Saturday, 28 February 2009


Kuwait celebrates on the 26th of feb their liberation day. It has become a tradition of late afternoon street event, where people. young and old, parade in their decorated cars on the gulf road with flags, wearing their national colors, carrying foam sprays to come out with their communal joy. Cars become the float whether to parade, to watch, to produce music.. For three days, in a country where public expression needs official authorizations, everyone is able to let go off their emotional burst.
In all traditions, from the Rio Carnival to the Venice masquerade carnevale etc..., the human kind gets together and rejoices for a religious event, or a political date or an economic turning point (such as the end of harvest). It allows them to weave their similarities and ties into a society.

Friday, 27 February 2009

ugly but beautiful

Remon Yousef, a young graphic designer, exhibits his works at The Exhibition, Kuwait. With a sensitivity of aspiring creativity. He would like to express himself through canvas, with a technique of sketches and photoshop manipulation.
His efforts need to be pushed to a point of scratching beyond the surface of Beauty and Ugliness. His shyness to reveal might actually give way to a deeper soul.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Crime of the Century - National Iraq Museum

Iraq National Museum in Baghdad opened its doors after the looting of 2003.
Red carpet, VIP invitees, Iraqis are ready to embrace a new stage of their life.
"Former museum director Donny George, who fled to New York, has accused the US occupation forces of "the crime of the century" for having stood by and watched the ransacking of the museum that went on for days". (according to AFP reports)
15000 pieces were either stolen or smashed. Some 7000 are still believed to be stolen while some other found.
Looting their own heritage, Iraqis have gone into an amnesia, loss of consciousness and total blindness in their actions. It was the first step into sliding down in the mayhem of what we know of Iraq today. Madness, turmoil, confusion, chaos, violence, anarchy.
How important is it to keep one's own heritage, to recognize one's own history, or in the same manner forget, wipe out, erase? Men could become savages and animals if left on their own without civil rules, but they must have lost their sense of humanity and history, must have been treated like animals to react like ones.
Could it be that Iraqis had a destabilized sense of history ignoring which part is glorious and what part is shameful? Beside the greed, immediate profit, there must be other underlying reasons to that looting and destruction of the collective memory.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent passed away last year leaving behind, beside his legacy to fashion, couture and women's clothing, his art collection which is sold today at Christie's Paris.
The viewing of the collection was an event by itself, staged at the Grand Palais, recreation of his interior, rooms settings of how he lived and what he collected.
50 years of collecting. Over 730 objects. Our viewer, who spent three hours queuing to enter the site, was most thrilled by the amount of details in the exhibition. She specially liked the curious chair in white marble representing a bird by Francois Xavier Lalane.
And it is selling at record prices.
Commentators are questioning the world financial crisis and believing money is still around to acquire art. Museums are pre-empting their desire to buy few of the masterpieces.

Collecting seems like a natural process that starts with the pleasure of apreciation and need to surround oneself with what is appealing. What are you collecting today?

Sunday, 22 February 2009


Dar Al-Athar al-Islamiyyah
Cordially invites you to a performance
PechaKucha Night #1: Kuwait

20 images x 20 seconds

to be given by:

Ghada al-Kandari

Mai al-Nakib

Fatima al-Hamad

Amira al-Awadhi

Khalid al-Hamad

Abdulaziz al-Humaidhi

Thomas Modeen

Waleed Shalaan

Lubna Abbas

Maha al-Asaker

Adlah al-Sharhan

(Presentations in English)

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Time: 7:00 pm

Place: Al-Maidan Cultural Centre – Abdullah al-Salem School,
Maidan Hawalli, Near al Sha'ab Leisure Park.
Tel: +965 99761150

photo by waleed shaalan

Saturday, 21 February 2009

In the Cinemas, showing "Slumdog Millionnaire". Did you have a chance to see that movie?
It's surely worth the time and the entertainment.
The plot is thrilling. Visuals are sensationally real. Many levels can be read in the story: love, fame, success, survival, brotherhood, power, values, trust, luck, poverty, abuse, death...
Millions have been spent to make that movie.
and in the end, the slumdog kids playing the main role as children have been paid around 2500 usd for a month of work. A fortune compared to what a slum adult can earn. A trust has been set up for their education. But the real question is: are these kids the lucky ones who will now have the opportunity to raise from the dust and sewage? What will they do with their lifes from now on?

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Al Bareh gallery, Bahrein, has a back room available for workshops with artists exhibiting in the gallery. This type of exchange can only give openness and sparkle creativity as an art center.
Transformation of ideas with a personnel impact is one of the essence of creativity. Picasso had said: "copying others is a necessity, copying oneself is disastrous". Where is the line drawn between copying, creating, exchanging, learning, examining, investigating and exploring?
Why do artists keep on repeating themselves in a style that looks like their own and the buyers have indulged in acquisitions? Why is it so difficult to continue the search for a liberation from within? Why comfort of the known takes over the beauty of the quest?

