Shawky, Wael b.1971 / Dictums: Manqia I
Additional images
Shawky, Wael b.1971 / Dictums: Manqia IShawky, Wael b.1971 / Dictums: Manqia I
about this work
In 'Dictums: Manqia I' (2014), herds of prize black camels are driven across the desert, en route to one of the prestigious camel parades or beauty pageants that are held in the Gulf region, known as mazaynas. These rare, dark breeds of camel are coveted across the Arab world, with those winning ‘best in show’ often being traded for astronomical sums and even appearing on their own dedicated television channels. Having previously worked with the indigenous cultures and traditions of nomadic Bedouin tribes people, Shawky similarly charts patterns of physical, economic and intellectual migration in this video, shot by the artist on location near Abu Dhabi.

“As someone from Alexandria who grew up in Saudi Arabia, I found the camel beauty industry – and it is becoming an industry – interesting... The black camels aren't from the Emirates. They’re moved from Saudi, and so I thought it might be interesting to explore the wealth that comes from this symbol of the nomad. Most of my work has to do with the idea of a society changing from nomadism to urbanism.” Wael Shawky

Wael Shawky (b.1971, Egypt)

Dictums: Manqia I, 2014

HD Video 11min 10sec
Edition: 4/5+2 AP

Lisson Gallery, London, UK Current Location:
Switzerland - Basel - S VideoMiddle East


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