Golden Hour by Ahmed Mater, part of the Desert of Pharan series. Image courtesy of Ahmed Mater
Golden Hour by Ahmed Mater, part of the Desert of Pharan series. Image courtesy of Ahmed Mater

New ways of seeing the world The art of documentary photography and its place in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s nascent collection is under the spotlight, Asmaa Al Hameli reports



This Wednesday evening, the latest lecture in the Louvre Art Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series at Manarat Al Saadiyat will focus on the art of documentary photography.

Guest speaker Christine Barthe, the head of photographic collections at Quai Branly Museum, Paris, will introduce the work of Walker Evans, an American photographer best-known for documenting American rural life during the great depression of the 1930s for the government’s Resettlement Administration. His unforgettable images would create the America of the popular imagination.

Less well-known and under discussion is the influence of Eugène Atget, a French pioneer of photographic realism who recorded life on the streets of Paris at the turn of the 20th century and whom Walker greatly admired.

The Quai Branly Museum holds some 700,000 items in its photographic collection dating back to 1841. Wednesday's talk is a reminder that Louvre Abu Dhabi is growing its own collection of photography. There has already been much interest in Ayoucha, the daguerreotype of a veiled woman taken by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey in 1843, but Louvre Abu Dhabi also holds a photograph by Evans taken from his African art series that was commissioned by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1935.

Then only 32, Evans photographed a selection of the 600 sculptures that made up the museum’s groundbreaking African Negro Art exhibition, one of the first to show African sculptures as artworks rather than ethnographic artefacts.

When a selection of the photographs were shown at the Met in 2000, the exhibition’s curator and photographic archivist, Virginia-Lee Webb, highlighted their interest: “Evans’s photographs of African art were made just before he began his renowned work for the Resettlement Administration.

“Importantly, they record many masterpieces, and they also reveal Evans’s signature style of photography.”

The contemporary Saudi artist Ahmed Mater will be among the panellists at Manarat discussing photography, documentation and art. Mater will shed light on his own photographic project, Desert of Pharan, in which he records the narrative of Islam’s holiest city.

The series of photographs in Desert of Pharan documents the mass expansion of Mecca – the title was taken from the holy city’s ancient name mentioned in the Old Testament.

Mater’s work touches on the issues between public and private space in Islamic cities. Being home to more than a million residents, he explores how the holy city is being transformed to accommodate the needs of millions of pilgrims who go to Mecca to perform Haj every year.

A qualified doctor, Mater, as he puts in, lives “a subjective and objective” life. When it comes to his career as a doctor, he is objective, and when it comes to his passion as an artist, he is subjective.

Mater’s work has been exhibited around the world. His is one of only two Saudi Arabian artists included in the British Museum’s Word into Art exhibition for the Sharjah Biennial 2007. His work is also in the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha and Centre Pompidou in Paris.

AAlHameli@thenational.ae

• To register for this event, visit saadiyatculturaldistrict.ae

The specs: 2019 Jeep Wrangler

Price, base: Dh132,000

Engine: 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic

Power: 285hp @ 6,400rpm

Torque: 347Nm @ 4,100rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 9.6L to 10.3L / 100km

COMPANY PROFILE

Date started: 2020
Founders: Khaldoon Bushnaq and Tariq Seksek
Based: Abu Dhabi Global Market
Sector: HealthTech
Number of staff: 100
Funding to date: $15 million

ANATOMY OF A FALL

Director: Justine Triet

Starring: Sandra Huller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado-Graner

Rating: 5/5

The Beekeeper

Director: David Ayer 

Starring: Jason Statham, Josh Hutcherson, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Minnie Driver, Jeremy Irons

Rating: 3/5

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Directed by: Shaka King

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons

Four stars

Children who witnessed blood bath want to help others

Aged just 11, Khulood Al Najjar’s daughter, Nora, bravely attempted to fight off Philip Spence. Her finger was injured when she put her hand in between the claw hammer and her mother’s head.

As a vital witness, she was forced to relive the ordeal by police who needed to identify the attacker and ensure he was found guilty.

Now aged 16, Nora has decided she wants to dedicate her career to helping other victims of crime.

“It was very horrible for her. She saw her mum, dying, just next to her eyes. But now she just wants to go forward,” said Khulood, speaking about how her eldest daughter was dealing with the trauma of the incident five years ago. “She is saying, 'mama, I want to be a lawyer, I want to help people achieve justice'.”

Khulood’s youngest daughter, Fatima, was seven at the time of the attack and attempted to help paramedics responding to the incident.

“Now she wants to be a maxillofacial doctor,” Khulood said. “She said to me ‘it is because a maxillofacial doctor returned your face, mama’. Now she wants to help people see themselves in the mirror again.”

Khulood’s son, Saeed, was nine in 2014 and slept through the attack. While he did not witness the trauma, this made it more difficult for him to understand what had happened. He has ambitions to become an engineer.

