Dubai’s new photography exhibition tackles the climate crisis
A new show at the Dubai studio and Tashkeel exhibition space deals with humanity’s destruction of the natural world.
Organized by Lateefa bint Maktoum, artist and founder of Tashkeel, and photographer Jassim Al Awadhi, From End to End brings together six photographers from the United Arab Emirates: Ola Allouz, Yaghoub Al Hammadi, Mousa Al Raeesi, Faisal Al Rais, Mona Al Tamimi and Maitha Bughanoum.
Their work, on view from January 18 to March 1, shows how the natural world has been altered by human intervention – huge amounts of single-use plastic generated on a large scale at large community meals, nets of abandoned fishing boats left floating in the sea and plastic microparticles that pollute the waters.
While some of the images offer respite from the narrative of humanity’s tangible environmental devastation, the exhibition as a whole is a painful reminder that the idea of humanity untouched by nature is – and has long been – a fiction.
Al Awadhi, who has been photographing in the United Arab Emirates since the 1990s, says the exhibit is a call to action. Its title suggests that one phase of human destruction is over and hopefully another is beginning.
“There is renewal at every end,” he says. “When the end of ends is reached, there is the beginning of new worlds. We hope that this work will lead to the beginning of other works to come.
The idea of intertwining the man-made and natural worlds is also a key theme in bint Maktoum’s own photography, which documents the rapid development of the United Arab Emirates. As his look reflecting (2008), a woman gazes at her reflection in what appears to be a pool of natural water, as the skyscrapers of Dubai tower above her.
Highlighting Tashkeel’s importance as a production and exhibition venue, the 30 images featured were also printed at Tashkeel, which has a professional-grade digital printer. The works vary not only in style but also in how they were produced, with a few being shot with drones and mirrorless digital cameras.
From End to End is at Tashkeel in Nad Al Sheba, Dubai from Tuesday 18th January to Tuesday 1st March
Updated: January 13, 2022, 2:02 p.m.