India’s AAP to expand network in Gulf countries

Updated 28 February 2016

India’s AAP to expand network in Gulf countries

RIYADH: Indians here held a function to observe Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) completion of one year in office in Riyadh.
The event marked AAP’s historic decision to expand its network globally including in the Gulf countries, where nearly seven million Indian expats are currently working.
Speaking on the occasion, a legislator of Delhi’s ruling party and the party’s co-convener of its Overseas Chapter, Adarsh Shastri, said the party provides an alternative system of good governance.
“India’s deep rooted corruption and dynastic political system will be transformed to non-corrupt, development- and issue-based governance by AAP,” he said and hailed Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership.
The event, attended by a large number of expatriates, also provided an opportunity to take stock of the situation of India, which has been marred by several controversies and movements in recent times.
Shastri said the mood of the country toward the political system has changed after path-breaking initiatives taken by the AAP government after it came to power in Delhi in early 2014.
Social infrastructure like education, health, social welfare have been given top priority while free water, electricity, abolition of VIP status, completion of public projects were ensured to be completed within stipulated time.
Besides, citizens participation in administration through mohalla sabha, passing the janalokpaal bill, taking strict action against corrupt officials have restored people’s confidence in government and party, he said.
Kerala State Convener C. R. Neelakandan also spoke on the occasion, which was presided over by Basheer Aramboor. Mansoor welcomed the audience while Abdul Azees proposed the vote of thanks. Shameem conducted the program.
During the interactive session that followed, a number of questions about AAP including poor attention given to senior citizens in government hospitals, poor health infrastructure, corruption, unauthorized constructions, adulteration in food items, turning Yamuna shores into spots for tourist attraction, participation of public in decision-making process and other issues were discussed. AAP has developed a strong support base in India as well as among the Indian expatriates community across the globe. Party supporters and well-wishers from the different parts of the country participated in the event.


Climate change inspires prestigious Saudi art exhibition

We hope visitors would be inspired by the works they see, says Hamza Serafi, head of the curatorial committee at the Saudi Art Council. (Photos/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 29 January 2020

Climate change inspires prestigious Saudi art exhibition

  • The seventh ‘21,39 Jeddah Arts’ event addresses the global environmental crisis under the title ‘I Love You, Urgently’

JEDDAH: The seventh 21,39 Jeddah Arts is back in town, addressing the global environmental crisis under the title “I Love You, Urgently.” Based at the Saudi Art Council’s hub in Jeddah, it parades the work of local artists.

Muhammad Hafiz, vice-chairman of Saudi Art Council, emphasized the importance of art in complementing societies, and how it is now being carried out by the state. He said: “This year we’re supported by the Ministry of Culture, who have kindly reached out to support us.”
Maya El Khalil, the curator of “I Love You, Urgently” paid tribute to Frei Otto, the masterful architect who has painstakingly contributed to memorable sights in the Kingdom and has been the inspiration for this year’s concept.
“In our part of the world, for the time being, these concerns (sustainability of the environment) aren’t a priority,” she said during the press conference to launch the exhibition.
 “It was interesting to see the artists go through a long process of research and study, building their awareness of their surroundings,” she said.
Hamza Serafi, head of the curatorial committee at the Saudi Art Council, said that they hoped visitors would be inspired by the works they see.
He thanked the curator for choosing Frei Otto, one of the pioneers of biomimicry — the imitation of nature.
“With that humane concept, the artists started expressing their feelings about how they see nature; some went into architectural forms, filming, music; it’s really diverse,” he said.
Visual artist Marwah Al-Mugait is one of 21 artists who have participated in the main exhibition this year, making her third appearance thanks to the Saudi Art Council.
Al-Mugait’s creation can be sensed upon entry to the cavernous venue, where women’s chants can be heard. Upon inspection, behind a lavish white curtain, a video filmed in Riyadh is playing across a curved wall where a group of women come together in self-expression and self-preservation, before they huddle against an ancient tree and embrace it.
“This year is exceptional because of the theme; I’m so happy and honored to work with Maya El Khalil, who presented the concept of biomimicry,” Al-Mugait told Arab News.

FASTFACT

The exhibition hosts visits from schools organized by the Ministry of Education.

Al-Mugait began to work toward unseen elements to display “multi-layered emotional details” in her work in order to depict the senses rather than what meets the eye. Initially, the Riyadh-based artist felt anxious about applying this new concept to her background in film and performance.
 “Throughout my research, I was driven towards the topic of the defense mechanisms of species, plantations and human beings, specifically Mimosa pudica, which closes in on itself whenever a predator is trying to touch it,” she explained.
Al-Mugait also drew inspiration from the way bees deal with predators who attack their hive, during which they perform a shimmering wave collectively.
As she struggled to translate these mechanical moves into a body language that conveys how humans can defend themselves from inner and outer harm, psychological harm and abuse, she came across Movers in Riyadh, and two of their choreographers helped her shape her performance.
Al-Mugait chose 14 female dancers to depict empowered women, two Jamaican-British and 12 Saudis. “I wanted to trace that power which you cannot see with my camera, along with their interaction with nature. That moment when they hug the tree at the end is similar to the one you would get from a mother.”
During the first week of 21,39 Jeddah Arts, a forum will be held with talks and panel discussions by the curator El Khalil and the artists of “I Love You, Urgently.”
The exhibition is open to the public, and also hosts visits from schools as part of educational trips orchestrated by the Ministry of Education, said Hafiz.
The event will run from January 28 to April 18, with further exhibitions taking place besides “I Love You, Urgently,” including “Architecture of Tomorrow: Frei Otto’s Legacy in Saudi Arabia,” which pays tribute to the inspiration behind this year’s theme, and “Sculpting Spaces — Architectural Desert Dwellings for AlUla”.
The Saudi Art Council is a non-profit initiative founded in 2014 by a number of art enthusiasts, and has been supportive of local artists and art movements in the Kingdom.