Creative Multidisciplinary Artist_Editorial
Acclaimed Egyptian Photographer "Amr Ezzeldinn" teamed up with Dubai based stylist and artist "Chantal Barocca" to unravel Dubai's hidden community and oldest neighborhood.
After decades of looking to the West for direction on fashion, art, aesthetic norms and best practices, the Arab world is finally lending legitimacy to its own culture, history, tradition and pool of talent. Arab artists are in a rediscovery phase, and because so much of our normalized standards in global culture are Western-centric, not much - if any - of that is online. Instead, it’s found where we have forgotten to look, in spaces so commonplace in our childhood memories that for a time they disappeared from our collective perception of reality, lost among millions of moments that populate the neglected archives of the mundane and ordinary. It’s found on the streets, among faded concrete buildings and chaotic little corner shops in tattered old districts where the working class has carved out a haven safe from waves of modernity that threaten to burrow them deep under the superficial luxuries of the nouveau riche; objects that have retained their spirit and identity against all odds, against the relentless, destructive tide of urbanization and progress.
Shot on Location: Dubai, UAE
Chantal is wearing stylist's own from Gold's Souk local market.
Artists in the region have returned in hordes to these forgotten spaces; to their own parent’s and grandparent’s homes, to the stories and memories carried in the walls of neighborhoods skimming the outskirts of cities and small rural communities. It’s perhaps why so much inspiring, original artwork is erupting from the region; it isn’t a simple return to physicality, as common an urge as the city man’s obsession with returning to nature - we are witnessing a collective search for home and identity; a search for the little things that make up routines and the everydays, individually trivial, but when strung up and taken in their entirety reveal life as humanity innately and intuitively understands it – authentic, chaotic, immense, insignificant, small.
"Countries in the region are expanding their contours to make room for the new and take their place among the world’s economic superpowers, a formidable congregation of larger than life misfits racing for a seat among kings. A few decades from now, the place of my memory will be transformed into something future and alien. Even now there are talks of tearing down the old town of Dubai where I grew up – the generation after ours will be raised in immaculate steel and glass. Soon, the beautiful chaos of streets lined with tightly packed shops and cafés will exist only in images, in the work of a growing number of creatives that felt compelled to map the entire iconography of a region and pour it into offline digital archives, to document everything in the hopes of capturing the essence of what they feel they are slowly losing." - Chantal
DIVAZOFARABIA #Exclusive // Follow Chantal and Amr on Instagram @chantalbrocca // @aezzeldinn // @divazofarabia