On a whim, I tried playing Contact against the end segment of 2001 and it synced up flawlessly. The film and song aren’t edited in any way, they both play out in full duration. It’s incredible how well they match.
The Ludlites Lo-fi Photography Collective aims to raise the profile of plastic lens and plastic camera photography in Australia. The collective includes high profile and established photographers, plus amateur photographers who work in alternative creative fields.
They all share a love of analogue, film based lo-tech photography and delight in the imperfections of plastic camera photography, as a response to the perfection of digital photography.
I met one of the “Luddies”, Steven Godbee in London in 2007 at the Lomography World Congress and since then I’ve been followng his work and the exhibitons organised by the collective.
The theme for this year’s Ludites exhibition is “Ludites Love Music“, which will exhibit photos inspired by song lyrics. There was a call for submission to take part in this exhibition and I’m glad to say my work was selected, (I guess you may call me a long distance Luddie). The exhibition will take place in Sydney, at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery from 15th May-23rd June, part of the prestigious Head On Photo Festival and Vivid Sydney.
It’s been said that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. Sydney’s photographic collective, the Ludlites, has turned that idea on its head and created an exhibition of photographs where the words come first and become inspiration for the pictures – in this case not painted, but created in the old-school fashion, using film cameras.
In Ludlites Love Music, the group presents over 50 works that have been inspired by song lyrics.
On 18th May, the exhibition will be launched by Toby Creswell, music journalist, producer of the documentaries Great Australian Albums and Paul Kelly: Stories of Me, former editor of Rolling Stone and founding editor of Juice magazine.
I wish I could be in Sydney for this. If you are in Sydney, please do go and check out this exhibition and say hello to the Ludlites.
Here’s a selection of photos taking part in the exhibition, including links to the songs that inspired these photos.
The Ludlites: Patrick Boland, Heleana Genaus, Tim Gibbs, Steven Godbee, Tim Hixson, Peter Lang, Anika Luzemann, Wayne Maranda and Anthony McGovern
Guest photographers: Alana Dimou, Alex Craig, Alicia Mack, Bethany Schneiders, Brad Bennett, Bradley Shaw, Cameron Martin, Carolinna Lee, Craig Proudford, Daniel Grant, Elizabeth Wong, Elliot Swanson, Emma Vincent, Emma Young, Fi Tunnicliff, Gareth Jolly, Hind Mezaina, Hykie Kwong, Jessica Bee, Lisa Marshall, Lucas Brown, Melissa Dixon, Neda Vancovac, Rachael Willis, Riaan Cilliers, Simon Harrington, Stephen Crowfoot, Vanessa Power and Yvette Worboys.
The Ludlites Love Music exhibiton includes photos inpired by music by artists including: Sigur Rós, Tom Waits, Boy & Bear, Frank Sinatra, Röyksopp, Don McLean, You Am I, Cat Stevens, Iggy Pop, Björk, Radiohead, The Walking Who, David McComb, Jay-Z, Jes Hudak, Vicki Anderson, Velvet Underground, Alicia Keys, Jack Johnson, Ian Moss, Madonna, Billy Joel, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Cure, Xavier Rudd, Incubus, Split Enz, The Proclaimers and Flying Burrito Brothers.
Event Details Dates: 15th May – 23rd June 2013, 10.00am-5.00pm Venue: Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach, Sydney
is an experimental theatre project based in Dubai. I’ve been missing their shows over the past few years, but I hope I don’t miss their sixth and latest production, Are You There, taking place at The Fridge on 17th and 18th May.
Jules Verne’s lost novel is alive and well in Dubai with the STAR TOO Experimental Theatre troupe breathing life into the book entitled Paris in the 20th Century in an original creation called ARE YOU THERE.
This May 17th and 18th at The Fridge, Al Serkal Avenue, performers in both Dubai and Paris will give a live and interactive rendition of this true-to-life sci-fi novel.
The evening is set to be an underground, animated lecture in a classroom setting, hosted by a cast of artists struggling to preserve the humanities that do not serve “the age’s industrial aims” of a not-so-distant future society.
