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Focus on giving
by Muhammad Yusuf August 28, 2014
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A joint initiative by Maraya Art Centre (MAC), the innovative contemporary visual arts hub in Sharjah and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) that sets the heart on fire and, hopefully, opens the wallet, is on at MAC’s first floor space in Al Qasba. It is a display of photographic work, which furthers the cause of MOBIPIXUAE’s fundraising roadshow.

Open on Aug. 13 and to run till Aug. 31, it is a charity exhibition that features the works of members of MOBIPIXUAE, a UAE-based movement, dedicated to promoting creative mobile photography. It is hosted alongside the contributions of the young talents of 100cameras, a charity dedicated to empowering children create tangible change in their communities by teaching them to capture their lives through photography.

The show features 36 works, professional and amateur, from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, South Africa, Nepal, Philippines and India. The prints of the works are being sold at the highly affordable Dhs250 each. The proceeds will be given over totally to 100cameras which will in turn give the money to the families of the young photographers, allowing them to contribute towards funding local lifeline, education and healthcare needs.

Established in 2009, 100cameras is a registered non-profit organisation funded through the donations of individuals, businesses and foundations. It teaches kids to share their perspectives through photography and turns their stories into products.

The sales empower them to create change in their communities. Half of the funds raised go to fulfilling local, tangible needs and the other half funds ongoing project and production costs. 100cameras has bases in South Sudan; New York City; Cuba; India and Baltimore, USA.

MOBIPIXUAE is a group of mobile photographers of different nationalities based in the UAE. Its aim is to promote mobile photography and showcase the talents of emerging, professional and photography enthusiasts, show photography relevant to culture and society and create a strong social impact through the simplest form of media (mobile). Set up in 2013, it is the first mobile photography community in the UAE.

Reem Saeed, founder of MOBIPIXUAE is an Emirati for whom photography has been a passion since childhood.  She likes to call herself a “social photographer”. At the exhibition, she is showing three images, taken in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Ajman. She has focused on doors and their symbolism.  “We want to project our lives and also reflect them”, she said. “What better if we can contribute to charity also?”

Ahmed M Jassim, Emirati, is interested in Street/Documentary photography. His recent work has mostly been done with his iPhone, since he found it easy to captured street life and document surroundings with it.

“I appreciate the iPhone’s qualities”, he said. He is especially strong in chiaroscuro. His images were shot in Sharjah, Iraq and Makkah. Right now, he is on to a Makkah project.

Ali Hassan Al Hawai, UAE national, is a landscape and nature lover. He has shown images of his old house in Dubai which holds precious memories for him. (He is on his way to moving to a new residence soon).

Bickey Basnet was born and raised in Nepal. His b/w photographs have been carefully thought out and they capture people — which he likes to do. “I took the pictures at Mamzar beach”, he said.

Originally from South Africa, Linda Hollier is an iphoneographer living in the UAE. “One of my first wishes as a child was to own a camera”, she said. She enjoys capturing the beauty of futuristic, modern skyscrapers.  She also enjoys using apps to create photos that encourage viewers to take different perspectives. On view are her pictures of buildings, taken at crazily rational angles.

The exhibition carries also the work of Saud Al Zarouni, whose “freedom and hope” brings out the feel of release; Nandhini (Indian, 16 years old); U Iswariya (Indian, 16); Christeena (Indian, 26); Nishanti (Indian, 16); Gemay (Cuba, 14); Manuel (Cuba, 10); Jose (Cuba, 13); Kaban (Sudan, 14); Kiden (Sudan, 16); Buba (Sudan, 14); Muneer Ahmed; Manosh De; Omaima Azhari and Abdulsalam Alamri.

The Indians explore street scenes and landscapes of their country while the Sudanese present people. Nilufer Ayvaz deals with the subject of motion. Speaking about the exhibition, MAC Manager Giuseppe Moscatello, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming MOBIPIXUAE and 100cameras to Sharjah. At Maraya we believe strongly in the power of art to make a real and positive change in people’s lives, especially in the lives of the younger generation, and this exhibition is an excellent example of the power of that change.

“We urge everyone to head on down to Maraya to experience this powerful display of images and contribute to the empowerment of 100cameras’ brave and talented young photographers.”

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