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the Kulture Files


Ghadah Alkandari - The Prolific Painter interview by Neha Nair Rohera

Critical Essay

The Etruscan Mystery by Sylvette Blaimont

Architectural Spotlight



Las Meninas through the eyes of Pablo Picasso by Neha Nair Rohera

Guest Writer

Consumerism by Fatmah Al-Qadfan

Event Listings


Offshore Urbanism by Naji Moujaes

Vol. 03 March 1, 2012

Vol. 03 March 1, 2012

Editor’s Note

A year after the Arab Spring, it seems as if the season has turned. While the urgency and tumult in the atmosphere have settled, the calm seems far from peaceful. Is this the lull after the storm or one that precedes a future unrest? In either case, art is in the air in Kuwait… and its censorship; a topic we will revisit in the next issue. We interviewed artist Ghadah Al Kandari, who expressed herself by sketching her interview and wove it into an informal talk situating art on the sidewalk for public appreciation rather than quarantining it. The interested circle in art is modest to say the least and may close even more in on itself with recent events. Yet, the rest of the masses are looking forward to enclose all their urban experience into infinite malls that may squat one another someday into one continuous consumerist experience. PAUSE and REWIND; this should not be the way although this seems to be the trend! PAUSE, at least for one day to reflect, not only on shopping but also on our urban fabric. Retooling Pearl Marzouq is an endeavor that is not the

norm in our region where the tendency is to erase and rebuild higher and denser. One of the things that helped retain this modern icon is that from inception, it doubled its built-up-area by having skip-floor elevator stopping at split level of duplex apartments. Currently, the mixed-use complex is being rethought as access, use, experience, and expression in order to reclaim the icon and make a place. Revisiting a masterful work of art (Las Meninas) and a masterful technique (granulation) sets the tone on the ingenuity of the artist and the craftsman in overlaying, representing, reinterpreting, and reinventing the technique or the form, to project worlds apart with one lens in mind. In addition to our print version, our website www.thekulturefiles.com has been launched with an event calendar that is always updated with art and cultural events openings in Kuwait. If you want to stay current, follow us on Twitter or add us on Facebook to get all the details!


Ghadah Alkandari

The Prolific Painter

by Neha Nair Rohera

Ghadah Alkandari’s blog, PrettyGreenBullet, is witness to the multitude of posts she adds on a daily basis. She has been exhibiting her work for almost two decades now, both in Kuwait and internationally. Ghadah talks about her journey and experiences along the way.

Girl Not Alone, 2011(from Pretty Green Bullet II Exhibition) acrylic and collage on canvas

Ghadah with one of her works

Bring art to the public. Wouldn’t it be great to have artists’ booths along coastal walk ways!

The Etruscan Mystery f th eR


God Ac

helo us at t h

In the 18th and 19th centuries, archeological expeditions brought to light the splendor of Etruscan granulated jewels. The Roman jeweler Fortunato Pio Castellani and his sons, Alessandro and Augusto, were eager to develop and promote the archeological-style jewels. The Castellanis were h the h t i closely associated with aristocrat and archeological w ant Pend enthusiast Cavaliere Campana, who was overseeing excavations of the ancient Etruscan city of Caere. Campana entrusted the Castellanis with cataloging and restoring the 929 ancient examples of Etruscan and Greek jewels found there. In 1859, political misfortune necessitated the sale of the Campana collection; and Napoleon III of France bought the bulk of it. In ventures parallel to their jewelry production, the Castellanis were active in the trade of antiquities, sponsoring excavations, restoring artifacts, and antique dealings on a large scale. In an effort to keep the best works within R o m e , the family assembled extensive collections of fine vases, jewelry and bronzes found at Etruscan and other Italian sites. Augusto Castellani’s “museum” was the highlight of his palatial shop next to the Trevi Fountain. A must-see for 19thcentury visitors and scholars, this famous historical survey of Italian gold work and other antiquities established greater awareness of Italy’s leading role in the cultural history of Europe and helped to promote the firm’s business. Alessandro Castellani was particularly fascinated by the Etruscans’ skill in granulation. He became obsessed with unraveling this secret of granulation and worked intermittently for 30 years on uncovering the technique. During a lecture in Paris where he was in political exile, he mentioned that he was about ea do

excavations of cemeteries a n d sanctuaries. FFrom very early l on, th t t the Et Etruscans were iin contact with the Greek colonies in southern Italy, and their influence is evident in the painted Etruscan pottery. The use of granulation probably spread east in the Mediterranean through the Phoenicians who were sea traders, and by the Greeks who adopted the granulation technique.

