Gulf Photo Plus’s annual community exhibition ‘Slice of Life’ presents food for thought in Dubai

Gulf Photo Plus’s annual community exhibition ‘Slice of Life’ presents food for thought in Dubai
‘Seafood,’ Ishaq Madan. (Supplied)
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Updated 20 September 2022

Gulf Photo Plus’s annual community exhibition ‘Slice of Life’ presents food for thought in Dubai

Gulf Photo Plus’s annual community exhibition ‘Slice of Life’ presents food for thought in Dubai
  • Gulf Photo Plus’s annual community exhibition in Dubai's Alserkal Avenue focuses on food this year, with photographers from across the world submitting images to the show

Abdul Majeed Rodhan — ‘Eid Iftar’

‏Unsurprisingly, iftar is the subject of a number of images in the show — breaking fast during Ramadan being a time when food is central to everyone’s life in the region almost simultaneously. Saudi photographer Rodhan presents a very personal take on iftar, with this image of his father and brothers taken at his uncle’s house. “Eid Iftar reflects the generosity of sharing love and food. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a large gathering of neighborhood people who were joyfully meeting by bringing different meals to gather and congratulate each other. Unfortunately, this tradition (had to be) scrapped. However, we made a small, cozy family gathering to continue the tradition,” Rodhan told Arab News.

Harsha Pandav — ‘Community Iftar’

The UAE-based Indian photographer also focused on iftars for her submission — in this case a community iftar in a parking lot at a Dubai mosque in 2017, “attended primarily by resident expats from mid- to low-economic status.” “In the image, I've intentionally blurred together individuals of various backgrounds to visually articulate the sense of community across cultural and national, sometimes interfaith, borders that can be born of the power of food to bring people together, especially juxtaposed against other cross-national traditions,” Pandav told Arab News. “I was hoping to invite discussion around the potential of food and public spaces and their place in context to belonging, nostalgia, and the possibility (of) anchoring oneself to a sense of safety and community in a rapidly changing city.”

Ahmed Al-Shorouqi — ‘Fishmongers’

Al-Shorouqi’s image highlights the economic importance of food to so many. It shows two fishmongers at Souk Al-Hout, one of Tunisia’s biggest fish markets. “I like this picture because it is showing confidence versus negotiation,” he told Arab News. “The merchant holding the fish seems to be determined to convince his partner that the catch is good, while the merchant in the red hat stands confidently with a cigarette in his mouth and doesn’t look like he is going to change his mind any time soon.”

Katarina Premfors — ‘Fatima’s Goats’

Premfors presents an image that is part of a series she has shot of a remarkable Emirati farmer and camel dealer called Fatima Al-Hameli. Here, Al-Hameli — a feminist trailblazer with a significant social-media following — is feeding a goat from one of her farms in Liwa. “She stays in the desert,” Premfors wrote in her caption for the image. “She detests shopping malls and spending too much time in the city. To be away from the sand is to be a fish out of water.” “Fatima is an extraordinary woman in many ways,” Premfors told Arab News. “I love how she is so involved with the whole ecosystem of her life. From breeding the grass that feeds the goats and camels, to the slaughter of the goats for food, she loves and nurtures everything. She has been sustainable all her life, long before it became (fashionable). Going on a desert walk with her she will suddenly drop to the ground to catch a lizard and say, ‘We used to grill these.’ Next moment, she will get me to taste some grass, then howl with laughter when I declare it bitter. Then I realize it’s just ordinary grass and not some ancient foraging secret…”

Rana Khadra — ‘Wakan’

Khadra’s image was taken in the titular village in Oman, famed for its almonds, and shows a woman carrying food from her house to her neighbor. “To me, this was the best representation of Arab culture,” Khadra said. “It’s so beautiful and so common. I also really love seeing how people start dressing like the colors of the walls that surround them.”

Shyjith Kannur — ‘Goat Attack!’

Kannur’s humorous image was taken in Fujairah, UAE, in 2015 and shows a date farmer struggling to escape a horde of goats intent on grabbing their share of his haul. “It was a fun moment to photograph,” Kannur said. “The farmer was helpless to prevent the basket from falling, as reflected on his face.” The photographer explained that he wanted to “showcase a picture that connected with the pride of the UAE — dates. Everyone know how important they are to the lifestyle in this part of the world.”

Sondos Azzam — ‘Naranga’

Azzam’s “multi-sensory project,” which began as a dining experience, “explores the collective memory of the Yaffa orange through the Palestinian narrative, questioning the fruits legality.”

This image, she explained, “alludes to the sense of remembrance when encountering the orange wrapped in excerpts from ‘The Land of Sad Oranges’ by Ghassan Kanafani. I felt this image illustrated a pivotal point in the experience, introducing elements of memory and nostalgia.”

Ahmed Abdulameer — ‘Seihah’

This image shows a woman in Iraq’s Basra Governorate preparing the titular thin bread made of rice flour, popular with tourists. The liquid dough is poured into a metal disc, which is then heated over a fire and flattened by hand. Abdulameer chose to submit this image, he said, because “the details of the hands mix the heritage of the south and the fatigue of the years for the Iraqi woman.”

Ahmed Mostafa — ‘Iftar Table’

This 2019 photograph shows hundreds of people gathering for iftar in Qena, Egypt. “I love the story behind this picture,” Mostafa told Arab News. “These scenes tell of my first participation in the work from the beginning to the end. We, the people of the city of Qena, gathered to revive that old custom in our street in order to feel the connection between us. It was the first time that we young people set up that table and invited all the people to share the food with us, in addition to that beautiful spiritual feeling and the revival of popular heritage in Egypt.”

Ishaq Madan — ‘Seafood’

Madan’s 2017 image is part of his “Dead Fish Tell No Tales” series, which, he told Arab News, “attempts to comment on climate change's negative impact on the fishing industry in Bahrain, given that seafood is one of the major staple dishes. The image is symbolic in the sense of how time is running out and populations of different species of fish have been declining over the years. At the same time, the subject’s facial expression reflects a weary and troubled mind.”

Jed Bacason — ‘Roadside Vendor’

Bacason’s 2017 image shows a roadside fruit vendor on the Dubai-Sharjah road in the UAE. “Fruit sold here is usually a fraction of the prices in the city, but competition with other roadside fruit vendors is stiff. Since fruits are perishable, vendors have to resort to almost breakeven prices in order to dispose of them, bring a small profit home, and put food on the table,” Bacason wrote in his exhibition caption. “The photo resonated with me because I’m also a father working hard to put food on the table for my family,” he told Arab News. “It not only relates to the show’s theme, but I think it speaks about us, as migrant workers, providing for our loved ones. The poignancy of the vendor standing on a lonely highway still waiting for customers despite it being night time already hopefully relays my idea to the audience.”

Mona Hassan — ‘Betau Bread’

The Egyptian photographer submitted this image of a group of women making traditional Betau bread. “The history of Betau goes back to the Pharaonic era and it was passed down through generations until it reached us,” she told Arab News. “The evidence for this is that the word Betau is a hieroglyphic word meaning ‘The food of the gods,’ because it is one of the best foods of all. I loved the participation of women of all ages in making bread, and the real joy is in the smell of the dough and its baking, as the house warms up and the children crave the moment it comes out fresh from the oven.”


Arab models Nora Attal, Nour Rizk grace Chanel runway in Paris

Arab models Nora Attal, Nour Rizk grace Chanel runway in Paris
Nour Rizk showed off Chanel's latest line in Paris. (Getty Images)
Updated 04 October 2022

Arab models Nora Attal, Nour Rizk grace Chanel runway in Paris

Arab models Nora Attal, Nour Rizk grace Chanel runway in Paris

DUBAI: British Moroccan model Nora Attal and Lebanese rising star Nour Rizk walked the runway for French fashion house Chanel at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday, showing off a number of looks as part of the label’s Spring-Summer 2023 showcase.

