By Sarah Anne Griffiths
‘Home’ is a word which embodies many things: a sense of comfort and closure, protection within four walls; home is a place where you should feel most yourself, most at ease and free to express yourself without inhibitions. Ffotogallery’s latest photography exhibition embodies these characteristics in a cross-cultural photographic exploration of what ‘home’ is within and around various GCC countries as well as parts of the UK.
The exhibition is comprised of work created by Eman Ali (based in Oman), Ben Soedira (based in the United Arab Emirates) as well as Mai Almoataz (based in Bahrain) and Josh Adam Jones (based in the United Kingdom), just to name a few. Each of their photographs explores and documents what it’s like to live within their respective countries by capturing unique street scenes, local people in action as well as the experience of living day-to-day life in such diverse regions of the world.
The work that stood out for me the most was that of Ben Soedira. His documentation of Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a place of foreignness based upon modernity somehow still instilled a sense of comfort and familiarity within me. Again, this reaffirmed to me that ‘The Place I call Home’ exhibition embraces the unique cross-cultural dynamic between Eastern and Western countries in order to bridge two vastly different cultures together, to tell a far greater story of what it’s like to live in the rapidly changing social scale of the 21st century.
The photographs on display reflect a balance of age, gender and professional experience; in various ways, the work of the selected artists is about sharing stories of culture and heritage, challenging stereotypes, exploring identities, commonalities and differences. ‘The Place I Call Home’ is a body of work that beautifully connects countries with varying beliefs and traditions based on our similarities rather than differences.