According to the STAR TOO’s blog, Are You There is not a play a traditional play, but a series of themes presented by fictional characters inspired by Jules Verne’s book, blurring the lines between a performance and a presentation.
The playing space becomes a platform for learning, sharing ideas, and reconnecting with other human beings. The cast has several surprises in store including live feeds, audience interaction, and a possibly different ending to this gathering depending on spectator vote.
The idea is that performers are characters holding a covert meeting with the audience, maybe the last of its kind. And it might not be far from the truth. Ironically, much like what Verne predicted, and proving that even the classics can disappear, his novel must not have sold enough and, after consulting the Societé Jules Verne in France, it is now out of print.
Are You There trailer
Here’s a look at the past STAR TOO shows.
Date and timings: Friday, 17th at 8.30pm and Saturday, 18th May at 5.30pm and 8.30pm
Venue: The Fridge Dubai, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (location map) Tickets: AED 75
If you are new to Slidefest, it’s an event organised by Gulf Photo Plus where photographers present their personal projects, from documentary projects to fine art, still-life and landscape images. The event also aims to bring photographers (amateurs and pros) and people from the photography community together where people can network, connect and share stories.
Majlis al Jinn: Gathering Place of Spirits is a series chronicling the escapades of the Middle East Caving and Expeditionary Team (MECET), who in their first year of existence, took on a quite serious cave system, (which includes the ninth largest cave chamber in the world), on the Selma Plateau 100km south-east of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
The system has seen few visitors with less then half a dozen known teams having ever entered the far reaches of the caves. All but one member are new to caving and at an average of -200 meters underground any mistake can be very serious if not deadly, luckily though the group has survived thus far and has learnt from food/water shortages, hyperthermia, flooding caves among many other valuable lessons.
The series looks at the beauty of darkness as well as what it takes to survive deep underground in Oman.
Swat Valley, nestled in the northwest of Pakistan, was once known as the “Switzerland of the East”. Renowned for its natural beauty, hospitable people and surreal tranquillity, men and women from all over the world flocked to its folds, in search of paradise on earth.
Today, nobody goes to Swat. The valley was first scourged by the terror of the Taliban, then by Pakistan’s worst flood in history. Very little of “paradise” remain. The conflict and subsequent hardship endured by the people of Swat had robbed them of their paradise. Innocence, once lost, could never again be found.
The #webuiltthiscity initiative is first and foremost dedicated to the founding fathers of the UAE and the current rulers who continue their legacy. Inspired by National Day, participants uploaded images of places, people and moments captured through out the UAE.
Uploading them to Instagram with the hashtag #webuiltthiscity the initative resulted is a variety of unique perspectives of the UAE, a selection of which are being shared at Slidefest.
Nicolas has worked as a professional photographer for more than 21 years, and has based himself in the United Arab Emirates since 1991. Specializing in photography for the hospitality sector, his portrait series is a break from his professional subject matter.
In a unique approach to portraits, Nicolas convinced his subjects to allow him to drench them in water for an unusual and striking series of portraits.
Having grown up in the UAE in the 70′s Imran remembers Dubai as a different city then what stands today. Presenting a collection of images capturing the Kushti wrestling that occurs on Fridays in Deira, Imran aims to share the nostalgia that the events bring to him, of childhood days gone by, playing in wide open dusty playgrounds.
The last week in Sami’s month-long stay in Guatemala was Semana Santa or Holy Week. During Holy Week, thousands of people participate in processions, which are inspired by Biblical passages.
These processions include people walking in a formal and ceremonial manner carrying lifelike wooden sculptures that represent events from the “Passion of Christ.” Sami covered Holy Thursday in the town of Antigua, and Good Friday in the capital, Guatemala City.
Originally from Hamburg, Germany, it was here in Dubai that Sebastian discovered his interest in architectural photography, which became the focus of his interest now and for the last three years.
After working on a number of architectural photography assignments throughout the region, Sebastian interest has turned to timelapse photography. Capturing stunning time lapses of the city, Sebastian has focused on the city of Dubai for his 2013 personal project.
In a nutshell, he intends to present Dubai as a futuristic city on a planet in a distant galaxy.