The Etruscans mastered granulation to perfection using incredibly tiny granules (0.14 mm) of gold without any evident use of solder – an alloy of metals that allows two pieces to be sealed together. The work is so intricate that some pieces look as if “dusted” with minute gold beads in precise patterns. Each granule is fused to the metal underneath, next to the adjoining granule. It is quite easy for a goldsmith to create 1 - 2 mm granules and solder them onto a surface. It is, however, the absence of solder and the size of the gold granules that made Etruscan jewelry a reference point and quite the mystery for centuries.

to be able to replicate granulation in the authentic manner. However, his jewelry production that is still on display in various museum collections appears to have been soldered conventionally. By the turn of the century, the interest for archeological style jewelry started to fade and it was soon replaced by a more modern approach of design.

Rebirth of Granulation: In the 1930s, H.A.P. Littledale, Hans Michael Wilm and Elizabeth Treskow arrived at the same practical method of achieving this type of granulation, based on a theory proposed by Dr. Hans Joachim Wagner in 1913. Littledale is generally credited with the reinvention because he had the foresight of patenting his technique in 1933. Treskow did her apprenticeship with the well-known Charles Roth Müller in Munich. In 1923, she moved to Essen, then a renowned artists’ colony. She used granulation in the early 1930s, above all, for motifs from ancient mythology and elements from the world of

Elizabeth Treskow

While visiting ng Paris, my husbandd and I decided to honor our ritual – a visit sit to The Louvre Museum. This his time, we skipped the paintingss and sculptures to concentrate on Egyptian, Iranian, and the Roman, man, Greek and Etruscan art gallery. As a jewelry designer, I was very interested inn seeing the famed Etruscan jewelry with its peculiar uliar granulation technique. And there it was, the head of Achelous, an ancient Greek river deity, whose beard is composed of such tiny granules, s, I had to put my forehead to the glass display splay to make sure it was actually composed mposed of small grains. phyte will be amazed Even a neophyte ate craftsmanship of by the delicate this piece. This jeweled masterpiecee was 80 crafted in 480 uvre also B.C. The Louvre he Chiusi displays “The markable proof Fibulae”, remarkable rior of the superior kill technical skill possessed by Etruscan goldsmiths of the same period. eriod. The granulation tion is a technique that hat consists in ornamentingg the surface of a jewel, usually ually following a set pattern, n, with minute spherical drops rops of pure gold. This technique echnique used by the Etruscans scans to create such fine granulation ranulation has been lost long ng since and to this day andd age explanation of such delicate cate work is open to interpretation. on. The Etruscans ans were an ancient Italian culture linguistically uistically identifiable by 750 B.C. Their path can be traced up to 90 B.C. They were natives, domiciled in central Italy between the he Arno and Tiber rivers (modern Tuscany), and eventually settled as far north as the Po River valley and as far south as Campania. Their land, Etruria, was rich in metals, particularly copper and iron. The Etruscans were also master bronzesmiths who exported their finished products all over the Mediterranean. But the oldest form of granulation can be traced as early as 3000 B.C. with the Sumerian civilization, in the city of Ur (modern Iraq), where the archeologist Leonard Woolley excavated the tomb of Queen Pu-Abi. Among the many royal jewels, two rings were found – one made of six, the other, five – minute grains of gold whose diameters were only 2 - 3 mm. To complete the picture, the queen was also buried with three court attendants. The neat arrangement of bodies and their undisturbed delicate headdresses convinced Woolley that the attendants in the tombs had not been killed, but had gone willingly to their deaths, imbibing some deadly or soporific drug and composing themselves. Much of what we know about the Etruscans doesn’t come from historical evidence, but from their art and the archaeological record, mainly from

eM usé ed


ouv r


by Sylvette Blaimont

flora and fauna. In 1977, she donated a collection of her work to the Museum for Applied Arts in Cologne along with a collection of ancient and antique jewelry she had amassed for study. Today in the United States, John Paul Miller, who is 93 years old and still produces granulated pieces with a steady hand, is admired for his mastery of the antique technique of granulation. He also has a great reputation as an enamellist, using the Cloisonné technique, which is creating tiny chambers with thin gold wire, soldered onto the surface of the jewel, then

filled with powdered glass and enamel. He’s known for his designs of stylized insects and sea creatures studded with intricate patterns in granulation. His modern jewelry is rich and inspiring. The original idea of granulation has been translated in different times to suit each era. The ancient Etruscans adapted and refined the original Sumerian idea of granulation to an extent that continues to amaze us. Their exquisite jewels with intricate designs picked out in lines of fine granulation are so compelling, that they still inspire jewelers today.

Since the 1930s, the process of Etruscan granulation has been somewhat reestablished. However, during all visits I’ve made to jewelry stores and art galleries, books I’ve read on jewelry design, websites I visited on contemporary and classical designers, not once did I see granulation as fine as the one the Etruscans were able to achieve. It makes me wonder how long it would take modern technology to “catch up” to ancient secrets. Sylvette Blaimont is a jewelry designer and an Accredited Jewelry and Diamond Grading Professional, Gemological Institute Of America (GIA).

Artist: John Paul Miller “Polyp Colony” 1975. Pure 18K gold, enamel Etruscan-style ear stud

Resources: Granulation: Reviving an Ancient Technique, by Elise B. Misiorowski The Bard Graduate Center library, NYC Cleveland Museum of Arts for John Paul Miller City of Bochum for Elizabeth Treskow

Artist: Cornelia Goldsmith “Butterfly Brooch” 22K and 18K yellow gold, 22K granulation, platinum, tsavonite, sapphires, diamonds

by Naji Moujaes

Pearl Marzouq


Images source: Architect Sabah Abi Hanna

demolition of openings and squash court is used as infill to elevate the central garden to be levelled with the commercial perimeter

Palm oasis in pool

wood deck for outdoor seating


Water Feature

Water Feature

scaling down open space into pods of activities



concrete troughs as datum

Water Feature

The southern block, along the main road, is only

Kuwait Real Estate Company commissioned PAD10 to renovate the Pearl Marzouq complex exteriors, including the facades and the landscape, and interiors, including the penthouses, the duplex apartments, and the basement parking. Maintaining the building’s iconicity, PAD10 rethought the program, specifically on the ground floor, connecting the building to its unique setting and externalizing its courtyard into a public garden, reviving an urban character of pre-oil projects in their ability to create a place around them, and the post-oil character of the deep-punched or double-skin facades.

cut & fill


The building has four blocks, internalizing a courtyard. A wide raised corridor wraps around with different communal programs feeding into it. The raised “artificial ground” becomes a social space with built-in marble benches and flower beds, insulating the raised plinth from the streets around and the commercial shops in the buildings’ pilotis.

2-storeys high; letting the generous sunlight into the courtyard. The other three residential blocks are each constituted of nine floors atop the ground floor, with five elevator stops on split-level corridors; four duplexes are topped by single-floor penthouses. The side blocks span around 100 m between the road and the sea, with 10 apartments laid side-by-side on every floor. The back block, fronting the sea along 64 m, lines eight apartments on each floor to enjoy the most beautiful Sugimotos framed by deep punched fenestrations.


Pearl Marzouq, a modern architectural beacon, docked in the early seventies on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Combining the drive of Mr. Khaled Al-Marzouq to develop dense mixed-use projects, fitting awkwardly with a landscape ready to sprawl, with the vision of the young architect Sabah Abi Hanna, this modern housing complex was erected on an 11,140 sqm plot in Ras Al-Salmiya known as “Lo’loat (Pearl) Al-Marzouq” Complex. The building, located on the tip of a peninsula, conceals itself from the main Gulf Road running all along the coastline. Its seawater-swimming pool was directly located on the Arabian Gulf, until the eighties, when the Scientific Center's green promenade strip stepped in between the turquoise sea and the sandstone walls.

Viollet le duc

Ground Floor Plan

Jasminium Polyanthum

Antigonon Leptopus

Ipomea Palmata

Quisqualis Indica

Allamanda CatharticaAllamanda BlanchittiCampsis Radicans Jasminium Sambac

Antigonon Leptopus Jasminium Polyanthum

Campsis Radicans

Ipomea Palmata

Allamanda Blanchitti

Allamanda Cathartica

Jasminium Polyanthum

Allamanda Blanchitti Podranea Ricasoliana

Allamanda Cathartica

The Façade: The façade of the building is a key visual of its iconic status. After decades of being exposed to the elements, the sandstone has given to falling. This brings into question its safety and that of the complex’s residents. To maintain the familiar visage of the edifice and address the practical issues at hand, an expanded aluminum mesh has been overlaid with two alternating apertures. This also serves to balance the staggered pattern of the existing façade. The mesh straddles the lines of allowing maximum visibility of the stone underneath by having a wide aperture,


Allamanda Cathartica

Podranea Ricasoliana

Campsis Radicans


Unfurled Internal Elevations

which narrows along the building corners to bend around the edges. As part of the retooling, the apartment openings were enlarged to maximize the unique views enjoyed by the building’s proximity to the sea. To take further advantage of this view, bay windows now replace the walk-in closets situated along the facade wall of the bedrooms. The dining room windows were also enlarged and single glass panels are now in place instead of aluminum rail bars. The punched expression is maintained with the existing balconies and reinforced at times by projecting the newly added or altered windows.

Apartment Prototypes: The Duplex Unit Accessed at a split level, this apartment unit is split into lower living and upper sleeping quarters. Living and dining areas share a generous frontage with attractive unobstructed views. The apartments are well-planned with conveniences including a guest bathroom, a large storage and maid’s bedroom with bathroom adjacent to the kitchen. On the upper floor, spacious bedrooms with bathrooms and shared spaces complete the picture to create a modern home for the discerning few. The One Bedroom Penthouse Flooded with daylight, via windows and skylights, the apartment enjoys the views of the surrounding setting via windows and skylights. The living and dining spacious areas are conveniently served by a kitchen and a guest bathroom. The master suite’s spaciousness renders the apartment ideal for couples. The Three Bedroom Penthouse Flooded with daylight and immaculate views, this apartment mimics the duplex units’ spacious areas. Open dining and living areas, with a generous terrace frontage, are served by a kitchen with an adjacent maid’s room and separate service access. The master suites with two other bedrooms are accessed via a vestibule that also opens up to the mudroom and the guest bathroom.

Before - minimarket

After - The central lobby

Central Garden - Palms Oasis

The Pilotis: The three residential blocks could earlier be accessed via three separate entrances. These have now been centralized into one main central lobby accessing a central garden. Currently, the commercial strip opens to the outside and is populated with programs which are of little or no relevance to the residents. These will soon get double exposure with access to the garden for seating areas. The programs to be introduced include cafes, restaurants, laundromat, pharmacy, daycare, minimarket, spa and other outlets that might be useful to the residents. This step also animates the garden as a central tool for the community, making it a space where residents and visitors can interact and socialize.



The Garden: Previously, the garden was a residual enclave of the courtyard typology building. With time, fences and mechanical clutter took over the space; rendering it unfriendly and run down to say the least. To revive the garden, the long commercial perimeter is being internalized into it. This move is also coupled with rendering it central in accessing the building through a main lobby, open to the street, leading centrally to it. A sense of community prevails as cafes, restaurants, art galleries, kids’ stores, and other programs that utilize the open space are added to the mix. Once a swimming pool, a deep soil will infill it to be topped by palm trees “oasis� which will play host to a sculpture garden. Small pods of fountains, reflecting pools, built-in benches and sandboxes run central to the garden, flanked by open areas around the edges for seating. Along the seaside, a private Residents Club separates the public garden from the pool area, with an elevated wood deck overlooking it.

Client: Kuwait Real Estate Company Architecture, Landscaping & Interior Design: PAD10 (Naji Moujaes, Johnny Salman. Team: Tarek Aherraki, Rohan Almeida, Alia Azzeh, Kholoud Salman, Ray Yadao, Hassan Zaman) Structural Engineer Phase 1: STCI Contractor Phase 1: Al Bahar & Bardawi Contractor Phase 2: Fajr Al-Eman

LAS MENINAS through the eyes of Pablo Picasso by Neha Nair Rohera

Widely acknowledged as one of the most important works of art ever produced, Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece Las Meninas is a sight to behold. Artists and critics from all schools of thought are unanimous in their proclamation of the work as a timeless masterpiece. In his seminal work The Order of Things, author and philosopher Michel Foucault analyzes the painting. In the image, he construes a paradoxical relationship between reality and representation. He constructs a triangle between the painter, the mirror image, and the shadowy man in the background. He considers the three elements linked because they are all representations of a point of reality outside of the painting. While Foucault interpreted Las Meninas in words, Picasso chose to do so via his painting. As a fourteen year-old teenager, Picasso’s first glimpse of Las Meninas came at a time when he was testing his artistic potential. Soon after, Picasso

Pablo Picasso was not the only artist enthralled with the original Las Meninas. Salvador Dali was also one of the illustrious painters who acknowledged their appreciation of the masterpiece with different interpretations. These works only serve to remind us of art’s ability to stimulate the mind, regardless of time.

lost his younger sister to diphtheria. Deeply affected by the loss, Picasso created a sketch “draft” of Las Meninas focusing on the head maid and the infanta Margarita, who was blonde like his late sister. After that initial brush, the Las Meninas Series was actually completed in 1957, when Picasso plunged into a studious analysis of the work. During the course of his study, Picasso created 58 paintings of the iconic image, with each detail worked over meticulously. At the time, the septuagenarian Picasso had been written off by critics, who believed his talent had dimmed with time. But his advanced age was probably an advantage. This, coupled with his experience led Picasso to undertake such an ambitious project; something he had previously thought uncomfortable. This trend of focusing on the infanta continues through the series. Apparently, Picasso wanted to

capture the essence of the perfect “innocent” child: in his mind a combination of Velázquez’s vision and his sister. Picasso’s vision and interpretation of Las Meninas is one that has enthralled art enthusiasts, who find something new to infer with each viewing. Picasso’s detailed thought process is revealed through the series of paintings, with different interpretations of every character in the frame. His distinct style could not be any more different than the original by Velázquez. The series serves as a beacon for the future, when the artist himself is no more, but his works live on, creating an immortal legacy. top Two interpretations of Las Meninas by Pablo Picasso bottom left to right One of Picasso’s many studies of Las Meninas Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas A numeric interpretation of Las Meninas by Salvdor Dali A stereoscopic rendition of Las Meninas by Salvador Dali


Image source: procra-illustration.blogspot.com Consumerism for kids


By Fatmah Al Qadfan

potential of putting a consumer ahead of his fellow consumer in this savage world. Consider the following excerpt from the first chapter of Life is Not Complete Without Shopping, which describes modern day Singapore.

