Join us on Thursday, 24 February at 7pm for a round-table discussion with Dr Khaled Alawadi and Michele Nastasi. In this conversation-stye talk, photographer and urban researcher Michele Nastasi will introduce his seminal work Arabian Transfer with his own personal annotations, entwining the photographer's subjectivity with the opacity of Gulf cities and their relative cityscapes in the image form and its subject matter. Dr Khaled Alawadi, urban designer and architect will offer insights on matters of urban visibility in the Gulf and its fraught relationship to the photographic image, in response to Arabian Transfer.
About Arabian Transfer
Featuring the work of Michele Nastasi, Arabian Transfer, comes after a decade of traveling and research in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait City, Manama, Riyadh. Drawing on photographs alongside personal anecdotes and annotations, Nastasi’s documentation of the Gulf’s systemic, rapid, and near infinite transposition finds an aesthetic vocabulary to alleviate the ambivalence and opacity around urban migration and visibility in the Gulf. An exhibition supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of Abu Dhabi.
About the Speakers
Dr. Khaled Alawadi
Dr. Khaled Alawadi is trained as an architect and urban designer, and is associate professor in civil infrastructure and environmental engineering at Khalifa University. He obtained his Master’s in Urban Design and Doctorate in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Khalifa University, Dr. Alawadi worked as an architect in Dubai Municipality and as an assistant professor in the UAE University. His work focuses on rethinking the city through sustainability paradigm.Dr. Alawadi's research and teaching are focused on the role of urban design and planning in promoting sustainable development and the big question is: “Which urban forms, technological solutions, and policy initiatives will effectively deliver greater environmental, social, and economic coherence in our regions, cities, and neighborhoods?” Dr. Alawadi is currently coordinating a program proposal for a Master of Science in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Planning. This new program aims at responding to the rapid growth and consolidation of megascale urbanism which have necessitated the presence of new paradigms in urban design, planning, and transportation systems. Dr. Alawadi served as Visiting Assistant Professor at MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism in 2016, and previously worked as an Assistant Professor at UAE University. He has curated the National Pavilion UAE which presented Lifescapes Beyond Bigness, an exhibition exploring human-scale architectural landscapes, at the 2018 La Biennale di Venezia, or Venice Biennale. He is also one of the principle founding members of the Emirates Urban Planning Association (EPA), which was found in 2020.
What Michele Nastasi sees through his lens is a wide field where the urban takes place. He has a vision of the global city as meaningful and humane, his pictures conveying a distinctive sense of presence. His work, as a photographer and scholar, is focused on the imagery of contemporary cities and architecture, and he has carried out long-term research in the Emirates and across the Gulf countries. His photographs have been exhibited internationally in venues such as the MIT Museum in Cambridge, the New York University in New York and Abu Dhabi, the Institute for Italian Culture in Paris, the MAXXI in Rome, the Venice Biennale. He is author of books, among which the recent “Arabian Transfer” (Hatje Cantz 2021), on the cities of the Arabian Peninsula, and for more than a decade he has been editor of the architectural review Lotus International. He holds a PhD in History of the Arts from the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, and he has taught Architectural Photography at the Politecnico di Milano and other schools. He has curated exhibitions, among which the recent “Luigi Ghirri: The Landscape of Architecture” at the Milan Triennale. He lives in Milan.