Tag Archives arts

Ebrahim Busaad’s Memories and Love for Nasser Al-Yousif

Ebrahim Busaad’s Memories and Love for Nasser Al-Yousif

Posted on

Ebrahim Busaad is one of my favourite human beings on earth. His art is a close second as I do love his particular distinctive style in storytelling through his paintings and prints.

Ebrahim was one of my father’s best friends, if not his very best friend. They were inseparable and have remained in contact with each other until my father passed away. Busaad was clearly influenced by my dad from an intellectual points of view. He shared with him the love of simplicity in art and that art – any art – must be genuine to endure.

Art to them both was not a happenstance, but a labour and toil of thought and research and love which must all be invested in the canvas, for only then, they believed, would that piece come to life with its own soul which carries pieces of their own souls within it too.

Ebrahim Busaad interviewed for Nasser Al-Yousif's documentary (pictures by Ali Salman)

Talking to Busaad this morning made me realise what “pure love” is.

He loved my father for his person and his art, his intellect and for the generosity with his time and information. He reciprocated that love with his passionate embrace and belief in his own art, as well as paying it forward too.

Our conversation was really deep and enriching. It is through Ebrahim I got to know my father a bit better and am getting to understand various things about him as more and more blanks get filled.

I’m really happy that I have embarked on this project. It is very emotionally draining for me and I’m trying as much as I can to stay detached and professional. I awe that to my audience in order to deliver a better film to them. I want them to understand Nasser Al-Yousif, his environment, challenges, perspective and art, and I shall remain true to that central concept throughout.

I’d like to recognise and render my thanks to Mr Ebrahim Busaad for his generous contribution to this project. I believe his will be a cornerstone of this production.


‘The Suffering of the Iraqi People’ tonight at BCC

Posted on

Iraqi People’s Suffering Documentary

Iraqi photographer and documentary maker Ehsan Al-Jyzani

يدعو الفنان العرقي والمصور الفوتوغرافي إحسان الجيزاني جميع المهتمين بالقضية العراقية لحضور عرض فيلمه الوثائقي “الجذور” وهو من تأليفه وإخراج الفنان علي طالب

ويجسد الفيلم معاناة الشعب العراقي في فترة ما بعد الاحتلال الأمريكي

وسوف يلي الفيلم عرض صور فوتوغرافية للفنان العراقي إحسان الجيزاني

Iraqi photographer Ehsan Al-Jyzani would like to invite you all to a special screening of a documentary about the suffering of the Iraqi people at the present time.

The documentary is written by Ehsan himself and directed by Ali Taleb

The film will be followed by screening of photos shot by Ehsan.

The screening will be at the Bahrain Cinema Club in Juffair at 8pm tonight, 26 April, 2007.


Expression in the Internet Age

Posted on

Elham, in cooperation with Al-Riwaq Art Gallery, announces a series on Language, Culture, and Expression to coincide with the University of Cairo book fair: tonight, it’s some of Bahrain’s finest bloggers are going to participate where they will read from their blogs, showing the world that we also have a literary aspect to Bahrain Blogging too, and more power to them.

After we hear Hisham Khalifa and Deonna Syed have read, the discussion will focus on how technology enhances or limits creativity.

An assortment of blog readings from around the island, the discussion will focus on questions of expression in the context of the technological world.

  • Where is the line between a blog post and a piece of creative prose?
  • Does the context of ‘blogspot’ diminish or detract from the literary value of a piece of prose?
  • What happens to a blog once it is removed from the anonymous ether of the internet?
  • Is recital more dangerous because it increases responsibility?
  • Do bloggers have to be politically/socially responsible?
  • What role can blogs play in the context of cultural society?
  • What makes a ‘Bahraini blogger’? Is there a common thread?

Al-Riwaq is in an alleyway by Lilo’s in Adliya, their telephone number is 1771 7441. Call them for directions, or me if you don’t know how to get to it (and I’ll probably get you thoroughly lost!)

