: Rogue Heroes.” Supplied

Boutella is also set to star in “SAS: Rogue Heroes,” a new series from “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight.

The dancer-turned-actress will feature in the series, currently being filmed, alongside Egyptian star Amir El-Masry.

The pair feature alongside a star-studded cast that includes English actor and model Connor Swindells, “Game of Thrones” actor Alfie Allen, and Dominic West from “The Affair.”

While character plots remain scarce, the cast names have been revealed with Boutella set to play the role of Eve.

Boutella is certainly one of Hollywood’s busiest stars. The “Atomic Blonde” actress is set to begin shooting sci-fi comedy “Alpha Gang” alongside an all-star cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Jon Hamm, Nicholas Hoult, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mackenzie Davis and Steven Yuen.

Meanwhile, her latest film, “Prisoners of the Ghostland” starring Nicolas Cage, made its world premiere at the virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival in February to critical acclaim.