Consumption: -noun • the action of using up a resource • the action of eating or drinking something • [in singular] an amount of something which is used up or ingested • the purchase of goods and services by the public • the reception of information or entertainment by a mass audience

The term consumerism was first used in 1915 to refer to “advocacy of the rights and interests of consumers”. By the 1960s consumerism evolved to an “emphasis on the preoccupation with and the acquisition of goods.” Fifty years later it has become unnecessary to define that term; for nowadays, ‘consumerism’ defines us.

Today, consumerism is the key factor shaping the modern Kuwaiti identity. The world is now divided, more than ever, by wealth; iPhones, IMAX theatres and Michelin star restaurants separate the haves from the have-nots. Kuwait is no exception to the global phenomenon of consumerism. Today, consumerism is the key factor shaping the modern Kuwaiti identity. Curiously, materialism by itself is not the problem; the problem lies in the socio-economic consequences of this prolonged occurrence. The steady growth of a consumer culture has a direct effect on the collective and individual identity. As the levels of consumption in Kuwait skyrocket, quality plunges; commodities are not made to last, instead they are made to be consumed and disposed quickly. The determining factor of a commodity – whether a gadget or a garment – is its short shelf life. A commodity’s purpose is to satisfy our hunger for a something new: new music, new movies, new foods, and new trends. Once a commodity has served its fleeting purpose, it is then quickly replaced. Products go in and out of fashion with the speed of light, without even giving the consumer time to appreciate them. As a result, nobody is interested in its sentimental value: neither producer nor consumer. In addition to the decline in quality, consumerism creates a hostile environment in social circles. Owning a certain outdated product has become the equivalent of social harakiri – still holding on to that old Nokia? How ludicrous! One is immediately judged as though the gadget is linked to their personality. In order to maintain appearances, the consumer is caught up in a futile race, bidding on eBay for yet another smartphone or rushing to buy a pair of trendy neon shoes. Possessing the right products has the

All the major fast food chains are here; all the major fashion names are here; all the luxury cars can be seen on the roads… The proportion of disposable income spent on food has been increasing because of the tendency to eat outside the home. The multitude of activities – shopping, entertainment, transformation of oneself – and the endless stream of new and improved products of consumption – from the small items such as soap to big ticket items like cars and houses – constitute an expanding part of the local culture of every day life. (Chua Beng Huat 3)

Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally. In 2011 the dates were November 25 and 26 respectively. It was founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Mexico in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanks-

The similarities between Kuwait and Singapore are uncanny. Both countries are drowning in a sea of materialism as imported goods flood their markets. Kuwait, especially, imports almost everything locals consume, from the Top 40 Hits to the delicate raspberries adorning a cup of the ubiquitous frozen yogurt. These exported goods are marketed through the desirable cosmopolitan lifestyle they conjure. Flo Rida blaring from the radio on a Thursday night has somehow become part of the local culture, even though the song may be completely irrelevant to a Kuwaiti audience. Yet the song’s value lies in its ability to blur geographical boundaries and allowing young locals to join the virtual global “party”. As quickly as they gain market value, these Westernized goods rapidly fall out of favor. For one, they have to compete for the consumer’s attention. As an endless stream of products and services bombard the consumer, brand loyalty becomes a thing of the past. With each new product, manufacturers have to enter the battlefield again, convincing the consumer that this leather notebook, for example, is somehow superior to other notebooks. The leather, they tell you, allows your creativity to flow! The second reason

Consumerism creates a hostile environment in social circles. Owning a certain outdated product has become the equivalent of social harakiri

goods cannot maintain their position in the market is due to the connection between consumption and social class. Inequalities define a capitalist society and as goods become more accessible to the general public, they are discarded by the upper classes of society. The large middle class in Kuwait is quick to jump on the bandwagon of ‘exclusive’ and ‘sophisticated’ commodities, prompting the upper class to quickly find yet another novelty. Commodities, nowadays, are a golden global ticket and a sign of economic stature. Little is thought of the ideas and the values that are also imported via a (tangible or intangible) commodity and how those values affect our local culture. Products are consumed in rapid succession with no regard for their necessity or affordability. Long gone are the days of dedication to one’s Game Boy, for we have all sworn allegiance to a lifestyle of consumption. Fatmah Al-Qadfan has a degree in anthropology and English literature. She works at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah.

giving, also called “Black Friday”, which is one of the ten busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Adbusters was denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN, which was the only one to air their ads.Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.

