Book Launch - 'Dubai: Behind the Scenes' by Jalal Abuthina

What is it? The launch of new book 'Dubai: Behind the Scenes' by Jalal Abuthina. There will also be a talk with the photographer.Date: January 22nd, 5-6pm Location: Kinokuniya (Book World), Dubai Mall. Free Admission.

The Capsule Arts team can't wait to get our hands on this new book, 'Dubai Behind the Scenes', by Dubai-based photographer, Jalal Abuthina, which launches this weekend at Kinokuniya. 

One of 3 books that are part of the "Inside Dubai" (@insidedubai) collection, "Dubai Behind the Scenes" (DBTS) is a  photographic account of contemporary city life in Dubai that has been produced as a counter-narrative to the city's ever popular image of opulence, modern architectural marvels and headlining superlatives.

Captured and compiled by photographer and long-time Dubai expat Jalal Abuthina (@lazyretina), DBTS is an in-depth photographic journey through the streets of Dubai's original downtown areas of Deira, Bur Dubai, and Karama. This 210 page visual narrative is an incomparable look into the more humane and under celebrated side of the city and it's residents, and is presented in an engaging and educational style that is a true eye opener for tourists and newer expats to the city.

DBTS also features an introductory foreword and historical account of the city by renowned urban historian and author Yasser Elsheshtawy , Associate Professor of Architecture at United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain. Elsheshtawy, who has recently been appointed to curate the UAE Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, has written extensively about the circumstances and dynamics surrounding Dubai's rapid urbanization. His blog, "dubaization", has been hailed by The Guardian as one of the best city blogs in the world. All text in DBTS has been translated into Arabic and Russian.

There will be forthcoming launches later this year for the other two titles in the Inside Dubai series: 'The Best of Dubai Shop Names' and 'Memories of Satwa'.

Read more about Jalal's motivation behind the Inside Dubai books in this recent National article. Discover more of Jalal's photos on Instagram @InsideDubai

Some of our favourite glimpses into life behind the scenes in Dubai...


The Al Sourat Photo Festival in Al Bastakiya

The other day, Capsule Arts was exploring Dubai's Al Fahidi Heritage District and caught the Al Sourat Photo Festival 2014 exhibition on at Alserkal Cultural Foundation until 15 January. This instalment is part of a series of three unique French and Emirati photography exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The festival features French and Emirati photographers who captured the spirit of the UAE between 1974 and 2014. Their works investigate the thematic “In / Out” - public spaces and private realms of Emirati society, showcasing the complex ever changing cultural environment from the nation’s birth to the present day.

Aside from the exhibition in Dubai, you can also catch an outdoor photography exhibition on the Corniche (East Plaza) in Abu Dhabi with photographs from the 1970’s by Jack Burlot, and and an exhibition of 32 photographs by French and Emirati photographers in Avenue at Etihad Towers, both on until 15 January.

Artists Featured:

Jack Burlot began his career in the 1960s as a collaborator of the United Press International Agency and then “chief reporter” at Reporters associés. Jack Burlot has collaborated with the Gamma Agency since 1967; he photographed main conflicts in the world: Yom Kippur, Afghanistan, Cyprus etc. He founded Corporate Images, an institution dedicated to corporate photography and has since worked for the world’s giants: Baker Hughes USA, Honeywell USA, Groupe Accord Monde…

Jack Burlot_Al Sourat Photo Festival
Jack Burlot_Al Sourat Photo Festival

What is hidden beyond the walls of the UAE? That's the question that French photographer Thierry Bouët asks in his collection of photos looking at the interiors of Emirati homes. Bouet has previously worked with international magazines such as VogueHarper’s Bazaar and Liberation, realizing portraits of artists and politicians. He has published books about people sharing unusual lifestyles: people sleeping in one-of-a-kind beds, people living in hotel rooms and so on.

2015-01-06 14.47.04
2015-01-06 14.47.04

Olivier Escarguelfocuses on 'mirror games that are reflected in the water as much as they are amplified by the mosaic of locals' in his 11 photos on show. Having spent time in many Eastern and Western countries, (South America, France, Middle East), the artist aims to translate his discoveries and memories into words and images. His main inspiration arises from people in their own environment: his work is an artistic research about materials, time, colors and lights, that meld together to produce an abstract and figurative human atlas with a poetical resonance.

Artist photographer, Anne-Marie Filaire has been travelling throughout the Arab world for fifteen years and her work has led her to focus on the complex issue of the construction of intimate spaces in different contexts including: Egypt, Palestine, Algeria and The United Arab Emirates. The series on show in Alserkal Cultural Foundation reflects Filaire's interest in adolescence in the UAE - she has photographed the bedroom doors of various teenage girls studying at the University of Sharjah.

A selection of Emirati artist Lamya Gargash's series 'Traces' was on show, showing Lamya's preoccupation with documenting the forgotten spaces in public and private realms in Emirati society. In 2009, Lamya participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale as the featured artist of the UAE’s first ever national pavilion.

Hind Mezaina is an artist and writer from Dubai. Her blog, The Culturist, covers cultural news, events, reviews in the UAE and beyond – with an emphasis on photography, film, music and travel. Hind’s photography practice is a combination of using low-fi analog cameras and a mission to document the world we live in. Her series on show presents two bodies of work looking at the historical development on Bank Street in Sharjah.

“Social documentary photographer” is how Emirati photographer Reem Saeed likes to categorize herself. As part of Al Sourat Photo Festival, the artist is showing part of her ambition project which saw her document o 75 villages across the UAE. She says of the project: "The more I researched hidden neighborhoods the more I got curious about communities in rural areas; villages. Children  getting together and playing barefoot in an alley somewhere; women visit their neighbors unannounced carrying a pot of food; men gather to go to pray in the neighborhood mosque. Many of the villages has one grocery shop and one mosque and so the community is somewhat unified. "   

For the past few years, Fatima Al Yousef has been documenting visual culture and people in her photography, exploring the juxtaposition of old and new. The series on show started by Fatima d0cumenting her 30 year old house which has since been demolished, recording the process of construction and destruction. These photographs are small format, presented with extensive mounts, so you have the feeling of peering through a small aperture (much like a camera lens) into the scenes she presents. Outside of her photography, Fatima is a Talent Development and Community Manager for the Abu Dhabi Government at twofour54: she directs the production and incubation of cultural programmes across broadcast and online media.


Save the Date


We can't believe it's been almost a whole year since we launched our first collection of limited edition art prints in September 2013. Now we're excited to be adding to this with a range of new art prints to suit all tastes.

We are thrilled to be working with a fantastic line up of artists for the new collection, which includes both new and returning names, all of whom live and work in the UAE and wider GCC. We'll be revealing the artists involved right here on Whereismyshark and on our other social media channels in the run up to the launch, so look out for updates....

Our first print collection will still be available for sale following the launch of the new collection, and you can currently save 10% off our prints during our summer sale! Simply put in code CASummersale when you check out to get your discount.