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Arabian Transfer by Michele Nastasi



Arabian Transfer by Michele Nastasi


Arabian Transfer Finissage & Talk | 'Gulf Urbanism: What City Do You See?' 

Join us on Thursday, 24 February at 7pm for a round-table discussion with Dr Khaled Alawadi and Michele Nastasi, moderated by Mohamed Somji. In this conversation-stye talk, photographer and urban researcher Michele Nastasi will introduce his seminal work Arabian Transfer with his own personal annotations, entwining the photographer's subjectivity with the opacity of Gulf cities and their relative cityscapes in the image form and its subject matter. Dr Khaled Alawadi, urban designer and architect will offer insights on matters of urban visibility in the Gulf and its fraught relationship to the photographic image, in response to Arabian Transfer.

Arabian Transfer is on show at GPP's space until 2 March 2022. Attendees are encouraged to visit the show prior to the round-table discussion.

This event has limited seating, RSVP required: 

About the Speakers

Dr. Khaled Alawadi

Dr. Khaled Alawadi is trained as an architect and urban designer, and is associate professor in civil infrastructure and environmental engineering at Khalifa University. He obtained his Master’s in Urban Design and Doctorate in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Khalifa University, Dr. Alawadi worked as an architect in Dubai Municipality and as an assistant professor in the UAE University. His work focuses on rethinking the city through sustainability paradigm.Dr. Alawadi's research and teaching are focused on the role of urban design and planning in promoting sustainable development and the big question is: “Which urban forms, technological solutions, and policy initiatives will effectively deliver greater environmental, social, and economic coherence in our regions, cities, and neighborhoods?” Dr. Alawadi is currently coordinating a program proposal for a Master of Science in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Planning. This new program aims at responding to the rapid growth and consolidation of megascale urbanism which have necessitated the presence of new paradigms in urban design, planning, and transportation systems. Dr. Alawadi served as Visiting Assistant Professor at MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism in 2016, and previously worked as an Assistant Professor at UAE University. He has curated the National Pavilion UAE which presented Lifescapes Beyond Bigness, an exhibition exploring human-scale architectural landscapes, at the 2018 La Biennale di Venezia, or Venice Biennale. He is also one of the principle founding members of the Emirates Urban Planning Association (EPA), which was found in 2020.

Michele Nastasi

What Michele Nastasi sees through his lens is a wide field where the urban takes place. He has a vision of the global city as meaningful and humane, his pictures conveying a distinctive sense of presence. His work, as a photographer and scholar, is focused on the imagery of contemporary cities and architecture, and he has carried out long-term research in the Emirates and across the Gulf countries. His photographs have been exhibited internationally in venues such as the MIT Museum in Cambridge, the New York University in New York and Abu Dhabi, the Institute for Italian Culture in Paris, the MAXXI in Rome, the Venice Biennale. He is author of books, among which the recent “Arabian Transfer” (Hatje Cantz 2021), on the cities of the Arabian Peninsula, and for more than a decade he has been editor of the architectural review Lotus International. He holds a PhD in History of the Arts from the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, and he has taught Architectural Photography at the Politecnico di Milano and other schools. He has curated exhibitions, among which the recent “Luigi Ghirri: The Landscape of Architecture” at the Milan Triennale. He lives in Milan.


Solo Exhibition⁠

Gulf Photo Plus | Unit #36 Alserkal Avenue, Street 8 - Dubai
Wed, 19 Jan — Sun, 6 Mar⁠

Michele Nastasi’s Arabian Transfer is conceived as a journey through six cities of the Arabian Peninsula. It comes after a decade of traveling and research in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait City, Manama, Riyadh, cities that despite being represented continually by the media and advertising, and despite having a foothold on tourist interest, remain essentially invisible as real urban spaces. Arabian Transfer locates the ways in which these places, acting as major hubs of global transit, embody the contemporary world’s state of transience, of people, cultures, images, capital, and goods. It is this condition of permanent “transfer”, which is exacted both on the Gulf’s many populations, and on a global scale, that produces these cities in their current form. Nastasi’s documentation of the Gulf’s systemic, rapid, and near infinite transposition draws on photographs alongside personal anecdotes and annotations, finding an aesthetic vocabulary to alleviate the ambivalence and opacity around urban migration and visibility in the Gulf, and its subsisting by-products.

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Date: Da Wednesday, January 19, 2022 a Sunday, March 06, 2022

Time: At 7:00 pm

Organized by : IIC Abu Dhabi

In collaboration with : Gulf Photo Plus

Entrance : Free


Gulf Photo Plus Dubai