Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anita van der Krol -- Dubai in Pictures 1975-1980

Last year I came across some beautiful black and white photos made in Dubai thirty years ago by Anita van der Krol, a Dutch expat who lived there during those years. I asked permission to put one of her pictures in my blog but she found it too political, preferring not to allow one here.

Nevertheless, I made the mailing list and received an email announcing an exhibition of her work now showing in Dubai. My chances of going there are zip, but here is a link to the online images.

Here's part of the story from The National, an English newspaper launched by the Abu Dhabi Media Company.

There are 54 black and white images, 30 by Ronald Codrai and 24 by Anita van der Krol, who took hundreds of photographs of everyday life in Dubai between 1975 and 1980. Living as an expatriate in Jumeirah, she became one of the first inhabitants of Jebel Ali village. The wife of a Dutch dredging engineer who worked on the Creek, Port Rashid and Mina harbour, Anita shot intimate pictures of Arab men, women and children, winning their confidence and respect by always seeking permission to take pictures.

Both sets of photographs have a simple, documentary style, and are fascinating to anyone living in the UAE. Some of the locations and traditions are still recognisable today, though most have been lost in the city’s rapid development. Gregg Sedgwick, the founder of Gallery One, who published a book called A Portrait of the Jumeirah Beach Road in 2003, said: “When I first started trying to get my book published about 10 years ago, just before the Jumeirah Beach Road was dug up, it was quite difficult because it showed Dubai in a very raw state. But my argument is that this is the whole nature of the place, and sales of the book now are better than when I first launched it.”

1 comment:

Jarvillian said...

Thank you! I've been researching van der Krol for a photography project and was struggling to find info on her. Her stuff's really great.