By Hamda AlHashemi (@Hamda_AlHashemi)
We live in a time where the UAE has become one of the most essential contributors in the world of contemporary art. And that can be used as a great tool to tell and show the world more about our religion, our culture, and what we do to contribute to the world as a whole. But the question here is, should we show them everything? Or should we maintain a good image of our country, while solving our problems in private?
A while ago, the UAE Pavilion Venice Biennale was the talk amongst all artists. Many Emirati artists participated such as HH Lateefa Bint Maktoum, Reem al Al Ghaith, and Abdulla AlSaadi. These three artists were chosen as the representatives of the UAE in this international event. They had a chance to show people who knew barely anything about us, who we are and what we do.
In a previous article I had written, I spoke about an art piece by Reem Al Ghaith, Dubai: What’s Left of My Land. And I have mentioned how elaborate it was, and how we as Emiratis can really relate to it. But the question that concerns me is whether or not this was the right piece for the right audience.
When you meet someone for the first time you would not go ahead and say, “Hi my name is Hamda, and I have issues with this and that.” Even if we had a problem, no matter how simple, we should not go ahead telling everyone about it. First sit with yourself, study the problem, think about how you can solve it, and try to implement the possible solutions. Talking about a problem will just make it bigger.
Another thing is that a first impression can never be changed. Even though first impression does not mean everything, it is still of vital importance. And no matter how much we criticize it, most people are judgmental. My concern was that by looking at that artwork, the audience would probably think so many things about the UAE, but would any of it positive?
But then again, there is the matter of freedom of expression. We live in a world where everything is being communicated freely and openly. So if I want to say something then I might as well do. There is an Arabic quote that says “He who is quiet when it comes to what is right, is a silent devil.” Does keeping quiet about certain things mean that we are in denial? And does speaking out loud about them mean that we are addressing them in our own way.
Not knowing the process that it takes us getting from A to B, means that we do not understand the entire situation. How we tell a story is crucial to those listening, every word, every tone, and every detail, will draw a different stroke in their imagination. We have to choose the right time and place, and be aware of whether we are sending our message as accurately as possible.
Most of the time, it is hard to decide what is right and wrong. Listening to the different opinions of different people does not make it easier either. But we must try to perceive the truth as accurately as possible. And I must say that this is something I learned while writing this article, I learned to dig deeper before criticizing a situation. As for what to say and what not to say, we must really study the factors: who, what, when, where, and how, before acting. And with that the road to realizing the right thing becomes clearer.
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.