Artists residence around the world are a corner stone for exchange of ideas and work. One of the oldest is the Villa Medici in Rome when in 1803 Napoleon planned for the french artists to have the opportunity to see and copy the masterpieces of antiquity or the renaissance. Politics and history have changed the configuration of the Villa; today, France lost its guardianship over the residence. It has nevertheless allowed generations of artists to soak and impregnate in a world of art and find a bit more about themselves.
In the Arab world, Artists residence has a sense of budding, still in embryo and barely vibrant. Sharjah has set out an artist residence. Khartoum under the supervision of Rashid Diab has a place for artists. But what wbout the environement in which creativity is encouraged, learning is supported and the will to explore motivated?
A back room can be a starting point...

Saturday, 14 February 2009


A friend was comparing what he planned to do in his house "reclaiming territory just as the Israelis do in Palestine".
Territory, walls, houses, rooms, space, demolition, bricks, destruction, reconstruction, mine, yours, not yours, all mine, here, out of here, part of my life, out of my life....
It is the basis of an interesting scope of vision on how humans can claim ownership of land and earth and who gave them that right.
Rachel Cunningham in her masters diploma produces a series of still life photos of Palestinian houses remains demolished by the Israelis. Fragments of these houses were displayed in a detached quasi-scientific manner. She was helped by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition. Exhibition of her work will take place in Feb in England.
Fascination can be pulled in the psyche of Israelis with the destruction of Palestinian houses and yet erection of that mighty wall to encage the "terrorists". How far can one go in his own contradictions and absurd behavior?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Ilene Evans

At the Babtain library for arabic poetry, Ilene Evans performed themes of story telling, poetry and one woman show on tuesday 10th of February 09 presented y the US Embassy.

In her own words:
""Send down your healing waters..." That is what the rivers do where I live. They rush and ride and pour out the songs of the earth. Some come from the mines long silent, some rush from the forests and hills, some from the heart of those who built these roads stone by stone.
I am a storyteller now. I left a city life and career as a dancer and teacher to become a part of a larger story. I live in a place with the elements earth, air, fire, water - all the stuff that myth is made of."

Audience was taken by the voice, the stories, the words and the acting of Ms Evans.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Arabian Music

Battle” Song-Dance Forms of Arabia: Women’s Badawi and Men’s ‘Ardha
(Lecture in English)

Lisa Urkevich

With Sulaiman Al Mayouf and the Mayouf Band
Huda Ahmad’s Folklore Troupe
With Lead Chroegrapher: Altaf al-Ajeel

Monday, 9 February 2009 at 7:00 pm

Dr. Lisa Urkevich is a leading specialist in the music and artistic culture of the Arabian Peninsula. She is an associate professor of musicology and ethnomusicology and director of the Arabian Heritage Project at the American University of Kuwait. Named a Fulbright Scholar in 2003, Dr. Urkevich came to Kuwait to further her research and over the last few years she has made field recordings and documented findings on the music and musicians of Kuwait and neighbouring Gulf countries. Dr. Urkevich also spent four years in Saudi Arabia, studying the musicology for the region from Najd to Hijaz to Asir.

Worth watching and do give your comments on the concert in this blog

pls read detailed article published in the Kuwait Times

patricia millns

Exhibit at Dar al Funoon, Kuwait, 

From 4th to the 16th of Feb 09

Installation and paintings with the theme al Thoub (dress) in arab culture. Patricia Millns explores the different aspects to what is a thoub: a dress for the women, but also goes with it, such as scent ( in an installation of wired thoub and petals of roses). She thought of how a woman would behave in a thoub, concerning her emotions: love, secrecy, intemacy, beauty...

She made  small leather binded books on each page a inprimt of lips with a a black thread sewd on it as if silencing the luscious lipsticks. On paper, she imagined the thoub in a construction of threads as if sawn as a dress and pieces of written material as if symbolized the protection given to women from the evil eye. She made jewelry and necklases out of teabags or torn painted paper on a leather string.   A few thoubs in white canvas fabric were mounted and painted on with symbols and brushes of painting in red and balck. Some other thoub were on paper and decorated to resemble the actual dresses.

She has been in the area for more than 20 years and is living between Oman and Dubai. She presented last year in Dubai DIFC an installation with the title "al Gutra" men head dress. She wanted to show how a simple matter like a gutra can actually have a depper cultural meaning and different understanding of social interaction. Through its similiraties, the gutra removes social distinction and " it unifes the wearer by a destruction of identity " and yet pushes them closer to an identity of the self beyond the appearences.

In this exhibition, full of colors and lights, decorative art is at its freshest. The message behind it is revealed with effort. Millns, at least, has taken the time  to dig closely and become familiarized with the behavioural attachement to arab concepts and interpret it in an artistic way. 


Monday, 2 February 2009

Al Bareh gallery, Bahrein

AlBareh Gallery in Bahrein has a rich collections of artworks from Middle Eastern artists, established and new talent.
On one of their walls, Mohamed Omar Khalil shows a 130 x 130 canvas. Born in Sudan, traveled the world, living in New York, he had there several teaching positions in prestigious universities, NYU, Colombia, Parsons. He works on different mediums, experimenting and keeping the balance between the impact of the west and the roots of his youth.
In his latest work, he assembled patches and oriental geometrical patterns with the "Lacere" ripped posters as Jacques Villegle has mastered over time in his works seen in the autumn 08 retrospective in Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Khalil holds the capacity to integrate the modern and contemporary up to the level of art around him in NY and yet can still express himself as a son of the desert, the Nile. No camels at sight but deep down, the brown yellow and blue reveal buried emotions of who he is.