Just a few weeks ago we posted an article on how Emirati artists were making a splash in international shows abroad (Venice in particular). In this post I’d like to continue on a similar vein, highlighting the resurging interest seen in Arabic culture internationally. Next month, from 4 – 24 July, London will be hosting a festival called ‘Shubbak’, which translates from Arabic into English as ‘window’. The festival, funded by the Mayor of London, will see artists participate from across the world, and will serve to provide an insight into contemporary Arabic culture.
As part of this festival, the Dubai based publication ‘Brownbook’ will stage Dubai: Futures, a weeklong series of events, including a photographic exhibition, a book launch, and a discussion session. The book in question (written by Ahmad Makia, with photographs from Charlie Koolhaas), traces the rise of the creative scene in Al Quoz, whilst the panel discussions will permit Dubai’s young and creative entrepreneurs the opportunity to converse with culture makers.
The photographic exhibition featured as part of Dubai: Futures will be Dark Lens, by French photographer Cedric Delsaux. Previously featured at the Dubai International Financial Centre, the images show characters and hardware from Star Wars films, superimposed onto shots of Dubai, playing on the international perceptions of Dubai as a city far from the cries of reality. Delsaux’s work is brilliant, compelling, provoking and indeed breath-taking. For those of you unfamiliar with these images, Bo House highly recommends that you check them out.
It is interesting however that Brownbook chose to showcase the work of an individual who views Dubai from an outsider’s perspective. In an exhibition that is looking to explore Arab Culture, it is questionable whether such work serves provides a valuable insight into Arab culture, or merely an outsiders perception of the same.
We’d be interested to know what you think, and hear about your suggestions of who you might have liked to see at the Shubbak festival. Please get in touch and let us know your thoughts. We’d also love to hear about anyone who actually makes it to the festival. Finally, keep your eyes peeled on this space, as one of the Bo House team may be posting a review of the exhibition soon!