Bahrain News British Council Bahrain in collaboration with Bait Al Qur’an launches ‘My Fathers House’ exhibition educational packs and events for schools and colleges. It is part of the British Council’s goal to demonstrate the role of cultural relations in raising awareness, building understanding, creating opportunities and improving trust between countries of the Middle East and the UK. Hannah Henderson, Regional Creativity Manager in the Middle East said: ‘Cultural Heritage and architecture are the symbols of our identity. In this collaborative project between Middle East and UK artists My Father’s House asks us: how do we see where we live?
‘My Father’s House’ is the British Council’s photography exhibition which examines the influence of architecture on cultural heritage and aims to stimulate debate on the role buildings play in shaping a nation’s culture.
My Father’s House has begun its year long tour of six countries in the regionOman, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – In Bahrain My Father’s House was inaugurated under the patronage of Her Excellency Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture and Information, on 21 March at Beit Al Qur’an in Manama. Plans are underway for My Father’s House to be shown in the UK following its tour of the Middle East. Five emerging Middle East 44 Forum
artists and three UK photographers – including Winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2007 Tim Hetherington – have used large-scale photography, audio-visual media and film to examine how the built environment reflects the people, the community, society and the nations of the Middle East in the My Father’s House exhibition. The exhibition has been the centrepiece of the ‘My Father’s House’ project which also includes related activities for the general public such as an online photography competition and photographic treasure hunt for families, workshops for emerging and professional photographers, talks by the ‘My Father’s House’ artists, seminars and conferences on architecture and heritage,
‘How does that built environment reflect its people, their community, society and the country? What is the effect of the drive towards modernisation on those traditional aspects of society - its local customs, eco-systems and economies? What is being lost? Where are the unrecorded, personal histories? How is the built environment valued and used? And who are its guardians? These are some of the critical questions that My Father’s House explores. ‘We are delighted to be working with these artists from the Middle East, giving them the opportunity to respond in their own very individual ways to the theme of My Father’s House. The British Council has an international reputation for nurturing young creative talent. We hope that the workshops provide an occasion for other emerging
talents to learn and exchange ideas and that all the supporting activities will inspire each of us to reflect and take a fresh look at our surroundings and the impact they have on our culture.’ Rayyah Fathalla, Arts Manager at British Council Bahrain, said: “My Father’s House is, in a sense, a commentary on the dynamics of the Arabian Peninsula’s development. It is a culmination of eight distinct views from the Middle East and the UK on the subject of urbanization and its consequences, expressed beautifully in the form of photography and film. The images are touching and evocative; their candour makes us aware of the impact such rapid change has upon our environment and cultural identity.” The artists showing specially commissioned works in the My Father’s House exhibition are: Wed Abduljawad - Saudi Arabia Hafiz Ali - Qatar Boushra Almutawakil - Yemen Lamya Gargash - United Arab Emirates Camille Zakharia - Bahrain and Oman Tim Hetherington - UAE and Yemen Tim Loveless - UAE and Oman Hazel Thompson - Qatar and Bahrain Inspiration for the specially commissioned works comes from the oral tradition of storytelling, cinema, households, changing landscapes, archaeological and restoration projects and the role of women in shaping their societies.
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