The event starts at 7pm. I hope to see you there.


ZimSculpt is back in Bahrain!

Posted on

Zimbabwean sculptures in Bahrain

Frances and I enjoyed visiting the Zimbabwean Sculpture exhibition at Al Bareh Gallery a couple of nights ago, this time they have some 40 sculptures and I would like to own each and every one of them. Oh to be a millionaire! These are the times that give you the impetus to work harder so that you too can afford to acquire works of art to enjoy and share your home with.

We are fortunate enough to have bought a few pieces the last time they came to town, we have had those pieces for 2 years in our home and I frankly cannot imagine us being without them. They have become a part of our family.

Well, although we determined not to buy anything this time around, I fell in love with a mermaid and I just had to have her!

I would have dearly loved to buy a few other pieces, alas, I have to remind myself (rather sternly) that I do have a lot of expenditures this month that take precedence and I shall have to just remember them through the various pictures I have taken of them, and occasionally visit their website to remind myself of their beauty.

The exhibit is continuing until April 2nd, 2007 at Al Bareh, should you wish to visit. If you like the arts, believe me you won’t be disappointed.

Zimbabwe means great stone house; it is true that stone sculpture is the art that most represents the people of Zimbabwe. The works are chosen over a six month period, searching the country for the most dynamic, thought provoking pieces. Each sculpture has been masterfully executed in stone; Zimbabwe has one of the worlds most rich resources of minerals and stone deposits. The exuberance of the work, the vast varieties of stone and the great skill and imagination of the sculptors has led to many years of major exhibitions worldwide.

Over 40 stone sculptures will be exhibited from leading world renowned Zimbabwean sculptors in a range of different types of Serpentine stone.

Pieces on exhibition will range between medium to large scale that can be displayed indoors or outdoors, varying in style from abstract, to figurative, and semi-representative.
There will also be 10 Acrylic paintings, representing the life in Zimbabwe as seen by the local artists.

The exhibition will be inaugurated at 7pm on the 20th of March and will run until the 2nd of April,2007.

You can call the gallery on +973-1771 7707.

Well done Spring of Culture to have included this exhibition within your program.


Countdown started

countdown to the next elections

We deserve the parliament we vote for. Here’s to hoping, against all odds, that the people who voted for these dark-ages jokers would learn from their lesson and don’t assume – for a third time – that religiosity = political ability or wisdom for that matter, as this parliament has amply proven.

Welcome to the age of Bahraini Inquisition. Have the cinder ready, and build gallows in sufficient numbers for the exclusive use of the parliamentary inquisitors, the protectors of our faith, the defenders of our morals, the lovers of culture and the appreciators of the arts.

What did you actually expect? That this parliament would diligently work to increase freedoms of speech and expression? That they will open investigations in dire issues they have conveniently forgotten like Bandargate, the housing shortage, the dearth of land, the increasing poverty, retooling education and fixing the constitution?

Fat chance!

We can’t blame the government for this one. We can only blaming ourselves for voting for these morons. Well done. I hope whoever voted for them is happy with their choice now, go on, pat yourself on the back.

Assuming the next elections would happen on 15 Oct, 2010, there are 1,303 days left. Assuming we actually want to wait that long.


MPs with Religious Police mentality

I am quite convinced that this parliament doesn’t know why it was actually voted in. Apart from the sectarian overtones in almost every thing they do, they cannot distinguish between parliamentary work from that of the pulpit. Let me aid them in understanding the simple difference: the first is legislative and the other is advisory. To amplify the explanation on the latter; being an adviser does not give that person nor body the exclusive keys to nirvana, and the adviser should be prepared to see his advice be discarded regardless of how right he or she thinks it is.

