Al Bendari & the Bunduqia

A few weeks ago it was springtime in Qatar and all was right with the Gulf.
It was my first trip back in almost a year.
As usual for the past decade plus, Doha was practically unrecognizable.
The city’s growth spurt is matching & beating the incredible speed at which my siblings are growing.

In it’s bid for the 2016 Olympics it’s overshadowing and burying them in a time-elapsed construction underbrush.
Glassy tower-blocks and stadiums are mangling the already crowded sky-line.
It really does remind me of an ungainly teenager: hands too big for his spindly arms, knock-kneed, acne-d and sprouting hair in strange places.

So when I was invited to participate in an exhibition in a Souk Waqif gallery, I decided to make a video-piece.
It was an installation-love-note both to pubescent Doha and to my younger brother and sister who are on the cusp of adolescence.

Really I was just having some fun with the ol’ Final Cut.

Harmless enough thought I.

After only one day of being projected cinema-sized onto a corner (imagine the video’s central split-screen aligned with said corner), it was noticed by the wrong man.
Calls were made.
There was an attempt to turn it off by his entourage of sunglassed men.
A mini-censorship scufuffle ensued.

We’ll just refer to the man responsible as #4.
The reason his lackies gave?
“Al-Bendari & the Bunduqia” displayed too much Emerati culture for a Qatari gallery…


#4 is the Bond villain in the taut-psychological thriller that is my jet-setting, crime-fighting life.

I would appreciate comments or conjecture on this subject as I am still somewhat slightly baffled.

Was it Imprudent? You tell me.
Am I Indignant? Apparently yes I am.

One Response to “Al Bendari & the Bunduqia”
  1. Mademoiselle Scarpetta: I am proud of the trouble you stir and, as always, loving your work. But I offer no explanations. Keep it real, babe.

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