40 years of French and Emirati photography in Abu Dhabi and Dubai!

Institut français in the United Arab Emirates presents Al Sourat Photo Festival 2014, three unique French and Emirati photography exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on display from the 15th of December 2014 until the 15th of January 2015.

Al Sourat Photo Festival features French and Emirati photographers who captured the spirit of the UAE between 1974 and 2014. Their works investigate the thematic “In / Out” – public spaces and private realms of Emirati society, showcasing the complex ever changing cultural environment from the nation’s birth to the present day.

The core aim of Al Sourat Photo Festival 2014 is to create an artistic journey, a dialogue between the works of French and Emirati artists through photography, resulting in the creation of new bridges between the two cultures, enhancing their exchange, long-term relationship and cultural cooperation.

For this major festival, Institut français is proud to herald that His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan is giving his patronage to the whole event.

In addition, Institut français is deeply grateful to Bank of Sharjah and Sharjah Islamic Bank for being outstanding sponsors of the event thus contributing to make Al Sourat Photo Festival 2014 to see the light of the day.

To commemorate this special occasion, Institut français in the UAE also partnered with the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Dubai Culture, Alserkal Cultural Foundation – Heritage House, Avenue at Etihad Towers, The Third Line Gallery, and the French Bakery.


Map - Alserkal Cultural Foundation

 A first exhibition will take place at Alserkal Cultural Foundation in Al Fahidi Heritage District from the 15th of December until the 8th of January. This exhibition will showcase 34 pictures which all unveil A Portrait of the UAE (Part I).

 Abu Dhabi:

An outdoor photography exhibition on the Corniche (East Plaza) will showcase 30 pictures realized in the 1970’s by the French photographer Jack Burlot including an unprecedented reportage on Late Sheikh Zayed and on the daily life in the UAE in 1974, from the 16th to the 30th of December 2014. This exhibition Selected portraits of Late Sheikh Zayed and pictures of Abu Dhabi in the 1970’s presents unique and previously unseen pictures of H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates.

Map - Corniche

 A third exhibition A Portrait of the UAE (Part II) from the 17th of December until 15th of January will present 32 pictures realized by French and Emirati photographers in Avenue at Etihad Towers.

 Map - Avenue at Etihad Towers

 Al Sourat Photo Festival features both well-known and emerging artists:

Jack Burlot


 Trained at the Institut Français de Photographie in Paris, Jack Burlot began his career in the 1960s as a collaborator of the United Press International Agency and then “chief reporter” at Reporters associés. Jack Burlot has collaborated with the Gamma Agency since 1967; he photographed main conflicts in the world: Yom Kippur, Afghanistan, Cyprus etc. He founded Corporate Images, an institution dedicated to corporate photography and has since worked for the world’s giants: Baker Hugues USA, Honeywell USA, Groupe Accord Monde…

  Thierry Bouët

Thierry Bouët picture

 Thierry Bouët is a French photographer who has worked with international magazines such as VogueHarper’s Bazaar and Liberation, realizing portraits of artists and politicians. He has published books about people sharing unusual lifestyles: people sleeping in one-of-a-kind beds, people living in hotel rooms, etc. In 2011, Thierry was conferred the distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.

 Olivier Escarguel

Olivier Escarguel

  Olivier Escarguel is a traveler, a political analyst, but overall a writer and a photographer. Having spent time in many Eastern and Western countries, (South America, France, Middle East) he is trying to translate his discoveries and memories into words and images. His main inspiration arises from people in their own environment: his work is an artistic research about materials, time, colors and lights, that meld together to produce an abstract and figurative human atlas with a poetical resonance.

 Anne-Marie Filaire


 Artist photographer, Anne-Marie Filaire has been travelling throughout the Arab world for fifteen years. Her work has led her to focus on the complex issue of the construction of intimate spaces in different contexts including: Egypt, Palestine, Algeria and The United Arab Emirates. She had exhibitions in many art events in Paris, Europe and abroad including the 7th International Sharjah Biennial.

 Lamya Gargash

 Lamia GargashNational press

 Lamya Gargash is an Emirati artist who documents the forgotten spaces in public and private realms in Emirati society. She has won a number of awards for her work in film and photography, as in 2004 when she received first prize in the Emirates Film Festival for her movie Wet Tiles. In 2009, Lamya participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale as the featured artist of the UAE’s first ever national pavilion.

 Hind Mezaina

Hind Mezaina_Sourat Festival

 Hind Mezaina is an artist and writer from Dubai. Her blog, The Culturist, covers cultural news, events, reviews in the UAE and beyond – with an emphasis on photography, film, music and travel. Hind’s photography has been exhibited in several local and international group exhibitions, and her writing has been featured in regional publications including The NationalHarper’s Bazaar Art Arabia and Open Skies.

 Reem Saeed  


 “The social documentary photographer” is how Reem Saeed likes to categorize herself. Her personal portfolio includes projects which document street life and rural communities, in an attempt to observe people’s lives up close and personal. “Awareness through an image” is her motto: she focuses on raising awareness about various topics such as disability, environments and dissolving social barriers within a highly diverse UAE society.

 Fatima Al Yousef


 Fatima Al Yousef is a Talent Development and Community Manager for the Abu Dhabi Government at twofour54: she directs the production and incubation of cultural programmes across broadcast and online media. She has participated in numerous workshops and master-classes to develop her photographic and arts management skills, and was a winner of the British Council’s prestigious Cultural Leaders training scheme in 2012.

  Institut français in the United Arab Emirates presents Al Sourat Photo Festival

Petit logo IF FR

Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Culture, Youth  and Community Development


 With the Outstanding Sponsorship of Bank of Sharjah and Sharjah Islamic Bank

logo-bank-sharjaSharjah Islamic Bank

 In Partnership with

Abu Dhabi Municipality, Dubai Culture, Avenue at Etihad Towers, Alserkal Cultural Foundation, Heritage House, The French Bakery and the Third Line Gallery.

ABu Dhabi Municipalitylogo Dubai Culture

 Alserkal Cultural Foundation 2Alserkal Cultural Foundation 1

 Heritage House

 Avenue at ETihad Towers