Co-curated with Noor Alwan
Departures Hall, Bahrain International Airport
Commissioned by Bahrain International Airport
Kingdom of Bahrain
Music is a universal language that communicates across cultural, geographic, and linguistic boundaries.
Mawall is an exhibition that is centered around the harmonious relationship between music, art and the Bahraini heritage. Music is deeply rooted within Bahrain’s heritage, it transcends entertainment and tells stories of empowerment, celebration, hardships and folk tales that Bahrainis grew up listening to.
The art pieces are each inspired by a Bahraini song from the heritage and unveil a different facet of Bahrain’s culture by retelling a nostalgic narrative that generations grew up into. The exhibition aims to immerse visitors into areas of the culture by experiencing the woven stories that the art and music tell together. Each artwork translates a Bahraini song into a visual narrative creating a different means of introducing visitors to stories that are not necessarily seen or heard while touring the country, and resonate with the residents of Bahrain by reintroducing them to the stories and songs from the past through telling pieces. Every artwork corresponds to a written piece about the song it expresses, and a QR code that directs people to the musical piece.
Bin Radhi House, Manama
Taa Al Shabab Cultural Festival
Commissioned by Authority for Culture and Antiquities
Kingdom of Bahrain
Stories have been passed on over generations of Manama, the pearl of The Gulf, and about its people whom William Belgrave described as the “People of the World”.
The duality of the city and its people is a unique equation unlike any other on the East Coast of the Arabian Gulf which still managed to survive through the drastic urbanization of the city and changes in its society.
“Pertinacity” is an exhibition curated by Abdulla Buhijji and Noor Alwan that is part of a larger project “Tashkeel” which joins several Bahraini artists and explores Manama’s stories, people and their daily lives. The duo efforts spread around the old districts of Manama from architectural photo walks, to workshops, questioning issues that threaten the fabric of Manama, taking a closer more honest look at Manama; and hoping to provide a clearer vision of its possible future by looking through its past.
“Pertinacity” took place in “Bin Radhi” house, a family home that was built in the 1930’s and is one of the few that survived to this day. This house is an emblem of the beautiful memories formed there and it narrates the difficulties and the dramatic changes it witnessed. For decades, this house gathered the community and hosted people from different backgrounds and interests to exchange ideas and stories, and share their plights and joy. The residents of “Bin Radhi” speak of a once upon a time when the house overlooked the sea and the view could be enjoyed from the roof. Today, the house is as far from the sea as it is close to its memories. The participating artists manifested the stories told by these walls through art pieces that celebrate the tenacity of the house.