Buy Nothing Day has recently been modified by Adbusters and renamed Occupy Xmas. Buy Nothing Day was first joined with Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Christmas campaign. Shortly there after, Lauren Bercovitch, the production manager at Adbusters Media Foundation publicly embraced the principles of Occupy Christmas telling The Fulcrum. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy_Nothing_Day#Criticism

Event listings The Sultan Gallery presents a group exhibit in collaboration with Athr Gallery, Riyadh. The show features works by: Aya Haidar, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Hassan Hajjaj, James Clar, Maha Malluh, Pouran Jinchi, Sami Al Turki, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Yara El Shirbini and Kuwaiti artists: Bassem Mansour & Dana Al Jouder, Fatima Al Qadiri & Khalid Al Gharabally, Hamad Khalaf, Monira Al Qadiri. Entitled ‘The Bravery of Being Out of Range II’, the event opens on January 15, 2012 and is on display until March 25, 2012. The Sultan Gallery is located in Subhan.

CAP, in association with the Ministry of Education, will showcase the work of young art students. The event will take place at the end of March 2012. Dar al Funoon presents an exhibition by Egyptian artist-printmaker Mohamed Abou El Naga. The opening is on March 5, 2012 between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. The exhibition will continue until March 15, 2012. Dar al Funoon is hosting an exhibition by Libyan artist Ali Omar Ermes, who skillfully fuses Arabic script with contemporary art. The exhibition will be on display from March 19 – 29, 2012.

The Sultan Gallery, in collaboration with Dean Project Gallery, New York is hosting an exhibit featuring the works of Reinaldo Sanguino. The collection is called ‘Reinaldo Sanguino: New Works - New York City Kuwait City’. The event opens on April 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm and will be on display until May 10, 2012 at the Sultan Gallery, South Subhan. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya Souk, on the rooftop above Alghanim Electronics and LG. Entrance is free of charge and includes refreshments, popcorn and much more. Thursday, March 1st at 7:30pm THE MILK OF SORROW Saturday, March 3rd at 7:30pm BARTON FINK Thursday, March 8th at 7:30pm TRIPLETS OF BELLVILLE Saturday, March 10th at 7:30pm THE SWEET HEREAFTER

Dar Al Funoon is excited to announce its first ever Affordable Art Show, which features a wide range of affordable yet impressive works by: Jamal Abdul Rahim Seda Bekaryan Rashid Diab Henry Elibekian Ruben Grigorian Samvel Hambartsumian Hussein Madi Hussein AlMohasen Ararat Sarkissian Arthur Sarkissian and many more! These special works have been collected by the gallery over the last 15 years and will be on display on Thursday, March 1, 2012 between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Prices start from KD 40.

Thursday, March 15th at 7:30pm NETWORK Saturday, March 17th at 7:30pm RUSSIAN ARK Thursday, March 22nd at 7:30pm CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

Tilal Gallery is hosting an exhibition by artist Aram Chaled from March 25 – April 5, 2012. The event opens at 6:00 pm on March 25, 2012 at the Tilal Gallery, Shuwaikh. Italian-born Karim Ghidinelli uses mixed techniques on metal with hues that are intense and vibrant. He will exhibit his works at Dar al Funoon from April 4 – 19, 2012.

Loyac Movie Club will screen ‘The Help’ on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Al Qiblia School.

A French Short Film Festival, the first of its kind in Kuwait, is being organized in partnership with Cinescape and Festival du court-métrage de Clermont Ferrand. The event begins on April 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Cinescape Leila.

Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia presents a piano recital by Bartek Rybak and Ilgiz Royanov at the Al Hashemi Ballroom, Radisson Blu Hotel. The event will take place on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm. For more details, log on to www.kuwaitcp.com

Tilal Gallery is hosting an exhibition by Abdul Rasoul Salman entitled RHYTHMS. The works will be on display from April 15 – 26, 2012 at the Tilal Gallery, Shuwaikh.

An exhibition of paintings by Saudi artist Tagreed Albagshi entitled ‘The Cats Return’ will be hosted at the Tilal Gallery, Shuwaikh. The event opens on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm. The exhibition will continue until March 15, 2012.

A collective exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Art will be exhibited at Dar al Funoon Gallery from April 23, 2012 to May 10, 2012.

Muneera Al Rumaihy will hold an exhibition at Bayt Lothan from March 5 – 7, 2012. The opening event will take place at 7:30 pm on March 5, 2012. Kuwaiti artist Shurooq Amin will unveil her latest exhibition It’s A Man’s World on March 5, 2012 7:00 pm onwards at Al M. Gallery in Salhia Complex. The exhibition will be on display until April 1, 2012. The Sultan Gallery will host an exhibition by the Beirut-based collective Atfal Ahdath, comprising Vartan Avakian, Hatem Imam and Raed Yassin; commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and exhibited at Sharjah Biennale, 2011. Entitled ‘Take me to this place: I want to do the memories’, the exhibition will be on display on March 13, 2012 from 7:00 pm onwards.

Olivia de Saint-Luc will hold an exhibition of her metal works at Dar al Funoon from May 14 – 31, 2012. Dar al Funoon Gallery is located at Behbehani Compound, Al Watiah.

