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Photography exhibition shows iconic images of UAE

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It is unquestionably the most important photography exhibition ever held in the UAE. Taking place in a “temporary museum” in Dubai Design District (d3), the Dubai Photo Exhibition will showcase more than 700 iconic photographs from 129 photographers, all of which have been selected by 18 noted curators.

The United Arab Emirates section has been curated by Jassim Al Awadhi, considered one of the very first Emiratis to see photography as an art form. He spent 20 years as a crime-scene photographer before teaching at the College of Fine Arts, Sharjah University. “I was very careful in covering all aspects and elements of photography and design when selecting the themes from the selected artists,” he says of the selection process. “The artists are all dreamers in the best sense possible; for each of them have portrayed their own prints and feelings intertwined with the dream and the overall concept of this exhibition.”

Three of the artists include:

1. Ammar Al Attar
Self-taught photographer and new media artist, Ammar Al Attar uses photography as a means to document and translate – and also methodically research and examine – aspects of Emirati ritual, culture and geography amid a rapidly globalising world. He has been recognised with a Dubai artist in residency and various prizes, and is held in prestigious public and private collections throughout the Middle East.

2. Amani Al Shaali
After graduating from university in interior design, Amani Al Shaali used photography as a means of coping with depression. It was both a release and a means of communicating non-verbally. In sharing her vulnerability, she hopes to destigmatise mental illnesses, and reach out to those who may also be suffering similar ailments.

3. Jalal Jamal Bin Thaneya
Described as an “urban explorer”, Jalal was first exposed to photography when he traversed thousands of kilometres of desert highways in the region while campaigning for special needs in 2012. His main interest lies in documenting the way society interacts with its surroundings, through development and abandonment of the built environment across the UAE.

Dubai Photo Exhibition
Where: Dubai Design District (d3)
When: March 16-19
Price: Free entry (online registration), www.dubaiphotoexhibition.ae/en/

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