Born in Barcelona, Stephan Geyer immigrated to Latin America with his family at an early age and grew up living in 3 continents. Stephan began photographing at a very young age with a Minolta film camera his father gave him.
Largely self-taught, travel and photography were two passions that began at a young age for Geyer. Traveling recently to Nepal, Geyer will share images of the stunning landscapes encountered along his journey through Island Peak.
The theme of the documentary series is Perspectives and Retrospectives and includes a series of award winning regional and international documentaries.
Thursday, 9th May 2013 at 7.00 pm - Opening night, films from the Gulf
Works of early Bahraini documentary filmmaker Khalifa Shaheen
Between two banks by Nujoom Alghanem
The falcon and stage of hope by Khalid Siddiq
The opening night will include a panel discussion on History of Cinema in the Gulf and Documentary Film Production in the Region, with Khalifa Shaheen, Khalid Siddiq and Khalid Al-Budour, moderated by Nezar Andari.
Friday, 10th May 2013
7.00 pm – The Omar Amiralay tribute The Chickens (42 mins) A Plate of Sardines (17 mins)
9.00 pm – I am Breathing by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon (72 mins)
I am Breathing will be followed by Q&A with Professor Noé Mendelle from the Scottish Documentary Institute, moderated by Ozge Calafato. The discussion will focus on Neil Platt’s battle with the Motor Neurone Disease and Noe’s observations on the effects of his deteriorating condition on his family, the challenges the filmmaker faced when shooting the film and the global awareness campaign they started around it.
Saturday, 11th May 2013
7.00pm – Divorce Irania Style by Kim Longinotto and Zibar Mir-Hosseini (80 mins)
9.00 pm – Retrospective on early Palestinian documentaries
Scenes from under occupation in Gaza by Moustafa Abu Ali (13 min)
They don’t exist by Moustafa Abu Ali (24 min)
Palestine in the eye by Moustafa Abu Ali (25 min)
Children nevertheless by Khadijeh Habashneh (23 min)
Retrospective on Early Palestinian programme is followed by Q&A with Khadijeh Habashneh, moderated by Prof. Alia Yunis. The discussion will explore the historical, artistic and political significance of the early works by revolutionary Palestinian filmmakers. Khadija Habashneh, late Moustafa Abu Ali’s wife, will elaborate on the starting points for these filmmakers, their challenges and their achievements
Sunday, 12th May 2013
7.00 pm – In the Shadow of a Man by Hanan Abdulla (65 min)
9.00 pm – Town of Runners by Jerry Rothwell (86 min)
Monday, 13th May 2013
7.00 pm – How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? by Carlos Carcas (78 min)
Official release of the trailer of Champ of the Camp by Mahmoud Kaabour
Champ of the Camp is a feature-length documentary on the contestants of an X Factor-like singing competition that takes place in the UAE’s labor camps. The film follows talented and charismatic laborer-crooners from the Asian subcontinent as they hone their vocal skills at labor accommodations and on work sites, and entertain dreams of stardom over the course of the competition.
Champ of the Camp – Photo by Siddarth Siva
Searching for Sugar Man by Malik Bendjelloul (86 min)
Event details Dates: 09-14th May, 7pm and 9pm Venue: Vox Cinemas, Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi
The theme of the exhibition CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black [Key]) comes from the CMYK colour model used in the printing process, and also denotes the four categories of the show.
CMYK_C by Prasad Sadanandan
It’s great to see Gulf Photo Plus hosting an event like this as it’s an opportunity for photography enthusiasts to think how they can take their work to the next level and hopefully encourage them to submit some of their best work. Who knows, there might be a future star photographer in this show.
Do go and check it out and show some support to initiatives that support the local community.
CMYK_Y by Sharmin Choudhury
CMYK_K by Sayed Abd Algalil
Event details Dates: 1st-31st May 2013. Opening night 1st May 1, 7pm – open to the public. Venue: Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue, Unit D36, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 (location map)
The exhibition has already taken place in Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Milan and from 27th April till 11th May 2013, it will be in Dubai, in a specially constructed space at The Venue, Downtown Dubai.
The public will discover Karl Lagerfeld’s original photographs that illustrate the versatility and timelessness of the iconic CHANEL jacket, seen modeled on a range of friends of the House who have each adapted the garment to reflect their own inimitable style.