Saturday, March 24th at 7:30pm DOWN BY LAW Thursday, March 29th at 7:30pm THE SON’S ROOM Saturday, March 31st at 7:30pm 500 DAYS OF SUMMER

JAMM, in association with Toby Arts, will be hosting an exhibition in Dubai featuring the work of French/Algerian photographer, Michel Haddi. The exhibition will feature limited edition silver gelatin prints of Hollywood stars and Haddi’s recent series on the Youth of Morocco. Fashion and celebrity photographer Michel Haddi has been in the business for over 20 years, shooting for top magazines such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Vanity Fair. The exhibition will also mark the launch of Toby Arts, a collaboration between JAMM and Saudi fashion designer Hatem Alakeel.

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah Events



March 2012


5 David

May 2012

2 Elisa Gagliardi-Mangilli

Mellor Lecture


6 Caring for YOUR Collection Workshop

7 North African

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Seminar 4 Visiting Artist

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8 International Theatre Workshop 3

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Book Club From Rags to Riches

14 Music of the Baroque Era Concert

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Event Venues Amricani Cultural Centre, Gulf Road al-Maidan Cultural Centre, Hawalli

19 Layla Diba Lecture

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21 Messilah

16 May Farhat

14 Tamer el Leithy Lecture


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15 Calligraphy

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16 Kuwait’s

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Young Talent Concert

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20 International Theatre Workshop 5

26 Parviz Tanavoli Lecture

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23 Jochen Sokoly Lecture


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28 Valerio

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30 Monday

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29 Exhibition of


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OFFSHORE URBANISM LEBANON - Militarily weak, internally unstable, ecologically deforesting, and socio-economically paralyzed are the intersecting setbacks across which ‘Offshore Urbanism’ breeds. Local frailties and regional challenges are reinterpreted into a large scale urban act, a temporary exodus to nowhere, to undo socio-georgraphical and religio-psychological constructs.

micro autonomies delineated these ghettoes further and new patterns of contained survival emerged. The absence of a tour de force to the war geographies’ status-quo is symptomatic of a dormant distrust and paranoia untreated till our day. Pathological as it may seem, not until the Israelis bombed Lebanon discriminately, were these internal insecurities rattled, vocalizing the divisions into mainstream media.

- Seasonal External Aggressions:

- Reclamation of Public Space:

The blue of Lebanon’s summer skies is periodically scarred by Israeli fighter jets. The reasons are many, yet infrastructural destruction, aborted tourists’ influx, economic paralysis, and population displacement are common to the aftermath. The last was summer of 2006, between July 12 and August 14, where 7,000 Israeli air attacks resulted in the displacement of 25 per cent of the Lebanese population, 120 destroyed bridges, more than 1,000 casualties, and 4 million cluster bombs still around.

How do we unbuild our infrastructures, so that we do not fear their destruction? How do we disperse, so that we cannot be targeted as a collective? How do we dismantle voluntarily, so that we are not separated forcefully? How do we fight a war we are not built for? To avoid collective paralysis, we propose to voluntarily un-build targeted infrastructures, to disperse displaced communities, to dismantle any recognized object that is big to fit in a target crosshair, and multiply it into insignificant networks – an encrypted society. Our proposal is to preemptively dismantle central bodies (governmental, institutional, urban, and infrastructural) in order to devalue the significance of any future aggressive act; no more city center, no more main highways, no more monuments etc. “The excessive division of primary institutions for such a small country gave people too many opportunities to manipulate its politics”1, yet maintain a supple Lebanese governmental system that bypassed Coup d’État’s, to which other governments in the region fell prey, and accommodate infinite operational modes: A country with no government in 1969, to splicing of the government in two (Aoun and Hoss) in 1988, to dividing the presidential seat in half in 1976 (Franjieh and Sarkis), and presently the threat of having two governments in dispute of presidential elections, all among other political configurations.

- Continuous Internal Anxieties: “Religion shelters us from violence just as violence seeks shelter in religion.” As this happens, communities are entrapped in a vicious circle of vengeance and reprisal. “The mimetic character of violence is so intense it cannot burn itself out. … Only violence can put an end to violence and that is why violence is self-propagating” (Girard 1986: 24–26) 2. During the civil war, between 1975 and 1990, continuous small battles amongst different factions ingrained patterns of dispute and survival within the displaced-and-reconstructed different communities. These new socio-geographic blueprints, marinated in the shredded central government, were sanitized and reintroduced into the daily routines of the redrawn communities, diffusing (or deferring) the trauma of the “civil war”. These neighborhoods, once shelters for the different communities, became ghettoes that are homogenous and distinctly standing in opposition to the “other”. What once sheltered now imprisons and segregates the different Lebanese communities. During robust lengthy aggressions,

The peculiar unplanned construction booms during the war, with lack of a central plan or governmental control, and the severance of the supposedly ‘coastal’ cities from the Mediterranean by the major traffic highway, doomed many potentialities for public spaces. While the whole country systematically underwent drastic deforestation, only the ‘No-Man’s’ land got greener. Post-war reconstruction focused on Beirut Central District in an attempt to thematize it to its pre-war regional iconoclasm; and not fit to the post-war local mindset and dynamics. As a strategy, the proposal calls for a dispersed linear coastal intervention, rather than a concentrated central one, and a halting of the infrastructural role of the littoral to let nature breathe in a greener one.


