All posts tagged: Middle East

Art Dubai Commissions – Part 3 – Nile Sunset Annex

For the last seven years, Art Dubai has developed a series of non-profit, commissioned works to exhibit alongside the fair. They present an opportunity for visitors to engage with artists often informed by or from the region, who create new works and performances intended to question the fabric of an art fair. In the next three pieces, FNND asks three of the project artists some questions: Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath and art collective Nile Sunset Annex. For 2016, independent curator and writer Yasmina Reggad, who was tapped to lead the projects and commissions, invited Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani, Lydia Ourahmane and Areej Kaoud, Moza Almatrooshi, and Jumairy, as well as the art collective Nile Sunset Annex. Reggad, whose research area is currently focused on the politics of futurity, has aptly titled the series of commissions Into the Unknown, meant as a catalyst to bring forth questions underlying the “mechanism[s] of the production of our fantasies, expectations and projections triggered by this young, 44-year-old federal state [of the United Arab Emirates]”. Commenting on the …

Art Dubai Commissions – Part 1 – Doa Aly

For the last seven years, Art Dubai has developed a series of non-profit, commissioned works to exhibit alongside the fair. They present an opportunity for visitors to engage with artists often informed by or from the region, who create new works and performances intended to question the fabric of an art fair. In the next three pieces, FNND asks three of the project artists some questions: Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath and art collective Nile Sunset Annex. For 2016, independent curator and writer Yasmina Reggad, who was tapped to lead the projects and commissions, invited Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani, Lydia Ourahmane and Areej Kaoud, Moza Almatrooshi, and Jumairy, as well as the art collective Nile Sunset Annex. Reggad, whose research area is currently focused on the politics of futurity, has aptly titled the series of commissions Into the Unknown, meant as a catalyst to bring forth questions underlying the “mechanism[s] of the production of our fantasies, expectations and projections triggered by this young, 44-year-old federal state [of the United Arab Emirates]”. Commenting on the …

Singapore Deli, Karama

I visited Singapore with my family when I was 11 years old as a stopover on the way to Australia. The thing is, I remember nothing from that trip. I can barely remember last week. My brain is worryingly sponge-adjacent these days. So despite having actually been to the country, I’m still pretty clueless when it comes to the food from Singapore. [Originally published on I’m Not a Fiend] The weather over here in Dubai these days is bang on. The kind of balmy evening temperature you’re lucky to get for one evening a year in England, but for opposite reasons. Here it’s usually too hot, but right now, sitting out on the streets is a pleasure. As the cars drive by, chatter from two supremely relaxed elderly Singaporean dudes drifts past you, along with their cigarette smoke. Nothing on the menu at Singapore Deli was familiar to me, and that made me very happy. To try a new cuisine is to ride a bike for the first time, or learning a new language; the …

Betawi – Karama, Dubai

The evening we discovered Betawi was one of those jarring moments when you realise your brain plays tricks on you. We had walked down that road a hundred times before, and at least ten times in the previous week alone. And yet suddenly, Betawi appeared out of nowhere. How had we missed it? Where was it hiding before? Surely this place wasn’t always here? The questions were many, but the answers were none. Despite having been on our way to a different restaurant, we had no choice but to go inside. [Written by I’m Not A Fiend] The cute interior is brightly decorated, with Indonesian artifacts, plants, and black and white photos of  Indonesian scenes. I noticed a framed picture of a couple in traditional dress sharing a bicycle, with a tropical scene behind them. We started discussing how much we’ve been wanting to travel to Indonesia, Bali and Java in particular! The gamelan, the temples, the street food, the tropics; it’s another world we’re keen to explore. What made me immediately happy upon sitting down …

The Gates of Satwa

Walking the busy streets of Satwa is a unique experience. But turn a corner down a different direction to usual, and you’ll find yourself in the back streets. Cycling these back streets is a different experience altogether. [Originally published on I’m Not A Fiend] From the urban neon lights of Satwa Road and Al Diyafah, just seconds later you feel transported to a sandy village. One storey buildings as far as the eye can see, dusty palm trees, and scrawny cats that eye you up and down from the top of a dumpster. Cockerels crow and goats bleat from behind fences. Who lives in these ramshackle abodes is an eternal mystery to me. In many, it seems to all be men, up to twenty. What are their lives like? It’s another world, and it’s right under our noses. This is Satwa still though, and commerce remains a dominant fixture. Only now it’s nothing but bakeries, tiny grocery stores, and the odd building supplies shop, whose supplies seem to have remained toppled up in the dusty shelves for …