The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced a new series of virtual events and workshops, as part of the Al Ain Cultural Programme, for the months of November and December.
Held at Al Qattara Arts Centre and Qasr Al Muwaiji, the activities will be made available online, in keeping with government safety guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19. The programme will feature a range of activities focussing on heritage, art and culture, to engage and enrich the community.
Qasr Al Muwaiji will host ‘Lens Through History’, a series of workshops focussing on high quality photography of historical and archaeological sites. Inspired by the role of photography in preserving the history of the palace and its restoration, the workshops will feature Ola Al Lawz on 28th November and Alaa Al Harithi on 12th December.
On 19th December, Qasr Al Muwaiji will organise the ‘Emirati Dagger’ workshop, showcasing daggers owned by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi, the Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and the chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council. One most important exhibits of Qasr Al Muwaiji, the programme will explore the colours and patterns used in making daggers, the uniqueness of the Emirati dagger and how they are worn. The workshop will be led by Khaled Khalifa, who will host Abdullah Al Matroushi, a researcher in traditional Emirati weapons and daggers.
Al Qattara Arts Centre staged a virtual session as part of its ‘Microphone’ event on 17 November, presenting a series of virtual talks on the community’s concerns and issues. Entitled ‘Camera and Microphone Confronting COVID-19’, the session was moderated by Yaser Al Neyadi, and featured media personality Mohammed Al Kaabi, photographer Muhammad Al Baloushi, and videographer and content maker Mohammad Abdulla Al Kaabi.
The session discussed the creative approach of a group of photographers and videographers as they faced the pandemic during the National Sterilisation Programme. The dialogue touched on their work during these unprecedented times, and how they were able to harness their tools and talents to serve the nation and tackle the pandemic.
The ‘Microphone’ event will include a panel discussion entitled ‘Map of Khaleeji Cinema’, which will discuss the future of Gulf cinema from the point of view of filmmakers, and exploring their aspirations for film in the region. The session will feature director Muzna Al Musafer from the Sultanate of Oman, director and film producer AbdulMohsen Al Mutairi from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and director Dawood Al Shuail from the State of Kuwait. The session will be moderated by writer and scriptwriter Muhammad Hassan Ahmed from the UAE.
Al Qattara Arts Centre also offers a series of artistic workshops and courses that people of all ages can enjoy, giving arts enthusiasts the opportunity to immerse themselves in the creative arts scene. Courses will be held monthly, Sunday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm. Local artists working at Al Qattara Art Centre have volunteered their time to teach the basics of painting and decoupage, as well as giving piano and voice lessons. The centre will also host an ‘Introduction to Singing’, teaching the five basic components of singing, including pitch, breathing, rhythm, diction and voice.
In addition, Al Qattara Arts Centre will host an introductory course on music theory and history, enabling students to develop observational skills and a deeper understanding of music style and structure. As part of this programme, there is the opportunity to register for a one-to-one piano course, available for players of all ages and levels.
The centre will offer a workshop on ‘Oil Painting Techniques’, exploring the technical skills practiced by art history’s greatest Masters. Lessons will touch on light and shadow, colour theory and values, drawing with paint, creating form and space, paint application and creating balance and harmony.
Students will also be able to learn the craft of decoupage, using materials available at home to create new art objects.