- Offshore Urbanism: Exit Strategy Reclaiming the past of Phoenician traders and the present foreigners’ evacuations, we propose a temporary mass exodus of the Lebanese population on prototype barges docked all along the Lebanese coast. These barges once undocked and parked in international waters, not only provide a shelter from aggressions of outside forces, say Israel or Syria, but also provide “social mixers” relieved from entangled war-era, religio-centered, patriarchal constructed boundaries and local laws imbued by its logics. This proposal calls for an urban evacuation plan that covers the Lebanese territory and the entire population in the case of yet another military conflict. A series of artificial piers, placed along the coastline at the intersections of the littoral highway with the secondary roads from the hinterland, also operate as barges for potential evacuation, providing a new understanding of ‘shelter’. Integrated with the littoral highway, the barges infringe on the infrastructure with a self-service drivein parking through designated “Evacuation Lanes”. Once ready, the barges depart, simultaneously dismantling the infrastructure behind. In an Exodus to Nowhere and a Refuge In Transit, Lebanese are expected to surrender all belongings with affiliative qualities, whether military, social class, or religious. On the urban scale, a linear intervention along the whole coastline, instead of a focus on the Beirut Central District, relieves the latter from its subservient role to its hinterland Damascus and redeems all public spaces (see Ecochard Plan 1944) lost to the General Master Plan (1951-54), which “was nothing but a network of roads from the Ecochard Plan” 3, yet with no zoning or concern for the protection of natural sites, open spaces, and public gardens. By rendering the highway defunct, akin to the green-line during the war, an ecological reversal of the current deforestation is likely to occur all along the littoral.


Offshore urbanism involves a reinterpretation of the program of architecture through shear displacement to International waters where the drape of local constructs is momentarily lifted. The barges host

1/ Charles Winslow, Lebanon: War and Politics in a Fragmented Society (New York: Routledge, 1996) 66. 2/ Samir Khalaf, Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon: A History of the Internationalization of Communal Contact (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 102 3/ Samir Khalaf; Lebanon’s Predicament (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987) p. 224

architectural programs that make use of the ‘migration’ aspect of the evacuation to reflect on social issues that are of divisive and controversial nature back ‘home’. Each barge is split into a subterranean parking/ clearance facility topped by a hybrid remedial facility. Among the programs, are:

- Beach Given the recurrent timing of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon in or before the lucrative tourist-filled summers (March 1996, July 2006 etc), the piers would contain sands from Lebanon as surrogates to the local beaches. Occupying the pilotis space and level with the Mediterranean, once shipped out to safe waters, tourism season is reclaimed in international waters by locals and tourists alike.

- Social Housing Filled with locals from across the country, a redistribution of the population is based on parameters other than sectarian divisions to allow for an interaction absent back home. Suspended in between a pre-traumatic clinic from below and a roof garden/cemetery above, proximity to either ends is of therapeutic nature.

- Religious / Civil Wedding Starting as a hybrid of a mosque/church, once it reaches the international waters, it acts as a secular chapel for civil marriages still banned in Lebanon under the current laws.

- Pro-Choice Clinic Once ferried out of territorial waters, the on-board gynecological clinic provides services for anyone.

- Atheism/ Polytheism Temple Religious affiliations are suspended beyond territorial waters, widening alternatives for locals to experience alternative beliefs or non-beliefs.

- Marriage Arranged marriages within enclosed communities and opposite genders are widened in spectrum to include the same facilities without discrimination on the basis of religion, race or orientation once in international waters.

- Cemetery Burial/ Cremation Along the roof garden, religious based burial services become the choice of the individual once in international waters, each defending his own rite of burial.

- Subterranean S(p)in Zone/Overhangs Underground and only allowed in small doses, patients are permitted to reclaim their possessions and all that formed their identity back home, their habits of driving around, or those who simply favor watching others driving around. To avoid total break-downs, small doses of “being Lebanese” are introduced when required, until the need phases out. These barges provide a temporary exodus for healing purposes, considering the clinical potential of having a society distressed en masse. Once, the behavioral patterns of the Lebanese patients back home simulate the ones they developed on the barges, the barges become mere capsules of social desires of any repressed society. They migrate to other countries and accumulate more subversive programs while providing temporary shelters, except for their roof gardens/ cemetery; it gets grounded across the littoral, dismantling the major vehicular highway and reconnecting the cities to the Mediterranean through public park piers.

PAD10 Naji Moujaes. Jasmin Behzadi, Fumio Hirakawa, Ziad Jamaleddine, Makram el Kadi, Salim al Kadi.

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