Youth takeover of Jameel Arts Center reflects mission to foster curatorial discourse in Gulf

Youth takeover of Jameel Arts Center reflects mission to foster curatorial discourse in Gulf
Raheed Allaf, Shoofeeni (2022). Supplied
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Updated 05 June 2022

Youth takeover of Jameel Arts Center reflects mission to foster curatorial discourse in Gulf

Youth takeover of Jameel Arts Center reflects mission to foster curatorial discourse in Gulf

DUBAI: The Jameel Arts Center in Dubai has surrendered itself to the creative power of the UAE’s youth in a bid to raise awareness of budding talent on the local scene.

Titled “The Youth Takeover,” the show, which wrapped up on Sunday, boasted 20 artworks by new talent that explored concepts of nostalgia and the inner child. Mediums included two- and three-dimensional illustrations, paintings, audiovisual works, performances, workshops and film screenings.

Of particular note were eight new commissions by artists and curators from the UAE, Egypt, Philippines, Pakistan, Palestine, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Chechnya.




Ibrahim, illustration, process images, commissioned by the Assembly 2021-22. Supplied

“Art Jameel has always had a particular focus on youth and developing homegrown talent from the ground up, and in innovative ways that complements and fills gaps between and around formal education,” Antonia Carver, director at Art Jameel, told Arab News. “Before opening the Jameel Arts Centre back in 2018, we knew we wanted to have young people at the heart of the institution, and to create a program that enabled us to listen to and learn from youth, and that gave these talented and driven young creatives real agency.”

Carver said Art Jameel plans to stage a similar event at the recently opened Hayy Jameel creative hub in Jeddah in the future.

Jameel’s third annual “The Youth Takeover” was titled “Smol” and dedicated to an exploration of the trials and tribulations of growing up, ideas of nostalgia and the inner child. It was curated by eight young creatives or Youth Assembly members — Alexis Javero, Anita Shishani, Farah Fawzi Ali, Lubnah Ansari, Raheed Allaf, Rashid Almheiri, Shama Nair and Sree — all under the age of 25 from across the UAE who were selected from several hundred applications and were led by independent curator and Assembly 2020 alumnus, Daniel H. Rey.




Khaled Esguerra, Abu Dha-Me (2022). Supplied

“Metaphorically and stylistically, ‘Smol’ is an opportunity to color outside the lines, bridging dreams with reality, while confronting constricting rules and rituals,” said the Assembly members in a joint statement.

In collaboration with the Art Jameel Learning team, Rey curated and facilitated a year-long learning program with the aim of nurturing and fostering artistic youth leadership.

Young artists raised in the Gulf were encouraged to examine questions regarding ideas of home, intergenerational histories, community building, dreams, language, and mental health.

“After multiple weeks of research in non-European languages, questions about the so-called Global South and the responsibilities of curators in our shared context, the Assembly received a key question: How does the youth practice society?” Rey told Arab News. “For exploring this question treating society as subject of inquiry, the Youth Assembly moved onto having self-led sessions discussing different urgencies — pressing themes with potential for a robust exploration through an exhibition.”

The Assembly visited and researched the Art Jameel Collection as well as the Dubai-based Endjavi-Barbé Art Collection, which focuses on young artists from inside and outside Iran.




Hypo mango, room-wide immersive illustrations, process images, commissioned by the Assembly 2021-22. Supplied

“The exposure to these collections gave a sense of direction to the thematic thinking, revealing to the Assembly that their questions, ideas and lived experiences could be grouped and explored through the lens of the inner child and the experience of feeling small,” said Rey.

“As curator-tutor of the program having worked with the Youth Assembly on this experience, it is fascinating to begin identifying that, while each human life is uncertain, we have all certainly had a childhood, regardless of how it played out. This childhood may well continue within our adult selves,” he added.

For example, artist Raheed Allaf from Saudi Arabia created “Shoofeeni,” a short experimental film installation in which she investigates a VHS tape from her third birthday prompting a conversation between the filmmaker and her younger self.

“To see myself, at three years old, proclaiming that I am a Barbie while looking at my reflection was very telling. I couldn’t help but think ‘wow, I’ve been living up to unrealistic standards since three?’” she told Arab News.

“I would think that would be too early an age to start feeling the crippling pressures of performing womanhood. So, I had the urge to dissect it, and create a work where I, in a way, have a conversation with my younger self — hoping to address self-reflection through literal reflections.”