وافق مجلس النواب بغالبية أعضائه أمس على تشكيل لجنة تحقيق برلمانية بشأن بعض الرقصات والأشعار التي قدمت خلال مهرجان «ربيع الثقافة»، الذي تنظمه وزارة الإعلام

A parliamentary probe committee was formed yesterday to investigate acts by performers in the Spring of Culture festival, which have been labelled un-Islamic.

Taking the above into consideration, what business is it of the illustrious Chamber of Representatives to force upon us their own myopic view of right and wrong? And which part of the legislative or even advisory mandates confers upon them the right to restrict what people should do, see or deem enjoyable art? Especially considering that the constitution of our societal makeup would never condone lewd conduct in any case, a fact that has been fully observed by the organisers, that we need these publicly elected representatives of the people to attempt to once again save us from our selves and force their own personal interpretations on a whole country?

This is what we get after 100 days of being in office?

While other parliaments strive to display what their members and governments have achieved in their first 100 days in office in order to show the seriousness with which they regard the trust placed in them by their electors; what we get here is a chamber full of prancing ignoramuses having foot-stomping fist thumping tantrums in response to a cultural show by a nationally renowned poet, an excellent musician, and a dance troop who attempted to translate both into motion.

Grow up, for goodness’ sake, just   g r o w  u p   already.

Your behaviour is shameful.


I didn’t go!

Marcel Khalife - originally uploaded by Mahnaz Ganji

And I’m kicking myself for not getting tickets ahead of time. I am really angry with myself, this was a golden opportunity that I was waiting for for some time now to attend Marcel Khalife’s performance and the last two nights were apparently magical especially that this time Marcel was in collaboration with Bahraini poet Qassim Haddad with an interpretation of Majnoon Layla.

Bahraini poet Qassim Haddad

The performance was so good that the Islamists are up in arms against it threatening to question the minister of information and sms messages have been doing the rounds against the Spring of Culture generally. And when these things happen, you know that you missed a major cultural event, as culture is the very farthest thing from those peoples’ minds.

I envy all of those who attended, but applaud them for showing “the others” that we – unlike them – do appreciate culture and want more of it.


Spring of Culture 2007 Calendar of Events

ical.gif xml.gif

My thanks to Sangeetha in my office who has created a full calendar of events for the Spring of Culture 2007 in a shared Google Calendar that you can subscribe to through your calendar program, pull through XML or iCAL feeds and even have those on your site if you wish.

The entries are full and include the published times, locations, website links and descriptive text as is printed in the official booklet of the extraveganza.

Go ahead, thank Sangeetha for this!


Spring of Culture 2007

34 cultural events over 6 weeks.

This is what is promised for a cultural extravaganza par excellence in Bahrain.

34 events of art, poetry, music, dance, lighting, theatre, lectures, sound, sculpture, vision and emotion.

34 dishes to feed your mind and soul in some of the most thrilling locations in Bahrain.

Once again Arad Fort will host live events from all over the globe: the Caracalla Dance Theatre on March 7th, Youssou N’dour on the 9th, Osaka Dadada-Dan Tenko taiko drummers on the 11th, The Chehade Brothers with Tony Hanna on the 15th and just before the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix weekend, we’ll be able to enjoy Brasil Brasileiro on the 12th and 13th of April. I want to attend them all, but even if I attend a couple I shall be very happy.

Arad Fort, Bahrain

Other events I’m rather looking forward to is the first ever pharaonic exhibition to be held in Bahrain. The legendary displays and artifacts will be housed in the Bahrain National Museum from March through to July.

Then we have the various art exhibitions and displays at the most influential art galleries in town: Al-Bareh, Al-Rewaq and La Fontaine as well as the Art Centre by the Museum. Of those there are too many that I would like to attend, but two I shall make every effort to visit are my late father’s dear friend Ibrahim Bu-Sa’ad’s art exhibition at the Bahrain Art Society from 18th – 27th of March and the Zimbabwean sculptures at Al-Bareh from March 20th – 30th and I do hope that I will have a little money to add to my Zimbabwean sculpture collection!