TECH SPECS: APPLE WATCH SERIES 8

Display: 41mm, 352 x 430; 45mm, 396 x 484; Retina LTPO OLED, up to 1000 nits, always-on; Ion-X glass

Processor: Apple S8, W3 wireless, U1 ultra-wideband

Capacity: 32GB

Memory: 1GB

Platform: watchOS 9

Health metrics: 3rd-gen heart rate sensor, temperature sensing, ECG, blood oxygen, workouts, fall/crash detection; emergency SOS, international emergency calling

Connectivity: GPS/GPS + cellular; Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Durability: IP6X, water resistant up to 50m, dust resistant

Battery: 308mAh Li-ion, up to 18h, wireless charging

Cards: eSIM

Finishes: Aluminium – midnight, Product Red, silver, starlight; stainless steel – gold, graphite, silver

In the box: Watch Series 8, magnetic-to-USB-C charging cable, band/loop

Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,999 (45mm)

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

The specs: 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price, base / as tested Dh57,000

Engine 1,170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin four-stroke engine

Transmission Six-speed gearbox

Power 110hp) @ 7,750rpm

Torque 116Nm @ 6,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 5.3L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Price, base / as tested: Dh76,900 / Dh110,900

Engine: 2.0L, turbocharged in-line four-cylinder

Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic

Power: 252hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: Torque: 352Nm @ 2,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 8.5L / 100km

Engine: 80 kWh four-wheel-drive

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 402bhp

Torque: 760Nm

Price: From Dh280,000

Results:

First Test: New Zealand 30 British & Irish Lions 15

Second Test: New Zealand 21 British & Irish Lions 24

Third Test: New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
Cinco in numbers

Dh3.7 million

The estimated cost of Victoria Swarovski’s gem-encrusted Michael Cinco wedding gown

46

The number, in kilograms, that Swarovski’s wedding gown weighed.

1,000

The hours it took to create Cinco’s vermillion petal gown, as seen in his atelier [note, is the one he’s playing with in the corner of a room]

50

How many looks Cinco has created in a new collection to celebrate Ballet Philippines’ 50th birthday

3,000

The hours needed to create the butterfly gown worn by Aishwarya Rai to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

1.1 million

The number of followers that Michael Cinco’s Instagram account has garnered.

HOW TO WATCH

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TOP 10 MOST POLLUTED CITIES

1. Bhiwadi, India
2. Ghaziabad, India
3. Hotan, China
4. Delhi, India
5. Jaunpur, India
6. Faisalabad, Pakistan
7. Noida, India
8. Bahawalpur, Pakistan
9. Peshawar, Pakistan
10. Bagpat, India

Source: IQAir

Quick pearls of wisdom

Focus on gratitude: And do so deeply, he says. “Think of one to three things a day that you’re grateful for. It needs to be specific, too, don’t just say ‘air.’ Really think about it. If you’re grateful for, say, what your parents have done for you, that will motivate you to do more for the world.”

Know how to fight: Shetty married his wife, Radhi, three years ago (he met her in a meditation class before he went off and became a monk). He says they’ve had to learn to respect each other’s “fighting styles” – he’s a talk it-out-immediately person, while she needs space to think. “When you’re having an argument, remember, it’s not you against each other. It’s both of you against the problem. When you win, they lose. If you’re on a team you have to win together.” 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

MATCH INFO

Manchester United v Manchester City, Wednesday, 11pm (UAE)

Match is on BeIN Sports

Champions parade (UAE timings)

7pm Gates open

8pm Deansgate stage showing starts

9pm Parade starts at Manchester Cathedral

9.45pm Parade ends at Peter Street

10pm City players on stage

11pm event ends

TEACHERS' PAY - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Pay varies significantly depending on the school, its rating and the curriculum. Here's a rough guide as of January 2021:

- top end schools tend to pay Dh16,000-17,000 a month - plus a monthly housing allowance of up to Dh6,000. These tend to be British curriculum schools rated 'outstanding' or 'very good', followed by American schools

- average salary across curriculums and skill levels is about Dh10,000, recruiters say

- it is becoming more common for schools to provide accommodation, sometimes in an apartment block with other teachers, rather than hand teachers a cash housing allowance

- some strong performing schools have cut back on salaries since the pandemic began, sometimes offering Dh16,000 including the housing allowance, which reflects the slump in rental costs, and sheer demand for jobs

- maths and science teachers are most in demand and some schools will pay up to Dh3,000 more than other teachers in recognition of their technical skills

- at the other end of the market, teachers in some Indian schools, where fees are lower and competition among applicants is intense, can be paid as low as Dh3,000 per month

- in Indian schools, it has also become common for teachers to share residential accommodation, living in a block with colleagues

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
  • Always double-check the authenticity of websites
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
  • Double-check the web addresses to reduce exposure to fake sites created with domain names containing spelling errors
If you go

The flights
Emirates and Etihad fly direct to Nairobi, with fares starting from Dh1,695. The resort can be reached from Nairobi via a 35-minute flight from Wilson Airport or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or by road, which takes at least three hours.

The rooms
Rooms at Fairmont Mount Kenya range from Dh1,870 per night for a deluxe room to Dh11,000 per night for the William Holden Cottage.

ICC Intercontinental Cup

UAE squad Rohan Mustafa (captain), Chirag Suri, Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Saqlain Haider, Ahmed Raza, Mohammed Naveed, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Boota, Amir Hayat, Ashfaq Ahmed

Fixtures Nov 29-Dec 2

UAE v Afghanistan, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Hong Kong v Papua New Guinea, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Ireland v Scotland, Dubai International Stadium

Namibia v Netherlands, ICC Academy, Dubai


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