Allaf’s film, like the theme of this year’s event, explored how the artist’s childhood and self-image building continues to affect her adulthood. The film is about the performance of womanhood but also poses questions, as media prompts us to do, about the identities of both performers and directors, and how these roles have often become interchangeable in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape.


Singer Kylie Minogue to headline a New Year’s Eve gala dinner in Dubai  

Singer Kylie Minogue to headline a New Year’s Eve gala dinner in Dubai  
Updated 7 sec ago

Singer Kylie Minogue to headline a New Year’s Eve gala dinner in Dubai  

Singer Kylie Minogue to headline a New Year’s Eve gala dinner in Dubai  

DUBAI: Australian pop sensation Kylie Minogue is set to headline a New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner at Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm. 

Minogue will take to the stage in the lead-up to hotel’s 2023 countdown, entertaining guests with anthems such as “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” “All The Lovers” and “The Loco-Motion.” 

Her performance will be followed by fireworks and pyrotechnic displays. 

This year’s gala dinner theme is titled “A Night With The Stars.” 

Minogue first performed in the Middle East at the resort’s grand opening back in 2008.

The music sensation has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and in 2020, made UK chart history becoming the first female solo artist to claim number one albums in five consecutive decades.  

Minogue has multiple awards and accolades to her name, including three BRIT Awards, two MTV Music Awards and a Grammy Award. 

Timothy Kelly, the executive vice president and managing director of Atlantis, said in a statement: “We are incredibly excited to welcome the return of Kylie Minogue to Atlantis, The Palm for a spectacular New Year’s Eve performance.”

“As the leading entertainment destination in the region, our New Year’s Eve Gala Dinners have become legendary, with Kylie joining the likes of rock band KISS in 2020, and Robbie Williams in 2021. We no doubt that 2023 will be another exceptional moment and can’t wait to give our guests one of the most memorable New Year’s Eve of their lives,” added Kelly. 


Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi shows off sleek style at Paris Fashion Week 

Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi shows off sleek style at Paris Fashion Week 
Updated 28 September 2022

Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi shows off sleek style at Paris Fashion Week 

Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi shows off sleek style at Paris Fashion Week 
  • The 24-year-old, considered the first plus-size model in the Middle East, is a staunch advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry

DUBAI: Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi made her international runway debut this week by walking for French label Victor Weinsanto at Paris Fashion Week. 

“Mama, I made it to Paris Fashion week,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a picture of herself on the runway. “This is just the beginning.” 

Esseibi, who was the only Arab model participating in the fashion show, went on to thank the Arab Fashion Council, a non-profit organization representing the fashion industry in the Middle East and North Africa that named the Dubai-based model as its new ambassador earlier this year.

“Thank you so much Arab Fashion Council for helping make my dream come true and Victor Weinsanto for believing in me,” she wrote. 

Esseibi walked down the runway in a multi-colored dress which she paired with pearl white satin gloves. 

The 24-year-old, considered the first plus-size model in the Middle East, is a staunch advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry.

Esseibi has worked with a number of esteemed brands including Jean Paul Gautier and H&M and has featured in the pages of multiple publications. 


French Algerian model Loli Bahia hits the runway in Paris 

French Algerian model Loli Bahia hits the runway in Paris 
Updated 28 September 2022

French Algerian model Loli Bahia hits the runway in Paris 

French Algerian model Loli Bahia hits the runway in Paris 

DUBAI: From Milan to Paris, French Algerian model Loli Bahia has been gracing the runways for renowned luxury labels this month. 

This week, the catwalk star modeled for French luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent at Paris Fashion Week in a show set against the backdrop of a twinkling Eiffel Tower.

Guests, including K-Pop star Rose of Blackpink, trickled into the venue under brooding clouds as night began to fall, stopping for selfies in front of a huge, flowing water fountain, while crowds lined up on the esplanade overlooking the venue, The Associated Press reported.

Designer Anthony Vaccarello presented the summer collection of sleek evening wear that featured dramatic 80s shoulders, column silhouettes and hoods.

The model shared a close up of her Yves Saint Laurent look on social media. (Instagram)

Bahia emerged from the dark, wearing a sheer floor-length black dress with a turtleneck as she made her way slowly down a broad set of stairs before marching around the fountain. 

Her look was accessorized with chunky gold bangles, large earrings and one-toed heels. 

Other looks in the fashion show included 90s designs infused with the glaringly 80s capuches that came in muted or caramel tones — hues also reminiscent of that era. 

Hoods formed the base silhouette of many pared-down ensembles, which contrasted with statement gold earrings or large wooden bracelets, just like the ones Bahia wore. 