This time, I will make sure that I do not miss Marcel Khalife‘s inauguration of the festival; this time I am especially looking forward to be there as Marcel will – for the first time ever – be premiering a performance based on our very own Bahraini poet Qassim Haddad. Marcel will be reinterpreting Qassim Haddad’s “Laila wal Majnoun” (Laila and the mad man) through his own particular brand of music, coupled with song and dance. An cultural Bahriani/Lebanese Opera!

More brainfood is awaiting us all as well, just look at who’s coming to share their thoughts with us: Professor Mohammed Arkoun’s going to lecture about “the issue of humanism in Western & Muslim contemporary societies”; Patrick Seale will talk about the “conflict in the Middle East” both of which I think would probably be well worth attending.

This year particularly, the Spring of Culture is a true cultural event catering to every facet of the word. This year, the partners that Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa – the undersecretary of culture and heritage at the Ministry of Information – has managed to bring into the events certainly add to the variety of the experience. She didn’t stop there, she announced that next year’s SoC will be bigger and better and will have a new major venue added to its location: next year we will enjoy these major events against the backdrop of Bahrain Fort! By that time, the Delmon Museum should have been finished too in the location of the fort and the venue really spruced up. Just imagine, the spectator stands will extend over the sea and they will watch the thrilling, artistically lit fort as a backdrop. That in itself will be a thrilling experience!

Caracalla Lebanese Dance Theatre

I applaud Shaikha Mai and her colleagues for their endeavors, they have certainly lynched the whole cultural arena in Bahrain from slumber. More power to them.

Kudos also go to the EDB and Batelco for helping create this event.

Batelco donated BD100k for the pleasure of being associated with such an event as a main sponsor and Peter K might actually take my suggestion of streaming some of the events on the net so that a wider international public can enjoy them. I realise that these broadcasts are mired in copyright issues; however, even facilitating a 5 minute wrap per day would be great to be made available for streaming, as well as those events that do not require much money for the pleasure of re-broadcasting of course.

I know that I will be vlogging the event as much as I can, and it would be great if I can coordinate with others who intend to shoot the events so we can create a program that we can upload to YouTube or our own websites.

The budget for the main Arad Fort events, the advertising campaigns and other functions exceeded BD800k this year. This does not include the contributions of private galleries who are footing their bills themselves. It is a modest budget for such a cultural event, one that other countries might blow on a single night’s function, but as Shaikha Mai recalled a remark made to her by a renowned poet (and I paraphrase): “Bahrain is small but packs a huge punch when it comes to culture!”

Bahrain, it is these events that help brighten the light at the end of the tunnel. It is these events that ameliorate the frayed edges of passions in this society. It is these events that makes one proud to be Bahraini. It is these kind of events that allow us to concentrate on the central message of being Just Bahraini.

Have a wonderful Spring of Culture my friends. I wish you all well.


Simona’s Angels

Angels come in all shapes and sizes; some of those have religious and spiritual connotations and people who believe in them and their energies and auras can call on them for assistance, guidance and inspiration.

Simona Carmen Panciu, the Romanian artist who has been a resident in Bahrain for 8 years, and is the Alba gym instructor, has been not only surrounded by these angels, but draws on her artistic muses through meditation which channels the energy to her consciousness and paints these ephemeral images in oils on wood, some of which is just flotsam – pieces of wood – she collects from the beaches of Bahrain.

Simona Carmen Panciu with her paintings at Camelot in Adliya

Simon’a paintings are truly a calming inspiration to the space they grace. She had 42 of her paintings exhibited at Camelot Restaurant in Adliya last night. The exhibition continues through to Saturday. If you’re lucky, you will find one or two paintings still unsold. Their prices are very reasonable and go from BD50 through to about BD200.

Simona Carmen Panciu’s art and exhibition at Camelot restaurant in Adliya, Bahrain