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55th Venice Biennale welcomes Bahrain

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55th Venice Biennale welcomes Bahrain

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The banks of Venice swelled again this year, after an estimated half a million visitors swamped the city to enjoy its illustrious Biennale.

Now in its 55th year, Arab participation in proceedings was higher than ever, with ten new pavilions added from Arab nations. The Kingdom of Bahrain showcased the work of three different artists – Mariam Haji, Camille Zakharia and Waheeda Malullah.

As Malullah explains, there is great national pride at Bahrain’s involvement in such a prestigious event: “I think taking part in Venice is a great acknowledgment of my country, first and foremost! I am extremely pleased because I feel that, through my own work, I am also representing women artists across Bahrain and I am extremely happy about that.”

Malullah’s ‘A Villager’s Day Out’ series, is a collection of photographs chronicling a young girl’s day trip from a remote village in Bahrain to one of the country’s thriving metropolises. Whilst the journey itself a normal one, Malullah’s pictures reverberate with feelings of excitement and apprehension.

She puts this down to her ability to creatively humanise her vistas: “I am a photographer because I use the camera as a medium, my medium. But what goes on in my mind is much more conceptual.. There are some photographers who only shoot beautiful landscapes. I could do that, but its never only the landscape…It’s of my own creation and my own imagination. It is not something that I saw and just ‘clicked’.”

The Venice Biennale runs until the 24th November 2013.

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