Skip to main content

The Place I Call Home

Summerhall. Edinburgh until March 8th
Four stars

Building a home, as demonstrated by the fifteen photographers and film-makers in this British Council touring exhibition travelling across ten venues in the Middle East and UK, is about more than four walls and a door. Pulled together by Cardiff-based Ffotogallery director David Drake, the show brings together work by artists from both territories to create a disparate community occupying the same global village.

Kids play football and sit on walls in Xo, Josh Adams Jones’ studies of Oman’s ex-pats. In Melting Boundaries, Gillian Robertson captures a group of teenagers posing on a bench beside a tree, looking invincible enough to take on whatever world you’ve got. Such enlivened everydayness proves similarly captivating in Beyond Home, Hussain Almosawi and Mariam Alarab’s series of images of Bahraini immigrants who built new lives in Britain.

En route to this, however, are the ruined mosques on the road to Medina in Moath Alofi’s The Last Tashahud series. There is too the aftermath of the Iraqi destruction of Kuwait in the dilapidated palaces of Mohammed Al-Kouh’s Invasion / Qasr AlSalam. Equally foreboding are Sara Al Obaidly’s images of the Qatari landscape since the discovery of natural gas in Concrete Diaries, while plastic bottles and cars mark the modernisation of Dubai in Ben Soedira’s Foreign Sands.

With myriad points between, the exhibition alights with two short films. In Abi Green and Sebastian Betancur-Montoya’s Fata Morgana, a figure covered in coin-shaped mirrors drags a reflective hut around like a nomadic sea creature hauling its shell in search of somewhere safe to evolve.

Finally, Hiwar: Reimagining the Music of Oman, is Zahed Sultan’s quick-fire peek into the development of a concert drawn from pearl-diving music from the Persian Gulf. The euphoric sounds that travel the gallery lay bare the communal power the international language of music brings with it. 

The List, February 2020



Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug