Friday, 5 December 2008

"Memoires d'Arabie"
Historical pictures of Kuwait and the Gulf
until dec 14th at the Kuwait Arts Association
sponsored by the French Embassy

A rare photo exhibition of Arabia in the early 20th century is displayed to understand more about the way of life in the old days. 180 black and white argentic images show places: cities, forts, ports, desert, the people: laymen in ordinary cloths and rulers in elaborate or refined costumes and their lives: riding horses, camels, building boats, carrying water or goods, dancing...
It took three years to gather these images from the region and abroad, according to the curator, Pascal D Gueyle, who lived in the UAE for more than ten years. He collected the visuals for a book co-authored by Munira Khemir and for this rotating exhibition in the gulf that started in Qatar, Yemen and will move next to the UAE.
Culture here is about the oral tradition through songs, music and stories told by elders. Pre-oil era was rich and vibrant.
Although historical preservation of old heritage seems to be a difficult process today as deleting the past to erect new makes economical sense. History, in its glory, pride and simplicity, should be showed to young generations who could connect with their past. It is as important as the monument buildings in the skyline or the malls competing in size as temples of shopping.

No comments: