© Ammar Al Attar

The Place I Call Home is a contemporary exhibition of photography commissioned by the British Council and curated by David Drake, Director of Ffotogallery Wales, that presents the work of artists from both the United Kingdom and The Gulf, as they explore the idea of ‘home’ at a time of rapid change. 

Originally to be displayed in the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah, UAE, from 8 March – 31 May 2020, the exhibition has now gone online in response to Covid-19. Through this digitisation, audiences can enjoy a 360-degree visual walk-through tour, all from the comfort of their own home.

Viewers also have the chance to submit their own photographs on what the place they call home looks like through a photo-based competition. (see details below).


About the exhibition and UAE artists

the 13 artists on display in Sharjah, four of the photographic series will show work in direct relation to the UAE:

  • Photographer and mixed media artist Ammar al Attar, born and raised in the UAE, presents his work Salah, an investigative series of self-portraits centred around the act of prayer in Islam and the underlying explanations for each micro-movement of the ritual. 
  • Scottish born photographer Gillian Robertson has been based in the UAE since 2015, with her work Melting Boundaries explores the relationships formed between the British and Arab cultures, showing how differing cultures flow together in harmony. 
  • Dubai-born Ben Soedira, now living in Scotland, addresses the concept of home through his work Foreign Sands, using the metaphor of the landscape to visually express the growth and development by which people have influenced a city. 
  • Photographer and exhibiting artist, Richard Allenby-Pratt, lived in the UAE for fifteen years, his photo series Two Rivers compares the Rivers Severn and Teme with the now extinct river systems of the United Arab Emirates’ desert, reflecting on the notion of ‘home’ in the context of place and change and also the environment as the climate changes.

You can see the work of all exhibiting artists here.

Photo competiton

Alongside the exhibition, audiences are invited to share their own views of ‘home’ and have the chance to win a camera, a digital photo frame or a photo book. 

The competition invites participants to re-evaluate the meaning of home, both near and far, through their own photographs and submit them via Instagram.

The topic of the competition coincides with a time when staying at home has become vital for public health. Seeing one’s own place with different eyes is a means of engaging with own interpretations, but also to explore other people’s daily surroundings and feelings of what constitutes ‘home’.  

The competition will be open for entries until the closing of the exhibition on 31 May 2020. A selection committee that comprises members of the British Council, Ffotogallery and Maraya Art Centre will select the winners whose names will be announced in the first week of June 2020. Participants can win different prizes related to the field of photography.  

Find out more and enter here

Photography is one of the greatest mediums for capturing, communicating and sharing people’s stories across cultures. ‘The Place I Call Home’ is just part of British Council’s dedicated work in UAE which seeks to create new opportunities to develop mutual understanding and respect through sharing and appreciating each other’s culture, history, and heritage, and develop long-term arts and education relationships between institutions. 

#ThePlaceICallHome #ConnectingCultures #CultureConnectsUs


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