For her part, Rizk took to the runway in a ruffled halter neck top paired with sharply pressed knee-length shorts. Attal’s look was a similarly ruffled buttoned mini dress with a sailor collar in a summer-ready shade of white.

Nora Attal walked the runway for Chanel at Paris Fashion Week. (Getty Images)

The ensembled were part of a 71-piece collection designed by the fashion house’s creative director Virginie Viard.

The day before her outing with Chanel, Attal hit the runway for luxury label Lanvin.

Designer Bruno Sialelli was in a more low-key mood than usual in the saleable spring collection featuring neat, unfussy looks that on the whole packed no surprises — like an alabaster tuxedo jacket with square shoulders and fraying hems, or a ruched medieval-style top with tubular sleeves.

The creative energy luckily picked up toward the end of the co-ed show, The Associated Press reported.

A great series of corset-cum-lingerie silk babydoll looks in pastel shades were the highlight and played with the idea of transparencies. They were accessorized with bejeweled sheer fabric in the shape of a cloche hat that covered the model’s face.

After several years in the fashion wilderness, France’s oldest continually operating fashion house continues to have a spring in its step with the renewed direction of this French designer.

Attal also made an appearance at the Hermes show as artistic director Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski seized on the vibes of the Burning Man Festival, adding swirls of color and utilitarian touches to a sleek spring and summer collection sent down the runway on Saturday to techno beats.

“A rave in the desert,” announced show notes, according to Reuters.

The first look was classic Hermes: a pale, tan leather shirt and trouser ensemble, the top with a collar and wide sleeves, while pant legs were gently cinched at the bottom.

A burst of russet-colored looks came later, followed by silky dresses in large patches of orange and pink, garments crafted from perforated leather and slightly bolder, graphic prints outlined with black.

Tent-like straps lifted panels from hems and decorated bare midriffs, while laces ran up and down seams and a minimalist military-style leather vest had a slim backpack pouch.

Celebrities and international crowds flooded the French capital for Paris Fashion Week, which ended on Tuesday, and marked the fashion industry's sweeping return as the post-pandemic boom in luxury sales continues.

 


Balenciaga taps Syrian wedding singer for Paris Fashion Week after party performance

Balenciaga taps Syrian wedding singer for Paris Fashion Week after party performance
Omar Souleyman's upbeat electronic music won him international fame in recent years. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2022

Balenciaga taps Syrian wedding singer for Paris Fashion Week after party performance

Balenciaga taps Syrian wedding singer for Paris Fashion Week after party performance

DUBAI: Luxury fashion label Balenciaga tapped famed Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman to perform at its after party at Paris Fashion Week.

The label — which is famous for its boundary-pushing, sometimes bizarre creations — hosted a performance by the popular singer at its after show event, which also featured performances by Taxi Kebab and Von Bikräv & Evil Grimace.

Prior to the invite-only event, designer Demna Gvasalia pulled off a stellar showcase of the label’s Sprint/Summer 2023 collection.

Kanye West, now known legally as Ye, walked as a model in the ready-to-wear show.

After beginning his career performing at weddings and other events in northern Syria, Omar Souleyman's upbeat electronic music won him international fame in recent years.

He has released several albums and collaborated with musicians such as Bjork and Four Tet, as well as playing at Britain's Glastonbury Festival and a 2013 concert for the Nobel Peace Prize award.


John Legend to perform as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary celebrations

John Legend to perform as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary celebrations
The singer-songwriter dropped his newest album “Legend” in September. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2022

John Legend to perform as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary celebrations

John Legend to perform as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary celebrations

DUBAI: In celebration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary, US superstar John Legend is headed to the UAE capital to headline the Louvre Abu Dhabi Grand Festival. The performance is set to take place on Nov.12.

The EGOT musician, who has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards, is most famous for his soulful tracks like “All of Me,” “Ordinary People” and “Love Me Now.”

The singer-songwriter, who dropped his newest album “Legend” in September, has already performed two sold-out shows in the UAE, at the Dubai Jazz Festival in 2018 and at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena in 2020.
 

The new album, which boasts foot-tapping tracks like “Guy Like Me,” “Strawberry Blush” and “You,” features collaborations with the likes of Rapsody, Rick Ross, Amber Mark, Jhene Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign. The artist will no doubt perform a number of tracks from the album in Abu Dhabi.

“’Legend’ is full of sensuality, joy and celebration. But our lives are more complex than that. My family and I have also been challenged by loss and grief and pain. I wanted to make space on this album to be vulnerable, spiritual and reflective. I needed this music to help me heal, and to hopefully help others heal. I brought my full self to this album, and that’s why I decided to make it my first (sorta) self-titled album,” Legend posted on his social media about the record.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Grand Festival will also feature Majid Al-Muhandis – an  Iraqi-Saudi singer and composer, who will take to the stage on Nov. 11. Earlier this year, the singer made waves when Russian supermodel Irina Shayk got a starring role in his music video for the song “Waareftek” (“I Knew You”) from his 2022 album of the same name. Shayk stars as the singer’s love interest in the five-minute-long clip.

On Nov. 13, Egyptian composer, pianist and conductor Omar Khariat will perform as part of the festival. Khairat has composed a number of successful works such as “The Fortune-teller,” “The Magic Perfumes” and “Arabic Rhapsody.”

 


Art exhibition ‘Tales of Nostalgia’ debuts in Riyadh

Art exhibition ‘Tales of Nostalgia’ debuts in Riyadh
Updated 03 October 2022

Art exhibition ‘Tales of Nostalgia’ debuts in Riyadh

Art exhibition ‘Tales of Nostalgia’ debuts in Riyadh
  • Exhibition reflects upon notions of time and memory in an era of rapid change

RIYADH: The Misk Art Institute launched a new exhibition in Riyadh titled “Tales of Nostalgia” on Monday.

The exhibition showcases the works of 12 Saudi and international artists who reflect upon notions of time and memory, and nostalgia, exploring alternate narratives through emergent technologies.

Curated by Marnie Benney and Misk Art Institute assistant curator, Alia Ahmad Alsaud, it will be on display at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Art Gallery until Jan. 15. 

“‘Tales of Nostalgia’ is both a reflection upon and a conversation about where we are, as a species, in our endless, intertwined relationship with time and technology,” the organizers said. 

Featuring immersive digital soundscapes, the exhibition aims to shed light on an increasingly technological and digitized world, particularly the increasing importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks, workshops, and opportunities to listen to and engage with participating artists over the course of several days.

 


Middle East Fashion Week set to return to Dubai this November

Middle East Fashion Week set to return to Dubai this November
Updated 03 October 2022

Middle East Fashion Week set to return to Dubai this November

Middle East Fashion Week set to return to Dubai this November

DUBAI: The second edition of Middle East Fashion Week (MEFW), organized by the Middle East Fashion Council (MEFC), is set to take place from Nov. 7-10 at The Agenda in Dubai Media City.

The event will also hold the second edition of the Middle East Sustainable Fashion Forum –  a panel of speakers leading discussions on environmentally responsible and financially viable ways to integrate sustainable practices into the design process and the supply chain.

Keeping this theme in mind, the choice of venue becomes more apparent. The Agenda’s vision is to become the world’s first carbon-negative performance venue. “The sound and lighting industry is historically very power hungry, and coupled with AC and facilities, traditionally a large CO2 footprint would be in place for an event such as this. The Agenda will be using the latest technology to reduce power consumption,” reads a description on the event's official website.

Guests attending the event will be able to see their individual carbon footprint for attending the shows and how it is offset.

Designer applications for Middle East Fashion Week are open until October 10, 2022. To apply, email [email protected]