Heavy open wool coats and regal trenches, which caressed the floor, created a rectangular window frame through which to see the pants in some clever fashion theater.

The house founder turned the capuche into one of his most iconic styles – originally inspired by the tubular sheath donned by dancer Martha Graham for her 1930 choreography “Lamentation.”

Paris Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday. Saint Laurent and Dior are among some 107 brands showcasing Spring-Summer 2023 collections.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@runway.icons)

Last week, Bahia modeled for Italian luxury label Versace during Milan Fashion Week alongside part-Arab models Gigi and Bella Hadid, Imaan Hammam and Nora Attal. Emily Ratajkowski, Paris Hilton and Irina Shayk were also among the models who walked the runway. 

Bahia wore a hot-pink dress with a short bridal veil.

Bahia, who is signed to Women Management Paris, made her runway debut in 2020 at Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2021 show. She would go on to star in the Parisian luxury house’s advertising campaign for Fall 2021.

She has also featured in campaigns for Saint Laurent, Courreges and Max Mara in addition to starring on the cover of Vogue Italia.


Syrian architect Faysal Tabbarah to curate the 2023 National Pavilion UAE in Venice

Syrian architect Faysal Tabbarah to curate the 2023 National Pavilion UAE in Venice
Updated 28 September 2022

Syrian architect Faysal Tabbarah to curate the 2023 National Pavilion UAE in Venice

Syrian architect Faysal Tabbarah to curate the 2023 National Pavilion UAE in Venice
  • Designer explores world’s growing aridity with local materials, practices
  • Theme of next year’s event is ‘The Laboratory of the Future’

DUBAI: Syrian architect Faysal Tabbarah is set to curate the National Pavilion UAE exhibition at the 18th Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia), organizers announced this week.

The selected research proposal by Tabbarah, who is an associate dean and associate professor of architecture at the American University of Sharjah, aims to explore the relationship between architecture and dry landscapes in the country.

“My approach will rely on integrating technology with land-based materials practices and knowledge found in arid landscapes in the UAE,” said the Aleppo-born curator in a released statement.

“I am honored to have been selected as the curator for the National Pavilion UAE … Aridity is a fast-approaching future condition for many regions, and through this exhibition, we’ll explore their potential as spaces of abundance and productivity,” he added.

The selected research proposal by Tabbarah aims to explore the relationship between architecture and dry landscapes in the country. (Supplied)

This exhibition will mark Tabbarah’s first participation as a curator of a national pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, and his second participation in the Architecture Biennale as a whole.

He has previously collaborated with the Kuwait Pavilion’s curators in 2021 for their presentation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, or IAE, of the Venice Architecture Biennale, titled “Space Wars.”

Tabbarah was selected following the National Pavilion UAE’s open call which invited designers around the world to develop proposals for the 2023 architecture exhibition.

The applicants were tasked with exploring an intriguing aspect of the UAE’s architecture or built environment that contributes to the discourse around architectural practice locally, regionally and internationally.

Research findings by Tabbarah, to be exhibited in Venice and supplemented with an accompanying publication, aim to respond to the Architecture Biennale 2023’s theme “The Laboratory of the Future,” which is being curated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, educator and best-selling novelist, Lesley Lokko.

The National Pavilion UAE will present its exhibition from May 20 to Nov. 26, 2023, with the pre-opening on May 18 and 19.

Next year will mark the UAE’s 12th exhibition at the Art and Architecture International Exhibitions organized by La Biennale di Venezia since 2009 and its fifth participation in the IAE. The pavilion won the Golden Lion award for the best national participation in the 17th IAE La Biennale di Venezia in 2021 for its exhibition “Wetland.”


Director Bassam Tariq exits Marvel’s ‘Blade’ over schedule conflicts  

Director Bassam Tariq exits Marvel’s ‘Blade’ over schedule conflicts  
Updated 28 September 2022

Director Bassam Tariq exits Marvel’s ‘Blade’ over schedule conflicts  

Director Bassam Tariq exits Marvel’s ‘Blade’ over schedule conflicts  

DUBAI: US Pakistani filmmaker Bassam Tariq has exited his role as director of Marvel Studios’ “Blade” due to shifts in production schedule, according to a report by Variety.

Tariq’s departure comes before production was set to commence in November on Marvel’s upcoming feature about the iconic comic book vampire slayer. The film stars Mahershala Ali in the title role, alongside a cast that includes Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre.

“It’s been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film,” Tariq said in a statement, confirming his exit as director.