DUBAI A group of Yemenis playing a game of dominoes on the beach; a young man trying to fit the Pyramids in his selfie in Egypt; government employees in Abu Dhabi preparing for the first Papal visit to the region. These images capturing life in the Arab world are part of the exhibition The Arab Street, Vol. II organised by Gulf Photo Plus (GPP).
“The first edition of this show featured photographs by well-known professional photographers, but this year, we announced an open call inviting all photography enthusiasts to participate. We received over 700 submissions from amateur and professional photographers in the Middle East and North Africa. The diversity of the images in this show indicates that the ‘street’ in street photography has become a misnomer and street photography is possible wherever life unfolds,” says Raz Hansrod, GPP’s community coordinator and the exhibition producer.
The exhibition has been divided into six sections. The ‘Conceptual’ section demonstrates the street’s ability to invoke a mood rather than a moment such as Ishaq Madan’s image conveying the anticipation of iftar after the day’s fast. Another segment focuses on the creative use of ‘Light and Shadow’, such as Sreeranj Sreedhar’s picture of the light filtering through the dome of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and dramatically lighting up the face of a visitor walking in the shade underneath.
The ‘Observe’ segment features classic street photography where the photographer waits patiently and unobtrusively to capture a moment. For example, Duncan Chard waited hours by a footbridge on the highway to get the perfect shot of pedestrians and cyclists moving in a single file on all sections of the bridge. Similarly, Katarina Premfors has captured a unique moment in a photograph of Pope Francis on the steps of his plane after his visit to Abu Dhabi, which also includes another plane in the sky carrying the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif University back to Egypt after their historic interfaith meetings.
Other segments in the show are ‘Humor Me’ featuring irreverent and whimsical street scenes; ‘Engage’ including photos where the photographer’s engagement with the subject is visible; and ‘Double Take’ with clever compositions that make you look twice.
The Arab Street, Vol. II will run at GPP, Alserkal Avenue until November 18.