In addition, new photographs featuring such notable personalities as Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, Carla Bruni and Carole Bouquet, all of whom embody the iconic style of the House, will be unveiled.
Herea are some of the photos from the exhibition. And check out some videos about The Little Black Jacket added after the photos.
The Little Black Jacket Dubai Trailer
The making of The Little Black Jacket (parts 1 and 2)
The history of the CHANEL jacket
My favourite part in this video is Gabrielle Chanel’s answer to the question “What is the hardest thing about your work?” in this video.
Enabling women to move with ease, to not feel like they’re in costume. Not changing attitude, or manner, depending on their dress.
Event details Dates: 27th April – 11th May 2013, 11:00am-9:00pm (11:00am-10:00pm on weekends) Venue: The Venue, Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Free entry
Ikeda’s work focuses on the essential characteristics of sound and light through mathematical precision and aesthetics. His datamatics project, which began in 2006 is a series of experiments in the form of audiovisual concerts, installations, publications and CDs that seek to materialise pure data.
datamatics [ver. 2.0] is the second audiovisual concert presented as part of the project. Dynamic, computer-generated imagery, in pared-down black and white with striking colour accents, are graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions.
From 2-D sequences of patterns derived from hard-drive errors and software code, the imagery transforms into dramatic, rotating views of the universe in 3-D; the final scenes add a further level, as 4-D mathematical processing opens up spectacular and seemingly infinite vistas.
A hypnotic soundtrack reflects the imagery through a meticulous layering of sonic components. (via sharjahart.org)
Here’s a short clip from Sonar 2010 to show you what to expect.
Here are some audience testimonials from his show at the Barbican in London two years ago.
I am looking forward to this. I know this isn’t something for for everyone and I imagine I will either end up with a headache or euphoric after being taken on a journey of data and sound. Hopefully it will be the latter.
Event details Date and time: Friday, 19th April 2013 at 8pm Venue: Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts, Sharjah (location map) Phon: +9716 512 3333 Free entry
The sixth edition of the Gulf Film Festival is back this month with line up of 169 short and full feature films from 43 countries, including the Gulf region and around the world.The festival is on from 11th-17th April in it’s usual home, Grand Cinemas in Festival City, Dubai.
Here’s my list of top 20 picks, and you can see the full line up, along with the schedule here. The tickets are free for this festival, so if you do have time, I strongly suggest you try to watch a few films, there are some real gems in this year’s line up.
Away, 17 mins
A young man is offered a job abroad and he is forced to make a choice: leave for the opportunity or stay in the place he knows so well and where he has a girlfriend and his family.
Baghdad Messi, 19 mins
Director:Sahim Omar Kalifa
Iraq 2009. Eight-year-old Hamoudi has only one leg, but is addicted to football. He and his friends – like the rest of the world – are looking forward to the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester (Messi versus Ronaldo). But then the television breaks down.
Bekas, 92 mins
Dana and Zana are two homeless orphans in Iraqi Kurdistan under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. Their only hope for escape is to reach the United States of America and live with their friend “Superman”. But how do they get there? They have no money, no passports and their only means of transportation is a donkey.
Berlin Telegram, 82 mins
Leila is a singer-songwriter with nothing but her voice to accompany her as she wanders from one place to another. With her heart still carrying the heavy burden of unrequited love, she resolves to leave her town.
Armed with a camera and her music, Leila takes the audience on a trip that draws attention to her hopes and fears. In this lyrical road movie based on a true story, through the wonders that music presents, there is no path and no destination. Except that of the heart.
Calcutta Taxi, 20 mins
Calcutta Taxi is set against the grimy backdrop of a city going through a political crisis and unravels the story of three lives that coincide and affect each other.
Ephemeral, 17 mins
Alicia lives in a cozy windmill with her grandmother and dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. She waits for the pivotal moment when she can audition, but realises that the world outside her own, is not as idyllic as she thinks.
Father, 16 mins Directors: Asparuh Petrov, Dmitry Yagodin, Ivan Bogdanov, Moritz Mayerhofer, Rositsa Raleva, Veljko Popovic
When did you last talk to your father? Will you ever ask him about the things that hurt you? This film turns reality around by creating a dialogue between a child and a father that never happens.
A Fallible Girl, 104 mins
Lifei sets up a mushroom farm in the desert between Dubai and Abu Dhabi with her best friend Yaya, using the hard-earned money that the two Chinese girls made to create a better life for themselves.
Life gets tough quickly and Yaya is quick to return to her former life but Lifei perseveres, trying to find her footing. However, personal tragedy strikes and she has to return to China, but not before she has to pay off her ever-increasing debts.
Grand Marriage, 52 mins
One of the most unique Arab wedding ceremonies takes place in the tropical islands of the Comoros. The celebrations last for two weeks and they can paint the future for the bride and groom, allowing the couple to demand honour and respect.
Inertial Love, 6 mins
Director:César Esteban Alenda, José Esteban Alenda
The relationship between Javier and Anna runs out of steam. She hits the breaks and Javier is dragged down into a state of inertia until he learns to get over it.
It’s About To Rain, 91 mins
It’s About to Rain is a film about a very particular situation – an Algerian father and two Algerian-Italian sons, struggling to come to terms with an Italy that appears to reject them – that’s extraordinarily universal.
Starring the charismatic newcomer Lorenzo Baglioni as Said Mahran, this is a subtle, emotional and gripping story, one that relates to everyone that’s ever found themselves between different countries, belonging somewhere that doesn’t make them wholly welcome.
Lyrics Revolt, 51 mins Directors: Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant, Rana Khaled Al Khatib, Shannon Farhoud
Music and politics often go hand in hand and as pro-democracy revolutions spread throughout the Arab world, one sound in particular is echoing the hopes, dreams and frustrations of the people.
Arab hip-hop has emerged as the soundtrack of the resistance and Lyrics Revolt features the leading musicians around the world, looking at the role music plays in this game-changing moment for the Middle East.
The Man Inside, 51 mins
The film-maker books a hotel room in a foreign land where his absent father once lived and worked. Equipped with a camera, a cassette player and a stack of unread letters, he sets about re-imagining a man he never knew.
Man in Suit, 10 mins
Director:Anna Van Der Heide
A busy working mother has to take her children to the fun fair alone after her husband forgets about the outing. Trapped in her loneliness, she reaches out for warmth and security, forgetting about her husband – and common sense.
No One’s Land, 30 mins
During the Iran-Iraq war, a German girl loses her way while trying to visit Baghdad to see her fiance, who is a NATO soldier. She is found by a Kurdish family living on the border.
Portraits (Los Retratos), 14 mins
Director:Iván D. Gaona
Sunday is the local market day and Grandma Paulina wants to prepare Creole hen for her husband’s lunch, but she doesn’t have enough money. She wins a Polaroid camera in a raffle but soon runs out of film and finds herself still hungry.
Rhinos, 14 mins
A young couple is brought together by circumstance. Despite a language barrier, they learn more about each other than they thought was possible.
The Scream, 82 mins
Yemen, a country that has little place for a woman’s voice – and the rest of the world – was stunned when Yemeni women took to the streets to draw attention to their suffering. Women played an important role in the Yemeni uprisings against dictatorship.
From the Yemeni film-maker Khadija Al-Salami, whose films focus on women’s issues and corruption, The Scream examines the aftermath of their participation: they hoped for democracy, but what did they ultimately achieve? And more importantly, what are they left with?
Studio Beirut, 15 mins
Toufik, a young photographer owns Studio Beirut. His business is threatened when the mayor installs the city’s first photo booth next door.
Wadjda, 97 mins
Director:Haifaa Al Mansour
Every day Wadjda passes a toy store window with a beautiful green bicycle. Although it is forbidden for girls to ride bicycles, Wadjda concocts a plan to earn enough money to afford the bike by secretly selling ‘illicit products’ in her schoolyard.
But her plans are soon exposed, leaving her with only one last chance to make the money she needs: a Quran recital competition with a big cash prize. Wadjda tries to find a sly and cunning way to rise above her fellow competitors to make her most cherished dream come true… the green bicycle.